My colleague Thomas Husson (Marketing Leadership) and I teamed up again to identify the most impactful and new mobile trends for 2014. (See the full report here.)
You might ask, "how does one decide what are going to be the big trends?" Good question. For me, there are several points of input. In 2013, I had the opportunity to interview close to 200 companies in the course of doing research for Forrester's next book, The Mobile Mind Shift, as well as for my own research. I spoke to some of the best and brightest enterprises (e.g., retailers, hotels), technology companies (e.g., sensors), and vendors in the United States, Europe, China, Australia, India, Japan, Korea, Canada, and beyond. I had the opportunity to do field research in China and Korea – to walk the streets, visit stores, observe consumers and interview executives about one of the most exciting mobile markets in the world. More than 40 of the interviews were in the exciting space of mobile health and wellness. Thomas and I surveyed several hundred mobile executives. I also collaborated with Thomas who has incredible breadth and depth of knowledge of Europe.
All five trends fall under the umbrella of how "Mobile Will Transform Your Business – Not Just Your Mobile Business." For sophisticated companies – those with years of experience in mobile, it is time to shift your thinking. The goal is no longer mobile unto itself. The question you now need to ask is, "how can mobile improve my customer experience?" or "how can mobile improve my products?" or "how can mobile make my employees more effective?" Most of the trends we identified will help eBusiness professionals understand the impact of mobile on their business.
If you are a global company looking to engage the next 3 billion people on mobile phones or the next 1 billion on smartphones, you need to pay attention to what companies are doing in countries like China and India. Consumer markets are growing at a blistering pace in China. Executives there in the words of one vendor "… are not sitting around trying to avoid screwing up. They are not bogged down by legacy infrastructure." Without the sunk costs of the web and its history to weigh them down, Chinese entrepreneurs are developing mobile-first businesses.
One thing I learned in 2013 through my research is that too many companies are flying blind – literally – when it comes to mobile. Why? No analytics in place and/or measurement of the completely wrong stuff. This document also lays out the future need for analytics.
For an evaluation and progress report on our 2013 mobile trends and predictions, please see Thomas' post here.