The hot-button issues in mobile generating the most buzz at the moment include location-based services and marketing, the rise of mobile commerce and payments, as well as applications for smartphones and tablets.
Tablets, of course, are the device of the moment, with consumer adoption booming and plenty of iPad 2 competitors reaching the market—from Android-based tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Motorola Xoom to Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook and Hewlett-Packard’s TouchPad. Brands and retailers are placing an increasing emphasis on applications for various smartphone and tablet platforms, but the trick is encouraging repeat usage and fitting apps into a marketer’s overall strategy.
“From all directions—app development platforms, apps themselves, marketers and thought leaders—[at CTIA Wireless 2011 in Orlando] I was hearing about the need for brands to think about usage and engagement measurement and metrics for app strategies,” said Melissa Parrish, New York-based analyst at Forrester Research.
“I agree that thinking needs to move beyond the application download numbers to see how and how often users are using those applications post-download,” she said.
“This is particularly important for marketers to understand how their branded application is really changing and deepening their relationship with their mobile consumer.”