What Will 2013 Hold for the Mobile Industry?

With the New Year just around the corner, the time seemed right to reach out to the industry’s best and brightest – from brands, agencies, and everything in between – and pick their brains on what 2013 might hold for mobile. You can see the results below.

Gavin Stirrat, Managing Director, EMEA, Millennial Media

 “The big trend we expect to see in 2013 is an increased focus from advertisers on reaching specific consumer audiences. The data involved in mobile is unlike any other medium, and the combination of interest data, social data, location data and more, can give brands a multi-dimensional view into audience profiles that will allow them to reach the right consumers at the right place and time, and really move the needle with their campaigns.”

Paul Francis, UK head of commercial systems, Domino’s Pizza

 “In 2013 we will see consolidation and targeted communications from the brands who understand mobile retail. The growth in digital sales has been phenomenal for Domino’s and we now know what works. Our focus will be to build and innovate on what we have and give our customers the best service we can.

“The biggest growth area must be mobile ads, which currently account for only two per cent of the ad market. We use mobile devices to fill often small, random moments of space in our day. Smaller screens make it too easy to accidentally tap ads we aren’t interested in; they annoy the consumer and bring little value to the advertiser. Hopefully technology like Google’s ‘confirmed clicks’ function will help ensure mobile adverts become more of a feature than an annoyance.”

Windsor Holden, research director, Juniper Research

 “We certainly expect the retail industry to focus on the development of in-store mobile strategies over the coming months. Increasingly, retailers are perceiving the mobile not merely as a means of driving footfall to their physical outlets, but as a mechanism with which to marry – and maximise sales through – their digital and physical assets.  

“Thus, we anticipate far more deployments of wi-fi hotspots by leading retailers, not merely to enable general consumer browsing, but to enable both ‘push’ and ‘pull’ interaction with consumers – allowing the latter to search for additional information on products and to receive offers and discounts while in store, together with facilitating product demonstrations and catalogue checking by employees.”

Rob Jonas, VP & MD EMEA and global business operations, InMobi

 “Marketers are unlocking the potential of mobile advertising by pursuing rich media and creating more engaging, immersive experiences on mobile. The personal nature of smartphones and the multimedia content and features of rich media and HTML5 allow marketers to engage viewers at scale, in an unparalleled manner. 

“In 2013 we will see an increase in cohesive cross channel campaigns across mobile devices and other types of media. Successful campaigns no longer deliver the same message or ad already running on TV, on mobile. For marketers to succeed, cross-media campaigns incorporating mobile will deliver high-impact, targeted campaigns.”

Carl Uminski, chief operating officer, Somo

 “The growth of tablets will have the biggest impact next year when it comes to mobile. The arrival of 7″ devices will be important – they’ll be used for digital content consumption but also as a larger screen portable device (as opposed to standard tablets which are mostly used in the home). Mobile usage will continue to increase and desktop will no longer be the primary screen. We’ll become truly multi-screen, mobile-first consumers. Amazon is a player to watch. I’d expect a move from them in the mobile wallet space, and potentially a smartphone launch.”

Ian Carrington, director of mobile, EMEA, Google

 “2012 was a great year for mobile. As consumers continued to turn to their mobile devices, we also saw marketers embrace mobile in a big way. Marketers have moved beyond asking why they should be on mobile, and are now talking about how they can maximize their mobile efforts. I fully expect that this will continue in 2013, and that mobile will continue to play a key role in every advertiser’s marketing mix. 

“For those marketers who have yet to fully dive into mobile, and are finding it challenging with user demand, I would say that it’s not too late, but they have to be quick! Mobile is becoming increasingly crucial to the way customers interact with businesses and brands, so the first thing I’d recommend is that marketers make sure they’re present on mobile and service their consumers needs with seamless, engaging and efficient apps and mobile sites that are built especially for mobile. Beyond that, I’d encourage marketers to begin thinking about the role that mobile has within their larger marketing mix across devices. 

“The year of mobile has been and gone, but for many business the year they embrace mobile will be 2013.”

Dr KF Lai, CEO, BuzzCity

“The number of people on their mobiles cannot be ignored. While mobile needs to lead, marketers will need to put strategy before tactics, taking into consideration multi-screen viewing and user behaviour. This means that we will begin to see a strategy drawn out from mobile first and then progressively enhanced for devices with larger screens. Marketers should not forget that consumers are more empowered and want more content than ever before.”

Olof Schybergson, CEO, Fjord

“Next year, we expect the biggest growth areas to be personal data, voice integration and living services. However, at the crux of all of these predictions is the fact that mobile is still changing everything – if anything faster, and now includes new ways of working. In 2013, personalisation will be a hot topic for success. Finally, data and the success of new systems are tightly bound together. And as ever – for truly great service design – people come first.”

Marci Weisler, chief operating officer, EachScape

“Mobile shopping and mobile payments will continue to increase dramatically. Signs were clear throughout the year and holiday season cemented mobile’s impact on retail and shopping. Consumers are using mobile as tools for discovery, price comparison and LBS to drive to local businesses. Smart retailers are staying ahead of the game by offering shoppers  tools for better experiences, deals and to create loyalty.  They are also deploying mobile devices to sales associates as means to seal the deal, through highlighting products, upselling and easily accessing inventory. Bottom line: mobile is now.”

Alex Campbell, co-founder and chief innovation officer, Vibes

“I expect to see Google updating the storage functionality of Google Wallet to make it behave more like Apple’s Passbook. Rather than focus solely on the transaction side of the mobile wallet, Google Wallet will become an app where users can manage coupons, loyalty cards, as well as ticket and boarding passes, and which alerts users when the contents of their Google Wallet can be used, based on time and location.”

John Sims, president, Sybase 365

“With mobile internet usage surpassing desktop internet usage, mobile apps proliferating at a breathtaking rate and the mCommerce market expected to exceed 30bn by 2016, operators are working to acquire more spectrum and are moving toward highly flexible, secure all-IP networks to accommodate ‘big data’ demand. 

“Data consumption is exploding as the number of ‘things’ connected to the Internet already exceeds the number of people on earth. This coming year we should expect to see an inflection point between mobile service providers and businesses around the combination of mobile, big data and cloud. Those that embrace this trend early on will be in the best position to quickly transform businesses and markets, and the experience for consumers and employees.”

Jim Somers, chief marketing and strategy officer, Antenna Software

“We expect to see more and more businesses leveraging the mobile channel to communicate more effectively and build stronger customer relationships in the year ahead. With analysts predicting that 2013 will bring exciting developments to the mobility sector, with things like the rise of Android and iOS devices and potential re-emergence of BlackBerry in the workplace, there are more ways than ever that businesses can take advantage of mobile.

“In 2013 we will see more and more enterprises leveraging the mobile channel to help enhance the way they work. Mobilising the workforce has already transformed the way that we do business, but in 2013 we will see this go even further, as businesses invest in mobile enterprise applications that help enhance business practice both internally and externally, helping improve productivity so they can maintain a competitive edge.”

Duncan Southgate, global brand director, Millward Brown

“Marketers will focus less time and effort on building their own apps, purchasing more sponsorship and advertising space in other popular apps instead. In particular I expect strong growth in rich media units such as Apple’s iAd and other expandable/interactive formats, as marketers seek to draw consumers into highly engaging brand experiences. They will find such approaches enable wider exposure over time, and generate a more sustainable impact on brand awareness, favourability and perceptions.”

Ben Drury, CEO and co-founder, 7digital

“Mobile, and connected devices in general, will be the largest platform for music in 2013. This will be driven by a number of factors; fast connection speeds and the roll out of 4G technology, a greater number of devices in the hands of consumers, and the increasing choice of options of access; free, rental through subscriptions, and purchase. These are not impacting the music industry exclusively, anyone in the digital content space will see the impact in the coming years – from those in the eBoook and newspaper publishing sector to TV and film producers.

“The music industry, however, is leading the way with new forms of access and innovation. Our industry is also guilty, to varying degrees, of focusing on wrong debate; access vs ownership. Subscription services are often labelled as ‘access’, but in reality are ‘rental’. When your monthly subscription stops, you lose your carefully curated collection. With mobile continuing to grow as a platform in 2013 and connection speeds increasing, digital music companies will need to focus on providing the right level of access to the content customers own.”

Mick Rigby, managing director, Yodel mobile

“I believe we are moving into a new phase of the evolution of the the mobile device, infrastructure, hardware and the internal operating systems have gone though incredible evolution over the last few years. However, the big step changes we’ve seen in these areas are becoming smaller.

“The really exciting area of change in mobile will be in how we start using these devises to control and manage our lives beyond the handsets themselves. You can already use it to adjust the heat in your home or set a programme to record whilst out and about but there is an infinite number of apps that it can be applied to. Mobile as a ‘life remote’ is going to be a real area of interest and development in 2013.”


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