iMedia traveled to thinkLA's Mobile Breakfast to explore the state of the mobile landscape in depth and gain perspective from some of the industry's top leaders. Here's what Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget had to say about where things stand, how we arrived at this point, and the future of mobile usage.
Smartphone/tablet growth is rapidly slowing
In mature smartphone markets like North America and Europe, the flow of revenue is starting to lose steam. The demand in these markets is shrinking simply because smartphone usage is cresting. This is one of the big reasons we are starting to see smartphone manufacturers come out with cheaper, lower-end devices like the iPhone 5C. The shift will occur in emerging markets, where low to mid-priced smartphones will see an expansion. Samsung and Apple are shifting their focus to attack these markets.
Don't hold your breath for a "mobile-only" world
Mobile is massive, and it leads many people to believe that we will soon live in a world where all business and daily life is conducted on our smartphones, tablets, and wearables. While many functions will grow on these platforms, they will not have a monopoly on the tech world. According to Henry Blodget, the world is evolving to be a continuum of screens rather than a mobile takeover. Everything from the tiny Google Glass screen, right up to large TVs, is part of a system where we conduct life through interactive screens and devices, not just apps and smartphones.
iMedia's David Zaleski speaks to Henry Blodget about these trends in mobile and where the evolving landscape is leading us.
Optimize your web presence or create an app? Do both.
When Business Insider started to take mobile seriously in the mid 2000s, the big question was whether to simply optimize its site for mobile devices, or to create a separate mobile app for readers. It's a dilemma that every online publisher has had or will face. So what did the publisher decide to do? All of the above, and you should do the same. When you visit Business Insider on your desktop browser, you get a completely different user interface and experience than you would if you visit it on your mobile browser. In addition, Business Insider invested in an app that reflects the site's content. Both options are costly, but in order to truly engage users on mobile, you need to be prepared no matter how they find you.
Mobile's biggest challenge: Keeping up with the pace of innovation
It's amazing how quickly things move these days, and it's all thanks to digital. Just seven years ago there was no mobile, Twitter, or Facebook as we know them today. Just recently, new apps like Uber, Snapchat, and WhatsApp have emerged and are shaking up the marketplace. It seems that every week there's a new something that marketers need to pay attention to and integrate. Publishers and brands who want to stay as current as possible are having a hard time keeping up with the pace of innovation.
Henry Blodget continues our conversation at thinkLA's Mobile Breakfast by explaining the genesis of Business Insider's foray into mobile and how marketers need to prepare for upcoming challenges presented by endless innovation.
The over-saturation of branded apps
Brands love branded apps, and for good reason. Collaborative campaigns that take shape as apps are quite popular with consumers. So popular in fact that consumers have over-downloaded and saturated their smartphones and devices with a multitude of applications. There's no focus anymore, and it's causing problems. If you're a brand planning to dive into this world, just remember that traction may not be guaranteed.
Henry Blodget ends our conversation by talking about the app economy and gives some advice to marketers who don't know where to begin.
Click here to subscribe to the iMedia YouTube channel!
Videos edited by Associate Media Producer Brian Waters.
"Application icons in human hand. Wireless technologies" image via Shutterstock.