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2012: It’s all mobile

Smartphones have gone mainstream. 65% of mobile subscribers in the U.S. now have them.

As more and more people make the switch and an increasing number of devices become wireless, everyone and everything is becoming mobile. But until now marketers and their money have not been keeping up with this trend.

Hang on to your seats folks, 2012 is the year everyone really dives in. From major retailers to financial services, insurance providers, healthcare companies and medical device manufactures’… a whole new crop of businesses and services are now tapping the “social, mobile, local” movement, and poised to launch major mobile initiatives in 2012.

Businesses increasing focus on mobile means this is the year you will finally see fully flushed out mobile marketing programs make a real impact, across a broad range of industries.

We’re talking about the kind of super strategic, smart, creative thinking that takes branding, engagement and reach to a whole other level. Using mobile payments, mobile instant messaging, augmented reality, location based tagging, micro-targeting, push notifications, image recognition technology and social media promotions that connect with consumers right at the point of action.

We’re not the only ones who think this way. Gartner (IT)recently predicted “brands will increasingly shift their marketing budget to the mobile channel and experiment with cutting-edge apps to capture new marketing and sales opportunities.”  In fact, mobile app developer Bitzio (BTZO) claims worldwide, more than 14 billion apps have been downloaded to iPhones, Android, Windows, Nokia, Blackberry and other smaller mobile platforms.

But if you’re only thinking about apps, you’re missing the next big thing.

In 2012 you’re going start see an increasing number of people walking around with all sorts of ATTACHMENTS coming out of their phone…as everybody and their brother begins using credit card readers like Square or Intuit’s GoPayments (INTU‎ ) to accept and process credit cards payments on the spot. Meanwhile companies like Qualcomm (QCOM‎) are using mobile and wireless technology to reshape the healthcare landscape. Making it possible for hospitals and medical device manufactures or health and wellness companies to launch attachments that turn your phone into an ECG reader that fits in your pocket, a sonogram machine that can be used anywhere or a wireless diabetes monitor that safely stores, analyzes and instantly connects your medical information to your doctor, caregiver or hospital anytime or place you happen to use it and sends alerts back and forth as needed.

Companies, technology and service providers, that embrace the latest mobile developments have a real opportunity to use the mobile channel to make their products stand out from the pack, enhance brand image, retain user loyalty and actually improve quality of life. Now how often do you get to say that?

From mobile payments, to mobile couponing, to innovative location based mobile marketing programs and digital outdoor promotions that enable consumers to wirelessly interact with a brand message, instantly upload or share information across social media, text with digital billboards and connect with a brand message through augmented reality experiences that allow advertisers to speak with consumers at the point of transaction…2012 is going to be the end of the world as we’ve known it…and the start of some crazy, awesome stuff in mobile.

LOCATION BASED FACT

The total user base of consumer location-based services to reach 1.4 billion users by 2014.

MOBILE EMAIL FACT

Gartner expects mobile e-mail users worldwide to increase from 354 million in 2009 to 713 million in 2014, to account for 10.6 percent of the global mobile user base.

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/slideshows/show.aspx?c=87261&slide=10

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