Mobile Marketing came of age in 2011. Let us count the ways. High-profile brands are tapping into mobile potential. Louis Vuitton launched the ‘Amble’ app this year, which combines a travel-sharing function with a collection of city guides. You document and share your own amble with your friends through the app. Louis Vuitton cleverly enlisted celebrities to share their favourite ambles in their own cities, so you can feel cool whilst visiting Rachel Weisz’ florist. The app also relates to Louis Vuitton’s brand message. For the past few years, Louis Vuitton’s print campaigns have focused on ‘personal journeys’ featuring celebrities voyaging to exotic locales toting LV monogrammed bags. With Amble, users can imbue their own trips with Vuitton glamour. The brand reaches out to socialize with its fans through their smartphones. We saw exciting innovations in QR codes this year. People have been talking about QR for a long time, and they’ve finally entered the mainstream. New film Martha Marcy May Marlene was promoted exclusively through QR codes and Victoria’s Secret got in on the act too. NASDAQ reported that 14 million Americans scanned QR codes in June 2011. Interestingly, people are most likely to scan a code when they’re at home or in a shop. Lots of marketers have taken the so-called ‘spray and pray’ approach to QR codes, dotting them about in the hopes that somebody will scan them. But actually, it seems like users will get their phones out to scan a code related to a subject of interest, like where to buy those jeans in a magazine advert. Mobile commerce made leaps and bounds this year. Near Field Communications technology received some tentative press in 2010 and finally became widely available when Google Wallet launched in September. NFC is a short-range secure wireless connection, allowing customers to pay by tapping their phones against a reader. Google Wallet participants can use their phones as Citibank credit cards or Google prepaid cards anywhere they see a reader. Google Offers are also synced to the phone. Google Wallet isn’t widely used yet, and it’s only available in the US at the moment. But now that the technology’s in place we imagine ubiquity awaits. Mobile gaming and gamification became far more sophisticated. Apps like Foursquare and GoWalla remained popular, but we were more excited by complex multiplayer games like Shadow Cities and augmented reality branded games. Gamification still sounds like a buzzword. But it’s really a timeless concept – did your parents ever reward your good behaviour with sweets? Morgan Stanley predicted that by 2015 more people will access the internet by mobile than by computer. We’re already seeing how marketers are changing tactics to keep up with this shift. And we predict explosive growth in mobile marketing in 2012. If you need to adapt your marketing strategy, we’re here to help – brief the Exchange.
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