As an indicator of future trends, a recent study by Marketing and Technology company Amaze revealed that 10-15 year olds named the mobile phone as their most important digital possession and something that they could not live without. The value the group place on their mobile phones as an intrinsic part of their everyday lives could be seen by some of the participants’ quotes, including ‘I feel lost without it, and ‘you always need your phone’.
As smart phone penetration continues to grow, mobile apps that encourage brand engagement and bring together the online and offline worlds will continue to grow in importance.
Some companies are already demonstrating strength in this are; for example Debenhams reported that it had generated an additional £1m in sales in five months through a smart phone app that allows customers to scan QR codes in advertising and store windows, and ‘snap’ product barcodes to display information such as customer reviews.
Location-based mobile services are well-placed to bridge online and offline, allowing brands to communicate with consumers while they are in and around physical stores.
Mobile is an industry set for remarkable growth. Gartner predicts that during 2013 mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common web access device worldwide and that by 2015 over 80% of the handsets sold in mature markets will be smart phones.