Every year for the past few years, I've revisited our predictions for the previous year's mobile trends. It's now time to look back at what happened in 2014. Let’s have a look at some of the trends we put together a year ago with my colleague Julie Ask:
- Mobile sat at the epicenter of mind-blowing exit events. Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp for $22 billion is the best illustration of the phenomenon. Acquiring mobile expertise and audiences is increasingly expensive. There have been numerous acquisitions – especially in the mobile analytics and advertising space (e.g Yahoo/Flurry, Millenial/Nexage, etc…). VCs increasingly invested in companies that power disruptive mobile-centric business models. Uber was valuated up to $40 billion, demonstrating the power of matching supply and demand in real-time via a best-in-class customer mobile app.
- The intersection of mobile with the physical world emerged as a top priority. Those professionals who were successful in their use of mobile used it to enhance or transform existing customer experiences within physical spaces. Multichannel retailers like John Lewis, Argos, Target, Walgreen, and many others consider that mobile brings the Internet to the physical world and enhances, rather than displaces, other media. Fast-food chains like McDonald’s France scaled their initiatives to transform the customer experience via mobile.
- Mobile contextual data only started to offer deep customer insights — beyond mobile. We anticipated that marketers and eBusiness professionals would retrieve more-granular mobile data to analyze the value of investing in offline marketing efforts at specific locations. Let’s face it: this did not really happen. Only savvy marketers tested such an approach. However, we continue to believe mobile data is an untapped gold mine.
- Mobile advertising started to mature. In the UK alone, mobile accounted for 20% of digital ad spend in H1 2014, representing £707 million according to IAB. Thanks to the success of its mobile app install offer, Facebook generated more than 60% of its revenue via mobile ads. With Atlas and its Audience Network, Facebook is finally starting to deliver marketers a database of affinity: a catalog of people's tastes and preferences, collected by observing their social behaviors.
- Companies failed to leverage the convergence of social and mobile.We expected that popular social media apps would become more than just services and would push for platform plays. The success of WeChat or Line proved we were right. With messaging apps, mobile became the face of social. However, Facebook aside, most companies at the vortex of this convergence have either not launched or not stabilized their marketing offerings and ad products.
What did we miss? Do you disagree with the above statements?
If you want to know more about our 2015 Mobile Predictions, you can read this post. Clients may also register for an upcoming Webinar to take place on February 5, 2015.