Hey, remember back when mobile was the next big thing? These days, it’s just the thing. If you don’t have a mobile strategy, you might as well not have a strategy at all.
As the space evolves though, so does the way we use mobile devices. Think about it, what was once just a means of calling people in an emergency is now your diary, calculator, gaming centre and means of accessing the internet.
With that in mind MEF, the global community for mobile content and commerce, has unveiled its predictions for the path mobile is likely to take over the next few months.
1. Convenience becomes paramount
Convenience will exceed entertainment as the primary mobile content and commerce driver globally. That means we’ll spend a lot more time and money on mobile content that makes our lives easier. As people move more and more of their lives onto their mobile devices, and as the number of things we can do with those devices increase, they become less gimmick-focused and more utilitarian.
2. Shift in payments
Operator billing will be overtaken by other mobile payment systems in developed markets. Think about it, our phones are less and less about making calls (even that might soon disappear). As revenue from traditional voice calls shrinks, other mobile payments (apps, in-app purchases, etc.) are growing. That the one will eventually overtake the other is just a by-product the space’s evolution.
3. Big Data will drive mobile engagement
In 2013, says MEF, we’ll see widespread roll out of personalised recommendations and alerts based on context and behavioural data enabled by mobile. One area where this is really taking off is health and personal fitness. With any number of apps designed to monitor exercise, diet, and surrounding conditions our mobile devices can provide masses of data which, when properly correlated can be used to suggest changes to improve our lives. Get the social aspects right and any business effectively taking part in the Zeitgeist could do very well for themselves.
4. Trust as a critical asset
People don’t mind you taking their data, as long as they know what you’re doing with it. Use it in the wrong way and they’ll be up in arms though. Just ask Instagram. Consumer trust around privacy and data collection will become a critical asset for apps and brands in 2013.
5. Usage convergence
The dividing line between consumer and enterprise-focused services will melt, transforming the way companies use mobile. A part of the reason for this is the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon. People want the same tight experiences in their work environments as they have at home. Not dictating what devices people can cannot use means that this is actually happening.
6. Growth in health and education services
2013 will see a significant uptake in the use of health and education services, based on interactive mobile content and device penetration. Growth markets will drive this but developed markets will also complement and develop existing systems.
7. Crowd-sourcing of mobile content
Mass-curation of content, such as large-scale photo integration enabling crowd-sourcing of public events imagery, will emerge as a defining mobile apps category, but will experience scaling issues, including transparency and privacy concerns.
8. The march of multi-screens
In 2013 much of the mobile ecosystem’s energy will target the integration of multiple connected screens, such as TV companion services, to deliver a consistent and complimentary experience across every connected device.
9. Third mobile ecosystems
If you’re expecting a new leader in the mobile OS wars to emerge in 2013, think again. Android and iOS will remain dominant, but the competition for third place is only going to get stronger. Windows Phone 8, Firefox OS and BlackBerry 10, says MEF, will make progress globally, especially in growth markets.
10. China is coming
Chinese mobile content and commerce vendors will expand into global markets. In fact, Baidu and Tencent have already made moves to expand some of their mobile products into other markets. Even these tech giants will however struggle with the complexities of mobile ecosystems.
Andrew Bud, MEF Global Chair, said: “Looking ahead into 2013, all indicators point to another year of global growth across the mobile ecosystem. At the same time, disruption and market challenges, particularly around issues of Consumer Trust, will continue to test our industry’s resolve and agility.”