Five mobile trends for apps in 2013

At the beginning of 2012, many companies set out to produce mobile apps for their business. It’s a year later, and many apps are still under development and over budget.  2012 was the year of “costly mobile experimentation.” The company identified five mobile trends, based around the notion that marketers– not technology teams– will be tasked with creating mobile apps in the New Year.

1. THE RISE OF HTML5 AND HYBRID APPS

Developing native apps is costly — and grossly inefficient — requiring dedicated engineering teams per platform, project managers, and QA testers. Not to mention that they can’t update apps without going through the drawn-out app store approval process.

While HTML5 was introduced in 2011, it will become mainstream in 2013. Why? Unlike native apps, HTML5 allows developers and designers to create one “universal” app without coding for each individual operating system. In recent months, HTML5 has become standardized across most platforms, including iOS and Android. Plus, the latest version of iOS has vastly improved HTML5 performance.

2. MARKETERS WILL CREATE APPS, TOO

In 2013, the CMO will have more clout within organizations, marking a profound shift in thought and priorities. As management explores cost effective alternatives to traditional app development that boosts engagement, companies will seek marketers to take the reins.

More resource-strapped businesses will see the need — not desire — to create engaging mobile experiences for their customers. eMarketer conducted a study that found consumers now spend 12 percent of their media time on smartphones, compared to 3 percent in 2009. Having a sound mobile strategy is an integral component of a company’s overall marketing focus.

Since the average consumer downloads over 100 apps, Apps won’t be a part of your marketing strategy — they’ll be the centerpiece. Typically, going to bed with your customers is frowned upon, but marketers will do just that. A Stanford study found 75 percent of iPhone users take their phones to bed with them, leaving marketers with an opportunity to intimately engage and nurture their customers.

3. MOBILE COUPONS WILL GO MAINSTREAM

While mobile coupons have seen widespread adoption to date, their use in mobile devices are expected to skyrocket in 2013 with the advent of geotargeting and near-field communications (NFC). With 70 million coupons redeemed each Sunday, this marks a huge opportunity for brand marketers.

While digital coupons only represent 0.5 percent of overall distribution, they are said to represent 10 percent of redemption. Moreover, the Mobile Marketing Association is creating a new mobile coupon ad unit for 2013 that will streamline how customers digitally “clip” coupons.

Retail stores will be the first to adopt mobile coupons, with manufacturer coupons trailing. The future of mobile coupons provides marketers with complete, end-to-end control and insights by way of point-of-sale integration.

4. USE OF LOCATION BASED MOBILE MARKETING WILL INCREASE

Geotargeting isn’t new to marketers, but few have mastered the art of geotargeting to mobile devices. In 2013, Relationship Management Suite will change how marketers target their customers. Using this platform, marketers can instantly push special offers when customers drive by their stores. Alternatively, they can use this technology to create and nurture meaningful relationships by encouraging in-store check-ins or friendly competition amongst friends using a points-based rewards system.

5. PUSH NOTIFICATIONS WILL RIVAL EMAIL

Text and multimedia messages were vastly popular for marketers back in the day. And then BlackBerry revolutionized the landscape with push-based email. Now, Apple and Android dominate the market with push notifications, giving way to a new era of mobile marketing. push notifications are the future for marketers, enabling them to quickly engage their customers. With response rates for push notifications three times that of email, they offer a much higher ROI than email or SMS.