Top 3 Predictions from a Mobile Veteran

White-SpacerI was fortunate to take some time off during the holidays, although, as an entrepreneur and business owner, I rarely am completely away from work. But, the nice thing about having time away from the office is that it provides me with the opportunity to catch up on current industry research and articles. This is typically the time of year when New Year’s predictions and forecasts proliferate and this year is no exception. I read a lot and found some enlightening research that I thought you might find of interest, too. So, here are a few of my own mobile predictions for 2015 and the reasons why.

1. I believe this is the year for full scale adoption of strategic plans for mobile integration as opposed to the last several years in which marketers and business leaders have been “testing the waters.” Besides what I hear on a frequent basis from my current and potential clients, here are some interesting findings that support this prediction:

IT organizations will dedicate at least 25% of their software budget to mobile application development, deployment, and management by 2017. (1)   (I don’t have any hard budget numbers at my fingertips right now, but these numbers have to be huge at 25% of software budgets!)

The number of enterprise applications optimized for mobility will quadruple by 2016. (1)  (We’re finally past the stage of talking about mobile optimized websites!!! If you don’t have one you might as well forget engaging in the mobile channel…but, to think that enterprise apps are now being optimized for mobile is pretty encouraging for those of us in the mobile space!)

Competitive necessity will supersede productivity and efficiency for 50% of mobile enterprise app development in 2015. (1)  (This is a significant change from just two years ago – IT leaders have increasingly recognized the benefits of mobile to enhance productivity/efficiency, but now believing it’s a competitive necessity is a definite sea change in thinking!)

According to a recent survey of 5,000 marketers by Salesforce Marketing Cloud, some 84% of respondents (80% in the US) plan to increase or maintain their spending on digital marketing activities this year.(2) In that same survey, nearly two thirds of marketing respondents said that they would be increasing their spending budgets on location-based mobile tracking, mobile applications and mobile push notifications.

Mobile-Ad-Spend-2012-2015Mobile advertising spend was up over 300% from 2012 to 2014 from $4.4 billion to $17.7 billion and is projected to grow more than 80% in 2015 to $26.6 billion.(3) These growth rates are exponential both in terms of % change and absolute dollars. The shift from traditional media advertising to digital media, including mobile, is only expected to continue especially considering that online digital advertising in 2013 crossed the $40 billion mark and exceeded broadcast television for the first time for the first time ever.(4)

According to a Strongview survey of 377 business leaders, 40% say that their budgets for mobile will increase in 2015, representing significant growth from last year’s 32%.(5)

2. Marketers will continue to seek ways to increase consumer engagement in the mobile channel, but will require more from their mobile partners in the way of actionable insights and analytics.

The same as when email marketing began, mobile marketing started out with marketers taking a “let’s test the waters” approach. Plus, with new technologies popping up seemingly every day, it was challenging for marketers to determine the best technology for their needs. But now, with the mobile marketing arena maturing, marketers are more focused on delivering compelling offers and information based upon consumer preferences. And, because of the highly personal nature of mobile phones and tablets (and the ability for consumers to easily opt out), marketers are recognizing that if they don’t get it right the first time, they’ll likely not get another opportunity.

This is great news for consumers, but it’s also poses a challenge for marketers to find an all-in-one resource that can provide the level of sophistication required to provide meaningful mobile analytics and actionable insights. On the technology side, vendors with experience from the start of the mobile age are the ones that will most likely come out on top as they’re building comprehensive mobile platforms (although we don’t believe there are any out there that have the suite of mobile tools that the SpyderLynk’s mobile platform offers!) We also think that technology vendors can’t be just that – they must also have in-depth marketing expertise to help brand marketers develop the kinds of campaigns and offers that will generate meaningful data. In any event, marketers are becoming much more mobile savvy and will continue to push the technology envelope to generate meaningful ROI.


Mobile payments leaders will emerge (finally) in 2015. 

Yes, I said it. And I believe it. With all the different technology options out there, I believe that several have the opportunity to become mainstream. Think about what is easier to do – open your purse or wallet, remove your credit card, swipe it, return it to its safe place and sign – or pull out your mobile phone and scan an image, hit the buy icon and you’re done! (If you’re like me, you’ve probably already got your phone in your hand or back pocket!) But I don’t think convenience alone will determine this year’s winners, I think connecting payments to rewards and loyalty will win us all over. After all, I can’t stand it when I don’t have my Starbucks app handy and I have to buy my latte on my credit card without getting my rewards…ouch! That’s what our new SnapPay will allow….it’s that easy and rewarding. (And our technology was recently reviewed by Citibank in a mobile challenge and our SnapPay for small business was a winner!) In addition to the better known players like Apple Pay, Softcard (Isis), and Google Wallet, a consortium of big box retailers — including Walmart, Target and Best Buy – recently announced their homegrown mobile payments system, CurrentC, would launch in 2015. We’re not predicting which technologies will rise to the top, that remains to be seen, but I believe there will be clear leaders by the end of 2015. According to Juniper Research, more than 2 billion mobile users will make a mobile commerce transaction by the end of 2017, which tells me the stakes are too high for there not to be a leader or two by the end of the year!

Next up, I’ll share with you a new technology that I think offers a promise to shake up the mobile world!

  1. IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Mobile Enterprise Applications and Solutions 2015 Predictions.
  2. Salesforce Marketing Cloud – “2015 State of Marketing” report
  3. eMarketer, July 2, 2014
  4. Venture Beat, April 10, 2014
  5. Strongview 2015 Marketing Trends Survey