Mobile – What is its pure definition? Is there one? The sentiment around the idea and its market place is still vague, many scrambling to figure it out and still learning how to use it.
I have been doing research in this space for quite some time and have been an interactive mobile device user for over 5 years. I use my mobile to call, email, text others, surf my favorite sports websites, “Google,” and use it to find any other information at any time or place. I even used my device to find information about Holiday purchases when waiting for something else to do…hold on a sec, “waiting for something else to do?”
I have seen and heard this quote over and over in my research, and have found it to be a common description for mobile devices and users. Examples include:
- The soccer mom waiting for her kids to finish practice
- The bus rider heading into the city
- The twenty-something professional waiting for a first date at Starbucks
- Stockbrokers keeping track of stocks to make timely trades
And what are these people doing? Catching up on the latest news, researching information, and even staying socially in tune.
With more than a half of internet users worldwide used a mobile device as part of their shopping activity in December of 2009. What does this trend mean, exactly? It means that it is a vehicle to get information about a product that mobile users are thinking about purchasing or wanting to gain more insight into. – eMarketer.com
Back to the original question, what does this all mean? Many believe that the mobile service networks are lagging almost exactly 10 years behind that of the internet and the start of broadband usage. The 3G/4G days are upon us. Technology enthusiasts, visionaries, and early adopters have accepted it. The market has bridged the gap, and many will have success, new companies and markets will be born. I love the Geoffrey Moore references!
As these services become adopted by the early and late majority, there will definitely be startups that will retire overnight. They will capitalize on acquisitions from Google and other powerhouse organizations interested in the ownership of mobile platforms and other mobile network businesses.
There are three major pieces of the business today – advertising and service, mobile website development, and interactive application development. I look at these as core business models for companies and agencies to become more and more involved in the future. The search business has already made its way into this market as a mainstream vehicle.
Google has recently launched its mobile carrier and device targeting options for Adwords and it’s worth a read.
The challenge is identifying the right client to offer or pitch this service to. The most common verticals for this type of services include entertainment (music, video, and travel), financial services, retail, and pure brand recognition. Conversion processes must to be clear and easy. Filling out a lengthy form on a mobile phone will lose many visitors.
Mobile site and application development is similarly tied. Some believe that “apps” might be the new website portals and at some point may even cannibalize the internet as new platform. Advertising with companies that develop niche “apps” is a trend that has began and will continue as it is a medium to target a specific demographic or interest.
Mobile is going to be HUGE in 2010. This market isn’t going away, but will only get bigger and better!