This is part of the 2012 Digital Marketing Trends Series. We have collected opinions from some of the leading experts and practitioners on the hot Mobile Marketing trends to look out for in 2012, which we hope will provide you with food for thought for your Mobile Marketing activities next year.


Mobile Marketing Trends 2012

david fieldhouseDavid Fieldhouse, co-founder and Strategy Director of Linking Mobile
quoteThe move from e:commerce to m:commerce will be the key trend in 2012. Pioneers include Domino’s, £10m in sales via its app and mobile site since launch; M&S delivered over £1m in sales via its mobile site and during Christmas 2010 (a full two years ago); Tesco announced 1 in 10 of all sales came via a mobile device.

Clients that reinvest returns from mobile retail in mobile, display and search will double the size of the mobile advertising market. Smart companies go further, integrating their technology into high-street retailers chip and pin machines. Subway and Tesco now can scan barcodes on mobiles, making mobile vouchers easy for consumers to download and redeem in store; and marketing even more accountable for brands. Social media will play a large role, consumers can easily share vouchers and discounts – redeemed via their devices.

Marketers finally have an engagement, distribution and redemption device they can work with.

That Orange and Barclaycard are launching mobile payments (mobile as a cash card) means large global organisations are combining to make m:commerce and mobile payments a reality. It is the combined marketing and infrastructure muscle these companies bring that will drive consumer change and deliver revenue for brands in 2012. Brands are optimising their retail experience for mobile now and throughout next year (41% according to IAB research). In turn they need to advertise via mobile which creates a virtuous circle. It is this development that will as Apple says, “Change Everything”. closed quote


John Barratt, Product Lead at 2ergo
John Barratt, Product Lead at 2ergo
Apps and m-Sites go to war. 2012 will see Google and Apple go up against each other in the battle of the app vs the m-Site. Google will favour m-Sites as they dominate search, while Apple will back the billion dollar app industry. The truth for businesses is that neither is better – it’s all about the timing. Users look to apps for smooth navigation, interaction and user experience, whereas m-Sites are used for their immediacy. The best strategy is to go down both routes to capture as many consumers as possible.

The future of m-Commerce. Businesses will realise that a mobile commerce strategy needs to be smarter that simply taking order via a mobile device. Smartphone owners are now relying on their devices to help them shop, even when in store to read reviews, compare prices at other retailers, watch demo videos, search for discounts and coupons. Use your mobile marketing strategy to reach out to these consumers and allow them to redeem vouchers via their phone. You’ll be surprised to see how many new customers you attract and existing customers you redeem.


Pedro MartinsPedro Martins, Director, Total Media
quote2012 truly will be the year of the mobile, with the collaboration of data being one of its defining trends. Just like our PCs, mobile phones store huge amounts of data about us – from what we search, browse and buy online, to where we currently are.

The opportunity for web browsers/search engines to partner with the big networks to cross reference data and provide targeted integrated online/offline advertising campaigns is an exciting opportunity for advertisers.

The main concerns around this will still relate to issues of privacy. However, our research suggests that consumers will be more tolerant than originally thought to geo-targeted mobile advertising – especially if it includes offers and discounts – in this pressurised economy.

If I had been looking at a pair of trainers on my mobile web browser while on the train to work, would I be that upset to get a text from O2 at lunchtime, offering me a 10% discount as I walked past my local Footlocker store? I may feel somewhat uneasy about it, but the prospect of a 10% discount on my favourite trainers is more likely to outweigh my initial anxiety! closed quote


Carl Uminski, COO of Somo
carl uminski
In 2012 there’ll be more people with smartphones than without, the penetration of tablet devices is predicted to soar, and a ‘paperless’ Olympics will bring near field communication and contactless payment into the mainstream.

Next year we’ll also see the quality of apps get better and better. There are half a million apps in the App Store now – competition is fierce and building apps for the sake of it just won’t cut it. They must genuinely meet the demands of mobile users looking to play, shop, or just manage their lives more easily.  And it’s not just about apps; marketing brands effectively across multiple devices will be a key challenge for 2012.


Grant Sidwell, Mobile Account Director, Experian CheetahMailGrant Sidwell, Mobile Account Director, Experian CheetahMail
quote2012 is likely to be a year of consolidation rather than innovation in the mobile industry. That is not to say mobile marketers won’t keeping innovating and we expect to see early plays in technology like Near-Field Communication (NFC).

However, now the hype of the iPhone 4S has settled down the focus will be on establishing standards and best practises. There is now a relatively stable environment in terms of devices and platforms, upon which mobile marketers can get down to the hard graft of making campaigns that work.

In 2012, mobile advertising will address robust impression tracking, mobile email will establish correct rendering best practises, mobile marketing will finally figure out whether QR codes are worthwhile and mobile developers will shift to developing cross platform applications.

Finally, mobile networks are likely to throttle consumer mobile data over their networks. A short term solution to their ageing infrastructure, it will cause a definitive shift in user behaviour to become less reliant on the networks and instead move towards wi-fi wherever possible. In doing so, consumers are likely to increase their use of services which leverage wi-fi data transfer (VOIP and instant messaging platforms eg. WhatsApp, BBM, etc), threatening the mobile network core services (Voice and SMS). closed quote


Geoff Parker, Client Services Director, Click Consult
The percentage of website visitors through mobile searches on search engines has increased from 2.5% in Q1 2010 to 8% in Q1 2011, at the end of 2011 this is consistently over 10% and some sites are as high as 15% which is a staggering statistic.

For next year we estimate the search traffic will reach an average of 15% minimum, with some sites reaching 20%. Blackberry, I predict, will struggle.

Android and iPhone have taken a hold on the market, and Blackberry are not keeping pace. Blackberry¹s strengths are primarily business users, followed by young people using the Blackberry Messenger. With the issues that they have experienced recently these markets may well be affected, particularly the business client base.

2012 will be the battle of iPhone against Android for supremacy. 85% of phones sold this year are smart, this will increase next year.

I predict high investments into website optimisation for mobile devices to make them better formatted for visitors from mobile devices, and believe that we will see a particularly high investment in this for corporate and bigger companies.

There will also be more development into local based advertising through search engines on mobile devices. Currently 20% of Google searches have local intent, and I believe that many companies will start to harness this more next year.

The Tablet market is sure to increase and as a result of this we will see some cannibalisation of the desktop market as people move over to tablets from desktops. A recent study showed that 77% of tablet users are using them in replacement of a desktop and this is sure to grow during the next twelve months.


dino_largeDino Burbidge, Creative Innovation Director, Nosie Inc
quoteIn 2012, key trends I see emerging in online video include making the medium more accessible on mobile, increasing use of HTML5 video format and 360 degree format. Also, people will figure out that if they have great video content, they can make money from it.

Key to 2012 will be monetizing content, something that a company called Base 79 has figured out, as if you give them your video, they monetize it by running ads across your content.Watch 2012 for more group buying options, such as putting a percentage of purchases toward charity. Also look out for more use of NFC chips in our phones, that provide details that allow you to make purchases.

For mobile and tablets, keep an eye on Blackberry, because they will launch their QNX, a new platform for all phones that will make or break them. Also, all eyes will be on the iPhone5.

Next year really look at how email marketing may shift more to social media of Twitter and Facebook and location based services like foursquare. Why communicate through email when you can improve the 1 to 1 nature of the medium with social media options?closed quote


Alex Woodford, Head of Connect (digital), aka
Alex Woodford
Mobile as marketing medium: We will see further uptake of mobile as a marketing medium next year with ad spends increasing 120% on 2011 levels. The Olympics will help act as a catalyst for the mass adoption location based mobile marketing and arrival of m-sites.

According to a YouGov survey, 54% of smartphone users would shop using their mobiles, but 76% of High Street retailers still do not have a mobile site or mobile optimised content. Of those that do, almost 20% do not have m-commerce capabilities and a quarter are only optimised for iPhone users.

Mobile/Tablet Operating Systems: 14% of the UK has a tablet, a sizable chunk being iPad. Project Spartan, Facebook’s HTML5 based mobile application platform is going to be all the rage in 2012 creating a more brand friendly experience on these mobile devices.

Android remains the largest smartphone operating system to date, with Microsoft set to be the fastest grower next year. IOS will grow at a slower rate unless prompted by the arrival of the iPhone 5. The iPad 3 will reconfirm Apple’s top place as leaders in high end tablets, whilst Amazon is set to own the lower value tablet market with the new Kindle Fire. We are also going to see the adoption of Google + in Android handsets, followed by uptake of mobile video through it.


Download our full free Digital Marketing Trends 2012 Report.

Sandeep Vadgama

Sandeep Vadgama


Editor at Fourth Source and Tech Enthusiast!