The past week was one of trend analysis around the net and mobile world. As is our nature, when things slow down a bit, this time because of the onset of summer, I guess it’s only natural to get a bit introspective. Of course, if you chuck in the…let’s say…interesting few weeks following the Facebook IPO and all of the analysis surrounding its downward trend, it becomes all the more interesting. (Psst, buy at $15 a share.)
But beyond the hubbub of Facebook, there was an in-depth look at mobile trends this week by Forrester. Presented by Julie Ask and Jeffrey Husson, the webinar drew from their recent 2012 Mobile Trends for E-Business Professionals as well as last year’s trends report. Here are some takeaways.
- Consumer expectations are high. With increased usage and reliance on mobile devices, consumers are looking for their mobile experience to meet their particular interaction exactly.
- Success in mobile is dependent on the bridge from “how do we build this” to “here’s what this does.” Simply put: ease of use is the bottom line.
- Context will drive the mobile experience. In an example drawn from the airline industry, Ask noted that your position in the travel process will determine the demands on the mobile experience. (Pre-flight: is the plane on time? In flight: Is there Wi-Fi? Post-flight: Where are my bags?) According to Ask, “Contextual use of time will help prioritize home page content.”
- Privacy will be the cost of convenience. Users continue to forgo their privacy in order to be better served. The level of service received will have a direct relationship to how much a user is willing to share.
- Smartphone users vary in their level of sophistication. The smartphone is a relatively new device and though adoption continues at an insane rate, the new user will not be able to take advantage of the more sophisticated technology that is leveraged by the established user.
- Resources are key to your success. Those resources and systems are required to actualize the complete customer experience. Don’t forget to budget for backend and ongoing maintenance. Mobile is changing rapidly.
- Your efforts could be hindered by network limitations. Capacity and congestion are constant challenges outside of the home.
You can check the whole report out…for a price…. There was one other trend presentation this week, as Mary Meeker took to the stage at the D10 Conference. Ms. Meeker has been noting trends for years for Wall Street, the last few at Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, and a few of her slides went right to the heart of mobile. I’d be remiss not to mention them here. (And unlike the Forrester data, said slides are freely available.)
Of course, there are the slides highlighting the rapid growth of iPad adoption and Android expansion (been there, done that). However, this slide got my attention right off the bat.
While smartphone growth is exploding, Ms. Meeker noted what a huge upside remains. That upside speaks directly to that level of user sophistication I noted earlier.
However, the biggest mobile takeaway from this presentation is that, despite the huge growth of mobile, its monetization has yet to be fully realized, as noted by these two slides.
As if to make us all feel a bit better about this disparity, she did leave us with this little gem, noting that ad revenue actually does follow eyeballs…we all just need to be patient.
See Mary Meeker’s complete slide deck.