Nine Mobile Technologies That Should be on Every Marketers’ Radar

June 12, 2015
Contributor: Heather Pemberton Levy

Evolving mobile technologies will give marketers new opportunities to test and incorporate capabilities into their initiatives.

Multichannel is about to get personal.

A day after opting-in to receive mobile messages on a merchant’s website, a consumer receives a unique SMS offer that was triggered after walking past the merchant’s store. Such relevant messaging and richer customer experience are on the horizon and every mobile marketer should have a framework for evaluating key mobile technologies, said Mike McGuire, research vice president at Gartner.

There are nine key mobile technologies that mobile marketers should be discussing with business and development partners:

1. Advanced mobile user experience (UX) design

Mobile marketers want apps that deliver exceptional experiences. To deliver these experiences, marketers need to look beyond pure functionality and consider the emotional reaction of the user and consider retaining human factor specialists. Caution: You’ve got to pay to play – talent to create great mobile experiences is scarce and expensive.

2. High-precision location sensing

To deliver highly contextual information and services, apps can use technologies such as Wi-Fi and Low-Energy Bluetooth wireless beacons to identify device location. Caution: Marketers must be mindful of consumers privacy and security concerns. In this particular area, perception is reality for consumers, so transparency and clear value propositions will be as important as the location technologies.

3. HTML5

Because of its effectiveness for Web and mobile development, HTML5 and its development tools will continue to significantly influence mobile marketing strategies and tactics. Hybrid applications that combine HTML5 with native code allow developers to blend the strength of both approaches. Caution: HTML5 complements but doesn’t replace native code and requires extensive testing.

4. Long Term Evolution (LTE) and LTE-A

LTE cellular networks provide faster high-speed mobile internet connections, so users can stream high definition videos and use other applications created by marketers. Caution: Keep an eye on the (potentially significant) impact on consumer’s data plan costs.

5. Metrics and monitoring tools

Mobile marketers should be evaluating behavioral and technical analytics to determine which features consumers love, which are ignored and any technical performance bottlenecks. Caution: The vendor landscape changes quickly so be careful of locking into long-term contracts.

6. Mobile-connected smart objects

More sensing and connected “things” collecting more and more data will provide marketers with more information that will allow them to better predict and plan for spikes and shifts in demand and preferences. Caution: It will take years to enable these devices to work together. Now is the time to run some experiments.

7. Multi-platform/ multi -architecture application development tools

To develop applications across platforms and architectures your technology team will need to weigh trade-offs such as productivity vs. vendor stability. Caution: No toolset enables “write once, run anywhere” development but look for opportunities to write the bulk of the code once and optimize the rest.

8. New Wi-Fi standards

On-site Wi-Fi networks will be used for mobile marketing, mobile payments and on-site navigation by employees and customers alike and verticals such as retail, transportation, hospitality and healthcare will benefit the most. Caution: These more advanced Wi-Fi uses such as location-targeting will require upgrades such as denser access point deployments.

9. Wearable devices

On-body healthcare sensors, smart watches and shoes and clothes with embedded sensors will all be part of a personal-area network built around a smartphone hub. Caution: These products are still relatively new so marketers will have to be patient and realistic about the longer-term timeline for implementation.

Mr. McGuire presenting these findings at the Gartner Digital Marketing Conference. Video replays from the conference are available on Gartner Events on Demand.

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