At the beginning of 2009 I predicted that 2009 was the year for marketers to get serious about mobile marketing.
I am excited to be able to bring you some of the leading mobile predictions from one of the leading and renowned mobile specialists in the industry – Emily Freeman.
So what are Emily’s thoughts on the topic?
1. Everybody builds an App Store
Everybody will want an app store in 2009. The iPhone App Store has had more than 300 million downloads globally, with more than 10k apps available as of early December 08.
The appeal of the iPhone App Store is the large, consistent user base, the built in business model and the ‘one-click’ path to getting an application onto a mobile handset.
2009 will bring a variety of me-too App Store experiences, some of which we will see in Australia. Major handset manufacturers will launch their alternative, similar models. (Palm has already launched a software store, RIM is set to do so in March).
In addition Nokia have now launched an app store, called ‘Ovi’ which will eventually be pre-installed on all Nokia handsets, and Microsoft has launched Windows Marketplace. With the new Android operating system from Google soon to be available on a variety of handsets (including the HTC Dream with Optus in Australia), we will see the Android application store presenting some hot competition as well.
2. Mobile Web Usage Tips Over (almost)
In 2009 we will finally see Australia reach the (almost) tipping point for mobile web. It’s fair to say we won’t ALL be browsing the internet from our mobiles, but by the end of 2009 it will be at least as common as MMS is now.
We will see a rush of Australian online properties make their first forays into the mobile channel. In the face of this increased competition, those who are already there (News, Fairfax, NineMSN, LP, ABC, CarSales, Sensis) will make a lot more noise. The classifieds space will start to wake up to the possibilities and we’ll see a lot more from employment & real estate.
With local properties acting as a magnet for the channel, users will find themselves exploring mobile further and discovering the wealth of content & applications available globally. Mobile search engines will contribute to this growth. Where there are users there are opportunists, and we will see a barrage of content suitable for mobile being published in the latter half of 2009 to take advantage of this eagerly awaited surge in usage.
3. We Hear a Lot More about Mobile Ad Networks
Users + Content = Advertising.
In Australia to date a small number of major players have controlled most of the mobile usage and thus the revenue that can be earned from advertising. With usage and content growth expected in 2009, we are set to see several changes occurring in the mobile ad network space as the major players set to benefit from further monetisation of this channel.
In 2009 we will also see one or more start up companies launching in Australia with the goal of aggregating ad serving within mobile content. More mobile content means there could be a genuine need here, but the real opportunity is in building the network, thus becoming an acquisition target for the larger global mobile or local online ad networks.
4. Australian Ad Industry puts Mobile on The Radar
With all this activity and advertising opportunity, 2009 will be the year our local agencies start to take mobile seriously. The advertising industry will start to consider mobile more often and earlier in the planning process (but not yet often enough or early enough for my liking!).
Digital agencies will realise they are not truly digital if they don’t offer mobile services, and we will see mobile experts being hired and trained with increasing frequency.
Media planners will be expected to know what’s available in mobile media buying and mobile specific agencies will flourish while digital and traditional agencies figure the space out. Mobile specialists will either do well or be absorbed / acquired. Advertisers will start to ask for mobile and in some cases will even know what it is they are asking for!
Tacking on mobile at the last minute will be rife and we will see horrible mistakes like SMS campaigns pushing full screen web URLs, QR codes that are too big/small/fuzzy to scan and downloadable apps that cost $150k to build and get no usage. There will be talk of mobile being all hype and no reality.
But we’ll also see some really smart & innovative mobile advertising. This will be the year we move beyond ‘banners and brochureware’ and see mobile integrated across digital & traditional channels and applied in scenarios where it’s undeniably perfect – direct, targeted, measurable, interactive conversations.
The global economic downturn will be good for mobile advertising, as it costs less to reach the right people via mobile. Where the target audience makes sense, many advertisers will sacrifice broadcast media for direct, targeted campaigns with mobile integrated.
For organisations who have not dabbled in the world of mobile my top tips for clients considering mobile for the first time are;
Think about your campaign objectives and select appropriate channels
– are your customers best reached via their mobile phone?
– do they browse the mobile web / use SMS / download games?
Only buy Mobile Advertising if you have (or intend to build) a mobile site and you want to generate traffic
Use mobile specialists to design & build your mobile presence – it’s just not the same as online!
Emily Freeman has provided a more in-depth look at Mobile Predictions for 2009 on her blog. To read more about this topic visit
2009 Mobile Trends – Mobilista or if you want to follow Emily Freeman do so on twitter by clicking here.