According to a recent article published by eMarketer, mobile commerce’s time has arrived. Aided by a flurry of acquisition activity, an influx of venture capital funding and growing brand adoption in the latter half of 2009, the year ahead will see mobile continue its shift toward the marketing mainstream.
It is eye-catching when a consultancy revises a market forecast upward in the midst of an economic downturn. That is exactly what ABI Research did with its forecast of mobile sales of physical goods in North America. In January 2009 it projected m-commerce sales would reach $544 million this year, up 57% over 2008—impressive in its own right. But in late October, ABI upped its forecast, saying sales would top $750 million in 2009, a whopping 117% annual growth rate. M-commerce’s time has arrived, and it is an easy bet that sales in 2010 will pass the $1 billion mark.
Whereas consumers once limited their mobile phone purchases to downloadable ringtones and games, today they are using their devices to buy books, apparel and other items associated with online shopping on a PC.
As I have often commented before, this increased growth will ultimately create a need for better creative. Up until now, marketers and their agencies have done a tremendous job of recycling and repurposing creative assets from other media and channels, in an attempt to make sure that as much of the budget as possible goes into working media.
This is an opportunity for agencies to step up to the plate and deliver a better quality product while demanding more fully funded mobile production budgets. While most creative types currently believe that mobile environments have significant creative limitations, the reality is that this is indeed not the case. The problem is that most creatives are not aware of the technologies currently available and hence what is actually possible.
While there are currently some notable agencies out there leading the charge and creating excellent work, most seem to be overlooking the opportunity.