One Last Look Into the Future…

The predictions keep on coming. Here’s a brief round-up of the latest, before we close the door on all this crystal ball-gazing…

The analyst, Forrester, says that after a record year for mobile marketing spend and success, mobile has finally arrived as a legitimate marketing medium. “In 2011, marketers will take the training wheels off mobile programs and start investing in cohesive mobile marketing strategies,” says Forrester analyst, Melissa Parrish. “Designated interactive marketers will become the first set of true mobile marketers, creating specific mobile search and display media buying plans, while scrutinising one-offs like campaign-based apps for providing additive business value.”

But Parrish cautions that, despite increasing activity and more strategic spending, inconsistent data and analytics will plague mobile marketers hoping to make a business case for testing emerging opportunities. There’s more from Forrester here.

OpenMarket believes that 2011 will bring new opportunities for brands to engage with their customers through mobile as never before. With the arrival of in-app billing in the mobile payments market, the company sees 2011 as being the year that Direct to Mobile (D2M) billing will provide consumers with the simplest and most convenient way of paying for both app purchases and in-app purchases via their smartphones.
OpenMarket adds that there will be a growing realisation this year that while apps are important, most apps have no value for the consumer. The key, it says, is to provide potential customers with content they are willing to pay for and in order to capitalise on this brands will have to develop unique content combined with in-app billing solutions.

Growth in mCommerce will be fuelled by e-tailers like Amazon, Tesco and M&S adopting ‘bill through’ models, offering the customer a seamless mobile payment experience with Paypal or Visa. This will vastly increase the amount of revenue generated via mobile and spur other retailers to offer a formal mCommerce capability, further fuelling growth.

Finally, says OpenMarket, MMS will at last achieve its potential as a powerful marketing and messaging platform. The company notes that some brands are already using them in creative ways, paving the way for MMS to become the new viral marketing tool of choice.

Finally, some roaming predictions from Starhome, which predicts a further rise in roaming data usage throughout 2011 and 2012. The company believes that growth in roaming data usage will be fuelled by the fact that 3G smartphones allow for higher efficiency and network capabilities while roaming, and by mobile users constant need to Tweet, share, surf the net and check emails while roaming.

Even so, says Starhome, bill shock remains a primary concern for subscribers. However, the company says, operators can cultivate the growing data roaming market and encourage data roaming usage by offering their roamers out-of-the-box data roaming bundles to alleviate the fear of bill shock. Right, that’s it, we’re all predicted-out for one year. Time to stop predicting it and start making it happen.