It’s a tough question to answer – given that mobile as discipline crosses devices, platforms, content types and even countries – but our CEO Mahi de Silva offered some glimpses into the future during his panel on Mobile World Live, the official broadcast of Mobile World Congress.
Joined by Arlie Sisson, Associate Director of mobile product strategy at Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and Michael Collins, CEO of Adelphic Mobile, Mahi and the other panelists shed light on what marketers have to look forward to when it comes to using mobile over the next few years and months.
Location, Location, Location
It’s been discussed for years, but it seems like the infrastructure is finally in place – NFC, Bluetooth, beacons, etc. – and widespread enough, to fully leverage location-based features.
For companies like Starwood, Arlie said that means learning to use mobile location features for both utility and marketing purposes:
“We’re elated to offer Bluetooth keyless check-ins and let people open their doors with a phone,” she said. “But it changes the relationship, since there’s no face-to-face check-in process. That means we have to have content, and be able to market through the phone when they’re on the property.”
More Apps and Less SMS (At Least in the US)
For brands, the future of mobile marketing looks more and more like an app. Michael said that Adelphic was seeing a definite shift away from SMS as a marketing tool:
“There’s still some SMS activity, but brands are far more interested in the depth of relationship [with the customer] that comes from an app … Apps are taking over.”
That deeper relationship also leads to greater control over the kind of experience a marketer can craft, according to Mahi:
“We know that consumer engagement through an app is much stronger than on a browser, but apps also let [marketers] do things tied very closely to the device OS,” he said. “That’s where in-app marketing gets interesting, because you can integrate with features like the GPS chip or Apple Pay, or deep linking from one app into another.”
Still, Arlie added that the shift away from SMS to apps was somewhat region-specific:
“We have 1200 properties around the world, so while the EU and US are dominated by apps, SMS is still very powerful in APAC.”
Tapping the Power of Payments
Ultimately, mobile marketing is marketing – and although marketing campaigns may focus on engagement, loyalty, or brand building – the underlying goal is to drive the sale. And that’s why the promise of making phone-based transactions and payments as seamless as possible was so exciting to the panelists.
Mahi noted that mobile payments offer a blend of convenience and trust that may be hard for consumers to resist:
“Apple Pay takes the value proposition that providers like PayPal have had on the desktop and brings it to mobile,” he said. “It’s starting with in-store purchases and physical goods, but we’ll see it transfer to virtual goods and other items that people can order and get shipped.”
We’ll link to the full video of Mahi’s panel as soon as it’s available. In the meantime, you can find coverage of the highlights from Mobile World Congress 2015 here.
Latest posts by Falguni Bhuta (see all)
- Mobile apps capture consumer attention 37 minutes a day – up 20% from the beginning of 2016 - November 21, 2016
- Opera Mediaworks delivers its 4th consecutive $100M quarter Company shows 30% YTD growth fueled by Video, Performance & Programmatic - November 10, 2016
- Top takeaways for mobile marketers from the Fall Apple event - September 9, 2016