Mobile Fix - mobile is a behaviour not a technology

12 Oct 2012  |  Simon Andrews 

Simon Andrews, founder of the full service mobile agency addictive!, looks at the developments in mobile over the last week and the next five years...

Next 5 years

As we learn that mobile ad spend in the UK should exceed £500m this year, we found some futurology from AdAge very interesting; what marketing will look like in 5 years time.

The suggestion is that the trends we have seen over the last few years will really shake up marketing. We have been arguing that both the technology and the consumer behaviours are going mainstream very quickly.

The action points make really good sense;

- Up your mobile spend now so you can test and benchmark in the future.
- Hire the right people so you can start thinking of TV investment as a data play, if not a direct
response channel.
- Get out of the mind-set that reach and awareness are enough and don't use models that fail to build in
room for experimentation with new channels.
- Agencies, open the kimono on costs. Marketers, don't assume your agencies aren't open to new
compensation programs. Both need to get on the same page when it comes to metrics. But don't be cheap.
- Hyper-bundle. Think broadly about user experience and designing all consumer interactions as a
user-experience expert would.
- Pilot integrations of IT and marketing. Start small, with a single product or service.

Next 10 weeks

In our presentations over the past few months we have been illustrating the momentum of mobile by looking at the big changes to the ecology we expect by Christmas - just 72 shopping days to go.

The iPhone 5 is out and selling really well and the 4s price has dropped so more people can afford an iPhone.

The next big Android phone is probably going to be the Nexus from our former clients at LG and early reports suggest LG have got their mojo back and this is going to be a great device.

On tablets we will have the Kindle Fire from October 25th. The Nexus and the Samsung Android tablets seem to be selling well. And we're just days away from the iPad mini and the iPad4. Both will use the new Lightening Connector and will be on sale by Christmas. So, Santa is going to be delivering lots of tablets this year - validating the Ofcom data showing 11% of the population have tablets and 17% expect to buy one within a year.

But as well as all these new devices, we're also going to have 4G. Everything Everywhere launch their service at the end of the month and with the auction pulled forward all the networks will offer 4G in the first half of next year. Free Wi-Fi is becoming ubiquitous too - most coffee shops offer it and many retailers are making it available

Whilst the iPad mini will probably be Wi-Fi only (like the Kindle Fire) the iPad 4 and the new iPhone will utilise 4G and the impact of the extra speed will be a game changer. The BBC did a test showing that 4G can be 10 times faster than 3G.

So millions more people will have powerful new devices and faster connections. Blend that with the innovations in mobile services and content and its clear the pace of change is going to get even faster too. Interesting times.

Right Now

The news that UK mobile ad spend will exceed £500m is great news. It is still hugely biased to search and consequently response focused but as brands see the ROI from this spend, growth will accelerate.

Of course, many people struggle to deal with the dynamics of the current market with the majority of brands still missing out through not being Fit For Mobile.

The Chief Marketers Officer Council say that 47% of their members are dissatisfied with their mobile efforts - blaming a lack of resource and talent. Just 14% are happy with the results of their mobile activities. A new Forrester survey shows most brands are spending under $500k on mobile with the result that eBusiness professionals lack the funding they need to build mobile services, integrate mobile services with their back-end infrastructure and build out teams with the right skills in-house

One of the key findings of the Forrester study is that many clients are taking mobile in-house - which is backed up by an article in Adweek. This makes lots of sense as mobile will be key for most brands and over time they need to take ownership of their mobile assets - just as they have with their web presence.

"It's so integral to the brand that you own your destiny in mobile".

Having builders in-house who can update your mobile and social assets is only part of the issue though. We believe most brands still need smart thinking on how their market is changing and what the threats and opportunities are.

But getting good advice is hard in a market that is largely populated by vendors selling whatever their factory or platform provides as the solution - whatever the problem.

So we see a role for architects - experts who really get the market and consumers, as well as having a deep understanding of mobile. Architects can determine just what the builder should actually build for maximum strategic benefit and for ROI.

Which is why we're structured as we are - smart thinkers in-house who really get people, marketing and mobile and a partnership with great builders. This model has worked incredibly well for us over the last 10 years - on all sorts of projects from websites to brand funded TV shows to desktop apps before they were called apps. It's perfect for today.

And this approach enables us to build robust business cases for the investment needed (internally and externally) to profit from mobile.


Google continue their sterling efforts to drive mobile investment from brands with an update of their Mobile Playbook. Lots of good data and smart advice - including a focus on the need for great creative work. And Google continue their push into content with the roll-out of their premium channels on YouTube - 60 new channels of content commissioned from suppliers like the BBC and Endemol. And the guy behind this move says "This is the first screen, so when you talk about second screen, you are talking about the television".

The testing of the Facebook 'Want' button is an attempt to harvest the intent that Pinterest captures so well - and will allow Facebook to monetise that intent through ads and eventually ecommerce.

Passbook from Apple is a clear attempt to create a service that offers huge utility for both businesses and consumers and potentially make it harder to switch from Apple to Android. We have seen some UK brands (Odeon and Harvester) sign up now and a trial for the Baseball League in the US was a big success.

Our friends at Econsultancy have a good look at why Amazon is being so successful with mobile. And following the launch of the Amazon Media Network an interview with their head of advertising describes the thinking behind the move into ads.

Quick reads

Will Apple buy Twitter?

Gartner have forecast stellar growth for SoMoLo services.

Business Insider have a great set of slides with data on the state of the internet - with lots on mobile and social obviously.

Atooma is a great example of how apps are becoming smarter.

No real surprise but mobile is key to the reinvention of Yahoo.

Si Cross from Facebook has shared insight into the Facebook view on HTML5 - as he puts it Facebook's problems are not everyone's problems

Finally, we're out and about, doing more speaking. This week we spoke at the CMA on native and HTML5 apps and next week we're talking at the World Media Group Digital Communications day. Also on Tuesday we have the next MMA Breakfast Briefing - where the speakers include Xbox. If you are a brand, we can get you a free ticket - just let us know.
Click here for your full Mobile Fix (complete with links to background articles).

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