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Mobile Trends in 2013 and What They Mean for Marketing

We live in an age of disruption. Technology changes at such a crazy rate — advancing and linking and driving us forward faster — that it feels like we’re risking digital whiplash. All of this instant access means that, from now on and into the foreseeable future, companies will have to change up marketing strategies to keep pace with consumer appetites.

Here are 8 ways that mobile trends in 2013 will continue to evolve, and what that means for business.

1. Marketing strategies must be revamped, and quickly.

We’re glued to our devices. Marketers need to meet their customers on mobile, and to make it effective, they need enhanced API, simplified tracking, and interfaces that are not desktop-centric.

2. Siri and friends can and will do more than just answer ridiculous math questions.

When voice-controlled AI apps first appeared for consumers, they became a catch-all replacement for individualized tools like web search, calculators, and even GPS. As their functionality advances — backed by big data and smoother analytics — so does their value as personal assistants.

3. As BYOD takes hold, IT processes will need to embrace and govern change.

It’s no secret that the demand for consumer technology at work is both increasing rapidly and pissing off IT departments around the world. Be that as it may, embracing BYOD and putting plans in place to manage device access and security effectively are a must. Some companies are even starting to include this imperative in their corporate guidelines.

4. A new company role is born: the Mobile Marketing Manager.

It just makes sense — the same way that the social explosion created the need for community managers, the shift to an emphasis on mobile marketing strategy will require direction, familiarity, expertise and dedicated teams to manage budgets, efforts and campaigns. Collaboration with different departments, like design and development, will become even more important than it is now.

5. Mobile marketing will be at the forefront of cornering emerging markets.

According to Ericsson, 75 percent of new mobile subscriptions are coming through channels in Asia and Africa. Marketers will want to tap that, and tap it quick.

6. We’re not just talking about smartphones.

The popularity of tablet devices is skyrocketing, and with it, the possibilities for advertisers to snatch up higher click-through rates and profits. According to a Q4 report by Mopub and cited in VentureBeat, “mobile ad prices rose over 50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, but advertisers paid most for ads on iPads: $1.12 per thousand impressions.” Marketers will benefit from modifying mobile ads based on device type, too.

7. Sorry, third-party vendors — we want this handled in-house.

Mobile marketing strategies will become enough of a force going forward that agencies won’t be cost-effective anymore. That money could be better spent on hiring talent, creating more attractive and engaging ads, and promoting campaigns. Additionally, planning will be as involved, if not more so, than current web-based action plans, and will require core teams with vested company interest and product knowledge to do the job.

8. Mobile will continue to be integral to the expanding Internet of Things.

As IOT functionality grows, accessibility must follow suit. Physical mobility is paramount for replacements of typically stationary things (like home security systems), but that’s not all. Companies have to be one step ahead of the consumer preference for intuitive, mobile gadgets and apps, and seize opportunities to both develop them and use them as platforms for advertising — say, a fitness tracker with a GPS-based ad function and one-click feature upgrades.

Want to know more? Check out Forrester’s full mobile trends report here.

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