As chief marketing officer at the Mobile Marketing Association, it's Paul Berney's job to stay on top of advancements in the mobile industry.
In this article, Paul (pictured below) outlines how he sees companies using our mobiles to reach us as our devices remove the need for wallets and going out to bricks-and-mortar stores.
"Mobile phones have both caused and enabled an irrevocable change in our behaviour, not least so in our behaviour as consumers. Our mobiles are always on and always with us. Mobile devices have become integral to our lives. For many of us, owning a smartphone or tablet means we have access to almost the sum total of human knowledge at our fingertips. We can click and find, click and know, click and do or click and buy.
"In many respects we have changed our behaviour faster than retailers or brands can keep up but that is changing as they start to recognise the ways in which mobile can be used to connect and engage with us. Over the next 10 years we can expect to see changes in four particular areas of consumer engagement via mobile devices: social commerce (shopping via social media), dual screening (using a phone or tablet while watching TV), mobile commerce (buying from your phone or tablet) and the use of contextual data (phones, apps and services recognising who you are, depending on where you are). These changes are enabled by technology and the functionality on our devices, but this is more about how we will use that technology.
"As consumers, we are using our mobiles at every stage of our purchases; to find out more about products before we buy them, to check on pricing and availability of products while shopping and finding out what other consumers think. This ability to use the combination of mobile and social media together is likely to affect almost every industry and the challenge for brands is that we consumers are trusting each other more than we trust them.
"And it’s not just our behaviour while out of home shopping that is changing. In our living rooms we are ‘dual screening’ more and more: using our mobile devices while simultaneously watching TV, not only to interact with one another but also with the programmes we are watching, and crucially with the adverts as well. As time goes on, this is likely to change both the programmes and the adverts we see, as companies seek to find new ways to interact with us.
"Mobile payments in all of its forms is also likely to radically change our shopping habits, offering marketers the ability to ‘close the loop’ moving from seeing adverts to actually spending. Many predict that payment through mobile will mean the end of plastic credit cards and loyalty cards as both move to the handset.
"Finally, we are likely to see brands looking for our permission to use our personal data to send us more targeted and relevant advertising. If we opt-in then this data will allow brands to give us contextually relevant messaging that recognises who we are, where we are, what time of day it is and we are doing.
"It is likely that through these four changes and others, our mobiles will become the most important channel for brands and other services trying to win our custom.
"We couldn’t have guessed at all the changes that smartphones and tablets have made to our lives in just the last five years, so who would bet against even more change in the next five years?"