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Top 8 trends in mobile marketing

Top 8 trends in mobile marketing
March 20, 2013in Business2013-03-202013-04-03businessen
Mobility continues to be one of the hottest areas of communications. We look at the top trends in mobile marketing, including location, social media and SMS.


Mobility continues to be one of the hottest areas of communications. There will be over 5 billion mobile phone users worldwide by 2015, according to the analyst the Yankee Group, and over 55% of mobile users says that their next phone will be a smartphone.

So what are the top trends in mobile marketing? We found out in a recent webinar hosted by Yankee Group research director Sheryl Kingstone, and principal analysts Jason Armitage and Nick Holland.

1. Users are increasingly attached to their phones

Called “nomophobia” by some, the fact remains that users are increasingly attached to their phones. Yankee figures suggest that 63% of users need to be connected at all times – and they are using their mobile for both social and work lives. This makes the mobile channel a key opportunity for businesses.  For success, they need to develop a compelling mobile offer that works across multiple platforms and is consistent with other channels such as the web.

2. Location will play a key role in mobile coupons

Coupons are an integral part of shopping in North America. Kingstone says that 32% of consumers Yankee surveyed in 2012 were interested in mobile coupons, and suggests that it is a good introduction to full m-commerce. By tying coupons to location, retailers are also able to interact with customers when they are in-store. In fact, 84% of businesses are interested in offering personalized location-based offers.

3. Mobile is key across the entire customer lifecycle

Businesses can use mobile applications across the entire mobile lifecycle: market, sell, enhance and care. Examples of these include: location-based offers, mobile commerce, loyalty programs and mobile self-service. Consumers are looking for services that offer them the three Cs: convenience (what they need at the right time), connectivity (access to apps on the move) and context (suits their location and situation).

4. Mobile marketing is important across all verticals

Although retailers have been at the forefront of mobile marketing activity, the fastest growing sector is now in financial services. The third most active sector is in media and entertainment. There is also a growing interest in all sectors in creating advertising within applications, with Yankee reporting that 17% of consumers will click on an offer within an app. Kingstone suggests that all sectors can learn from the gaming industry, which leads in this activity. Analyst Forrester has also recently published some interesting research on in-app marketing.

5. Social media is a key part of the mobile marketing mix

According to Yankee, 59% of smartphone users access social networks from their mobile device. This makes a key marketing channel. However, it is quite strongly skewed towards younger consumers, with 69% of 20-34 year olds using mobile social media compared to 31% of over-55s. This means that social is not a mass-market medium as such, but can be critical for reaching certain consumers.

6. SMS is being revived by mobile marketing

Although SMS is no longer the boom technology it once was, it is gaining popularity in mobile marketing. The reason for this is two-fold: it has excellent reach because everyone can receive SMS and users tend to check their text messages right away, compared email, for example. In 2012, 80% of businesses prioritized SMS in their mobile activities, compared to 61% in 2011. The immediate response of SMS makes it a good fit for location-aware offers. However, Kingstone warns that businesses need to use SMS sparingly in order to not alienate users.

7. Advertising-funded mobile money could be credit card alternative

Although a real alternative to the credit-card networks is still to emerge, Holland suggests that the concept of zero interchange pioneered by LevelUp could fit the bill. This is a transaction model that uses m-commerce revenues to offset transaction fees.

8. QR codes link physical and virtual worlds

Quick response (QR) codes have become increasingly popular as a technique for adding hyperlinks to physical media. “They are ‘training wheels’ to get consumers used to interacting with the brand in the physical world using their phone,” says Holland. It can also be used in mobile commerce. For example, Starbucks uses QR codes to allow consumers to buy coffee via a loyalty program.          

Orange Business Services offers a range of mobility services and consultancy.

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