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Get Ready, the Third Wave of Mobile Marketing is Coming

It’s that time of the year where professionally and personally we take stock of the past year and look forward to what the New Year will bring.  And while predictions are an end-of-year mainstay, the real value in prognosticating is the opportunity to get a leg up on the competition by more quickly determining what you’ll do differently and what new opportunities you’ll seize.

2012 was profoundly mobile. Smartphone sales outpaced PC sales for the first time ever, with smartphone penetration reaching more than 50% in the U.S.. The number of apps downloaded doubled over 2011 to more than 46 billion. But, you haven’t seen anything yet. By 2016, smartphone penetration will cross 80% in the US and mobile app downloads will grow six-fold hitting 310 billion.

All of this functionality and utility in the pocket or hand of the wide majority is having profound affect on consumer behavior as well. PayPal recently reported that global mobile shopping over Thanksgiving more than doubled. PriceGrabber said 82% of consumers planned to use mobile apps to save money when purchasing holiday gifts this year. And in fact, shopping apps were used by 47% of consumers an average of 17 times per month. Other data shows that consumers who use their mobile devices for commerce spend eight times as much as store-only shoppers.

The first wave of mobile marketing—mobile advertising—is continuing to undergo rapid evolution as traditional advertising models are adapted to the uniquely personal mobile medium. Consumers’ love affair with mobile apps, as the second wave of mobile marketing, is continuing to grow—getting down right hot and heavy. But in many ways, the third wave of mobile marketing is going to be even bigger, as more businesses and consumers discover the value and convenience of Apple® Passbook® passes.

Passbook lowers the barriers to entry, more easily and inexpensively enabling businesses to have a persistent presence on consumers’ devices. It also introduces consumers to the value and convenience of time- and location-relevant offers, providing tangible incentives that will be critical to growing the adoption of mobile wallet solutions. In addition, through pass redemption, marketers will also now be able to more easily close the loop between mobile acquisition and conversion.

Topping it off, there’s also growing evidence that other mobile operating systems will soon offer similar capabilities. Google recently acquired Incentive Targeting, a coupon-focused startup, and also announced the end-of-life for Punch’d, a mobile loyalty app, that many expect will be rolled into Google Wallet.

We’re hosting a webinar with the Mobile Marketing Association on January 24, focusing on the promise of Passbook and how passes can be rapidly adopted to bolster existing mobile strategies or reach consumers’ devices for the first time. We hope you can join us and learn more about the new role Passbook will play in the mobile marketing mix.

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