Analysis / Mobile Trends

What’s in Store for 2015?

It’s the end of another year, and we are soon to be inundated with 2015 prediction articles.  New Year predictions tend to expand on the key themes of the last 12 months, so we should see plenty about Mobile Payments, Location Services, Wearables and the Internet of Things.

In 2015 we will see retailers and brands focus on location services and hyper-local initiatives that connect consumers directly with information about what they are seeing and engaging with, in real time.  The mobile device will continue to establish itself as the centre of our universe; the hub device that connects us with our other screens, wearable devices, music players, gaming devices and more.  The Internet of Things will bring ordinary household items into our personal network, connecting us via our smartphone with lights, doors, locks and climate control.  Marketers will demand services that deliver insights and knowledge about how people engage and interact within these networks.  Creative brands and advertisers will explore and discover the enormous opportunities inherent in this new wave of computing.

Marketing Profs Top 6 Predictions for Mobile Marketing

MarketingProfs have published their top 5 predictions looking specifically at the mobile advertising market. According to MarketingProfs, the wearable trend has the potential to redefine the entire mobile ecosystem. To date, smart watches are a niche category, with none of the devices on the market reaching a million units in sales yet. In 2015 Marketing Profs expect the as yet unreleased Apple Watch to sell at least 15 million units – a conservative forecast compared to some.

We can expect further consoildation of ad tech companies, with real time bidding driving a lot of the acquisitions and investment. Programmatic is set to accelerate, primarily driven by mobile with programmatic ad buying to represent more than 50% of all mobile buys in 2015. Location based ad inventory will finally reach sufficient scale and accuracy to run effective location targeted campaigns. Marketing Profs see smart watches having an additional impact on location-based mobile advertising to the extent that it could account for as much as 25% of all mobile ad buys in 2015. This is less likely in local markets, where inventory consolidation and smart watch penetration may take longer, but we should see the early impacts of this in 2015.

App usage will accelerate, with a particular focus on digital media consumption, communications and streaming services. With as much as 65% of time forecast to be spent on apps and the rapid uptake of large screen devices, 2015 will also be the year of mobile video. The ability to extend the reach of existing campaigns will see mobile video cement its popularity with brands, publishers and consumers.

IDC Top 10 Predictions focus on the 3rd Platform

IDC’s predictions focus on what they call the 3rd Platform, based around mobile computing, cloud services, big data/analytics, and social networking. According to IDC nearly all of the spending growth in ICT will be on these technologies.

This growth will impact every industry on the planet. Marketers should remain on top of retail innovation such as mobile payments and location based services as these are key area identified by IDC for growth in 2015.   In addition, mobile devices and apps continue to grow, though not at quite the pace of recent years. A lot of the development investment will focus on enterprise mobile apps.   We’ll also see an explosion in wearables innovation but actual unit sales may be slow initially. The Internet of Things will drive the invention of more and more intelligent and connected things. The opportunities for marketers will be enormous and limited only by the imagination.

In the area of big data, we’ll see huge leaps in demand and investment in analytics and data about rich media and the Internet of Things. What this means is that the available data, knowledge and insights about the audiences we target will grow exponentially. Advertisers and brands that don’t keep up risk losing out to newcomers with expertise in this area. IDC’s final word on 2015 “To say that 2015 will be a pivotal year in the ICT industry is a gross understatement”.

Forrester Top IT Predictions for 2015

There is a concise overview of Forrester’s 45 2015 Prediction reports on Forbes that pulls out a few key themes for digital IT.  Aside from the usual suspects of security, cloud and big data, the review suggests that the widening gap between digital leaders and laggards will widen in 2015 as those who ‘get it’ pull further away from those who don’t.   Complicating matters for the laggards is the increasing pace of technology as the world embraces smartphones, wearables, and mobile payments.  Mobile advertisers will find many opportunities to reach customers via new devices, channels and platforms, and will continue to expect comprehensive data about audiences to support their targeting efforts.  We will see huge demand for services and software that generate insights from the collection and integration of this data.

According to Forrester, 2015 will be a big year for Apple, with their investments in Mobile Payments and Wearables positioning them once again  as leaders in two key markets.  The  smartwatch market is expected to explode in 2015, with apple a catalyst for the growth of a new and important category.

We’ve shared below three of the early 2015 prediction stories that are already circulating.  There will no doubt be more in the new year, but it’s unlikely we’ll see much variation from the key themes below.  So how do brands, advertisers and marketers prepare for the trends of the next 12 months?

Haptic Generation’s Top 3 Tips to Prepare for 2015:

1. BUILD AUDIENCE INSIGHTS

Explore ways to make better use of data to reach and engage with your target audience.  Build knowledge bases of how your customers engage with all of the platforms, devices and screens in their lives.

2. PLAN FOR NEW DEVICES AND WEARABLES

Develop a flexible brand and content strategy that can be quickly repurposed to new devices, screens and platforms. Continue to integrate marketing efforts across multiple channels and devices.  A well-oiled platform for distributing brand content and messaging will be essential for maximising returns on new markets like wearables and other connected devices.

3. DEVELOP LOCATION STRATEGIES

Establish location touch points and build knowledge about where your audience connects with your brand.  Retailers can investigate hardware (such as Beacons) to engage directly with customers in store.  Trial campaigns that use location targeting in preparation for an explosion in location aware opportunities in the coming months.

BONUS TIP:  Why not treat yourself to a wearable or connected device for Christmas and discover first hand what the future holds.  You might like to try a smart watch like one of the Samsung Gear watches, or a fitness device such as the Fitbit or Jawbone.  Alternatively you could check out Tile to help you track down missing items, deck your house out with some LIFX lights that you control with your smartphone, pre-order Wattcost to track and report on your electricity consumption or protect your house with a Homeboy security system.

 

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