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Somo’s Trends to Watch for 2013

Today’s post is from Carl Uminski, COO of Somo (@somoglobal), the largest independent global mobile advertising & marketing agency with offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, NYC, London and Singapore. Somo offers strategy and innovation, creative and development, media planning and buying, data analysis and technology solutions to increase sales, raise brand awareness and make businesses more productive.

In 2012, we saw mass-market adoption of mobile. Smartphones and tablets are truly mainstream and have changed the way people communicate, play, search and shop. So, what can we expect for 2013? The world of mobile is complex and fast-paced, and no doubt it’ll be another transformative year. Here are a few trends I think we’ll see...

Multiscreen, mobile-first consumers
As mobile usage continues to increase, desktop will cease to be the primary screen and we’ll become truly multiscreen, mobile-first consumers.

Last year, the growth of tablets was a major trend, and had a particular impact on mobile shopping. People are spending real money on their mobile devices now, with tablets becoming the digital purchasing platform of choice for many people. For retailers this is significant as tablets outperform desktop when it comes to online sales, with higher conversion rates and average order values. Tablets offer the opportunity to put the fun back into shopping by mixing content with commerce. 

The entrance of 7-inch tablets will have a big impact this year. I expect this new screen-size will be used for both digital content consumption and as portable mobile devices, as opposed to standard tablets that are mostly used in the home.

A new interactivity in advertising
If a picture says a thousand words, a video shows a thousand pictures. We’re about to see a new level of interactivity in mobile advertising.

With increased tablet penetration, smarter phones and faster networks, the on-the-go consumption of both long and short form, high quality, video content will rise rapidly. Today, more than 20% of global YouTube views are from mobile devices (Oct 2012). Attention spans are short and advertising is everywhere but video cuts through the noise and captures attention. And media costs associated with video are attractive at the moment - a perfect opportunity for advertisers.

When it comes to mobile advertising, we’ll see much more video being used in 2013. Its brilliance is the ease and speed with which a viewer engages with and responds to the screen in their hands.

Shifts in retail
Sector-wise, retail will see the biggest shift. Any content that is digital and physical—books, music, etc.—will tip in 2013 to be mostly digital in delivery, driven by mobile and tablet adoption and multi-device use. Fashion retailing is also rapidly moving online and fashion brands and retailers are beginning to lead the way in this sector with exciting, innovative multiscreen customer experiences.

Amazon is a player to watch. I'd expect a move from them in the mobile wallet space, and potentially a smartphone launch.

Twelve months is a long time in mobile though. I’m confident we’ll see the trends above but what I’m excited about is the stuff we can’t predict yet. We can see wearable tech like Google glasses and the Pebble smartwatch beginning to emerge, plus a range of other smart devices—TVs, refrigerators, washing machines, cars, etc.—that are connected via mobile. These new technologies and devices will alter consumer behaviour and change the game for all of us in mobile again!

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