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Mobile: Most brands struggling to keep up with customers

16th Jan 2014
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Research firm Forrester has released the findings of its latest review into mobile marketing trends for 2014, with a footnote stating it doesn't “expect companies to catch up to their customers this year”, in terms of their mobile expectations.

Many businesses have already been lambasted for their “sloth-like approach towards the mobile revolution”. However, Forrester’s statement comes more as a precursor for businesses in terms of the likely road ahead, as opposed to an assessment of their current position.

The report, titled ‘Predictions 2014: Mobile Trends for Marketers’ highlights the areas businesses were expected to focus on in 2014, in order to claim more traction in mobile services markets.

"Your customers' expectations are higher than you can achieve and are evolving faster than you can move - unless you are a mobile leader with agile development teams in place," says the report’s co-author, Thomas Husson, as he highlights a series of likely events that should help companies in their attempts to buck this trend over the coming 12 months:    

  • Competitive advantage in mobile will shift from experience design to Big Data“Mobile is transformative but only if you can engage your consumers in their exact moment of need with the right services, content, or information,” the report indicates. “Not only do you need to understand their context in that moment but you also need insights gleaned from data over time to know how to best serve them in that moment.”
  • Mobile contextual data will offer deep customer insights — beyond mobile. “Mobile is a key driver of Big dData. Most advanced marketers will get that mobile’s value as a marketing tool will be measured by more than just the effectiveness of marketing to people on mobile websites or apps. They will start evaluating mobile’s impact on other channels.”
  • Mobile advertising will start maturing. The report highlights that new mobile-centric ad formats should emerge in 2014, with more effective mobile video inventory expected to grow, and more mobile ad network inventory to shift to the exchanges. “Improvements in user identification will be a primary driver for these changes,” it stated. “But don’t get too excited yet: No industry-accepted, non-cookie standard for user ID will be developed this year, so no one solution will offer massive reach.”

The Asian market is likely to see the most innovation in terms of mobile services development, the report states, driven by the expected explosion in smartphone adoption among an already burgeoning audience.

The number of smartphones in use in China alone is expected to surpass 500m in 2014, almost as many as the US and Western Europe combined. And this, coupled with less-established infrastructure within Chinese enterprises, means businesses will have the power to scale and innovate far quicker than Western organisations in the process of learning what their mobile customers want.  

"Mobile is becoming not only the new digital hub but also the bridge to the physical world. That’s why mobile will affect more than just your digital operations — it will transform your entire business,” Thomas Husson notes.

“2014 will be the year that companies increase investments to transform their businesses, with mobile as a focal point."

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