What's next for mobile? - Business Works
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What's next for mobile?

Chris Bull, CEO, Selective Media T he UK leads international markets for mobile device adoption and use. Chris Bull, CEO and Founder of Selective Media discusses the recent surge in smartphone usage and what this means for business and mobile marketing in 2013.

Telecoms regulator Ofcom recently reported that smartphone usage in the UK has hit 58% as of December 2012. With the number of Britons using smartphones to access websites, download apps, and email more prevalent than ever before, 2012 was a strong year for mobile. With the UK leading international markets for mobile device adoption and usage, these figures bode well for opportunities in mobile for 2013. As such, we have identified five mobile trends that we believe will significantly impact the year to come.

Mobile on the go

This year, Londoners saw WiFi come to the Tube, thanks to TFL’s deal with Virgin Media to equip the city’s network of Tube stations with access to free wireless internet during London 2012. As wireless providers compete and vie for customer loyalty in 2013, we will see more networks providing flexible, reliable internet access in public areas for mobile users and, as a result, people will increasingly use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets whilst on the go, for search, e-mail and social networks to access real-time information.

#SoLoMo #SoLoMo

Yes, you read that right – short for 'Social, Local, Mobile', 'SoLoMo' is a new phrase that hit Britain at the end of 2012 to describe an intersection of mobile device usage, social media, and location-aware technology used by retailers for advertising and marketing. As our mobile devices now go with us everywhere we go, SoLoMo offers opportunities to retailers and marketers to reach consumers in a way that is personalised, contextual and instantaneous. Marketers and consumers equally have something to gain from this new trend.

Big data

2013 is all set to be a new year of big data. Certainly one of the top trends for 2012 and it shows no signs of letting up next year, as the increase in mobile adoption generates new sources of data. These data are useful for marketers and advertisers in their quest to better serve customers and provide tailored recommendations; however, it is important for marketers to be able to streamline these data channels and enact an effective method of coping with the volume of this data smartly, so that it is useful, not overwhelming. Creating a strategy around big data will be a key consideration for marketers in 2013.

Living in the clouds

The personal cloud is not a new topic, but it is one that is increasingly gaining traction amongst consumers and businesses alike. In 2013, we will see cloud come to the forefront of our digital lives, as it is used to access documents, apps and content of all types. This will result in devices being seen as less relevant and service all the more important, as cloud continues to impact how we live, work and consume content.

Your phone, your wallet

M-commerce and NFC are two trends already affecting mobile payments and we will see these unfold further in 2013. In the past year, we saw mobile payments hit the mainstream with Visa’s London 2012 advertising campaign showcasing contactless payments using an NFC-enabled mobile device. Similarly, there’s been an increase in mobile commerce (m-commerce), with an estimated 16% of consumers expected to shop on their mobiles during this Christmas and New Year shopping season.

As retailers optimise their online offerings for mobile payments and as more handset manufacturers begin to roll out NFC-enabled devices, we will see an uptake in consumers using their mobile devices to not only search for information about products, but to make payments with their devices, both online and in brick-and-mortar stores.

Selective Media is the UK’s leading location based on-line media specialist

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