There have been a lot of articles floating around about how 2012 is going to be the year of the TV. Well I disagree, for several reasons. The biggest of these is that TV is not portable, unless it is on a mobile phone and that would then be another reason why mobile has the edge. We are a society on-the-go, and no matter how much you can do with a TV it will never completely serve the same purposes as a mobile. I believe that 2012 will be the Year of the Mobile. Not just because is it portable, but because the possibilities with mobile are growing at an exponential rate and seem almost limitless. Here are four major reasons why mobile is set to be the go-to device this year.
1) Facebook Likes Increasing Via Mobile: Mark Walsh reports that the number of ‘likes’ generated by mobile has increased 54% since September http://bit.ly/yLWIig. This is reflective of the growing number of mobile users and increased usage by existing users. Use of mobile for ‘liking’ Facebook brand pages went up 18% between Christmas and New Year’s. A factor of the season? Yes, but also an indicator of increasing reliance on mobile phones for all shopping and social media needs. The only barrier to its success is making sure that every brand has a Facebook page with content tailored to mobile devices.
2) QR Code Recognition and Usage Increasing: Steve Smith cites a Consumer Pulse survey that found only 21% of over 1,200 surveyed in October 2011 knew what the term QR code meant, but 81% recognized its image http://bit.ly/yM25av. He goes on to reveal that the study also found that 50% of smartphone owners responding said they had scanned a code. All of these are promising statistics for QR codes. The only barriers are communication of how to use a QR code and making sure that your QR code truly offers something more.
3) Mobile Sites On the Rise: Whirlpool recently launched its own mobile site that offers mobile users tools to define terms and compare offerings for its products http://bit.ly/xYQqT4. Users can tag items for later comparisons, save or share items, access detailed images, view user reviews and locate stores. Within the product comparison section a scrolling chart of side-by-side specs can be emailed to the user to be printed later. A basic buyer’s guide is also available to help users find the right appliance for their needs. Product manuals, use and care guides and warranty info are all downloadable in PDF format. With all of these features, and their success, it will not be long before others follow their lead and make comprehensive mobile sites of their own. The only barrier to success is not being one of the first ones to have a mobile site and make an impact.
4) Mobile Coupon Redemption Set to Soar: Steve Smith predicts that the same coupon model taking hold in the Far East and China will migrate to the US and Western Europe over the next few years, driving worldwide redemption rates to 8% http://bit.ly/xXpThg. Meanwhile, in the same article Juniper Research projects by 2016, 600 million people will be using mobile coupons and the total redemption value will raise from $5 billion in 2011 to $43 billion in 2016. These promotions will drive more foot traffic in ways that print ads cannot. The only barrier to success is not gaining a loyal fan base now to direct to the appropriate channels later.
Just think, if we are already capable of all of this now, what will mobile look like a decade from now? At that point it is likely that just taking a picture of something will direct you to a mobile site where you can find more info and/or purchase the item. Mobile could be used as debit and credit cards and as TV service on the go direct from your same cable provider. Possibilities are endless. The trends I chose to highlight are gaining a foothold now, and are set to explode and go big in the near future. These trends are what make 2012 the Year of the Mobile.