06/16/2010 10:18 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Statistics or Just More Lies?

According to a 2010 Juniper Research study, mobile retail opportunities in coupons, smart posters and advertising will together create a market worth more than $12 billion by 2014. This will be up from $4.1 billion in 2009. The TowerGroup estimates that the number of active mobile banking users in the US will grow from 10 million in 2009 to 53 million by 2013. Forrester Research predicts that in 2014, interactive marketing will approach $55 billion and represent 21 percent of all marketing purchases.

Many of the marketing solutions working currently in mobile are examples of old concepts migrated into a new medium. Coupons, incentives, and advertisements are functional and profitable via the mobile device. The mobility adds benefit to the consumer by allowing them portable savings and information. Instead of building models of large scale demographics by age, industry or gender, the goal is changing to use demographics as initial templates to build individual profiles which reflect the true needs of the person or business interacting with your marketing. This is known as personalization in the mobile space.

Marks and Spencers (M&S) in May, 2010 launched a dedicated mobile website in the UK that enables shoppers to access and order more than 24,000 products including clothing, home and furniture, technology and gifting. The website, which M&S claims is the first mobile site from a major UK retailer, is characteristically different from most recent retailer announcements concerning mobile marketing and commerce. Whereas the headlines have recently been full of retailers announcing initiatives on the iPhone which requires a specific app, this M&S website can be accessed by any web-enabled mobile and as a brand, they are not known for being tech savvie or forward thinking. It shows that mobile commerce has become part of the establishment.

Customers can log into their web-account to manage shopping baskets from their mobile as well as access most of the standard functionality found on the main M&S website.The M&S move is supported by a recent report from the Aberdeen group. This suggests that while only 24% of all retail organisations surveyed currently utilize a cross-channel customer loyalty platform, 58% plan to implement one in the next twelve to eighteen months. The adoption of a truly integrated cross-channel approach to loyalty is seen as a necessity as customer channel preferences and affinity continue to evolve.

A recent report published by Juniper Research on Mobile Marketing and Retail Strategies forecasts that the market for mobile coupons is set to double by 2012 to $4 billion whilst the market as a whole for advertising, coupons and smart posters will globally exceed $8 billion by 2012.

The report found that Retailers were already starting to utilise the additional benefits of the mobile channel to provide advertising on the phone and the provision of money off coupons. The research showed that location aware technologies would play a key part and suggested that companies such as Google and IBM were already seeking to exploit location based knowledge to enable retailers to provide relevant offers to shoppers in-store.

The report stresses the importance of targeting and therefore the relevance of the offers and advertising to the consumer. The mobile phone is seen by the consumer as part of their personal space so any unwanted intrusion will not be welcomed. Failure to use targeting particularly with SMS/Text communications will result in the user treating the advertising as spam.

At the end of 2009, mobile Internet penetration is expected to reach 17% which is the same adoption rate for the PC Internet in 1999 and will likely grow to 39% by the end of 2014.

No doubt what so ever -- M-Commerce will be bigger that E-Commerce within 5 years. Do you have a mobile channel strategy and if not, do you think you need one?

Feel free to contact me directly to discuss further:

Chris Brassington
CEO at Starfish Consultants