The latest predictions for mobile's future

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Tamara Bousquet, one of the wisest marketers I've met, had one request when we were putting together a slide deck for a co-presentation at an iMedia Agency Summit master class: "Let's not try to predict what will happen in mobile more than six months from now -- no one knows," said Bousquet, executive media director of MEA Digital.

We didn't that day, but questions about mobile's future are posed on a daily basis. So in writing my new book, I asked a number of influential marketers the question.

Here are some of the tips offered by some of the more than three dozen global marketers who were interviewed.

Expect the previously passive activity of watching television to turn even more interactive

"Sports are all about live," said John Kosner, ESPN's general manager of digital and print media. "You have to watch and experience the game live. You want to talk about it while it's happening. You want more information about the game or other games taking place at the same time."

Michael Bayle, nearly a mobile lifer and now senior vice president and general manager of mobile at ESPN, says that the convergence of mobile and social changed the time-shifting DVR model almost as fast as it appeared.

"I would argue that's the biggest interruption that has happened is because of the success of mobile," he says. "One to three years ago, one could comfortably record their favorite NBA game, baseball game, what have you, and then relax and come home at night and watch it -- and choose if you wish to forward through the commercials and just get to the highlights. That's almost impossible now because of mobile and the instant access to Twitter and other means of social media."

 "Social is critical to be successful in as much as fans by nature will be social, either touting or taunting their friends or loved ones or even finding new friends just by the nature of how people rally around teams so to speak," said Bayle. "I think there's a concept here...the concept of the 'game around the game.'"

Count on a continued evolution of the shopping experience

Consumers armed with mobile devices research, scan, post, and buy at retail locations. Some barely talk to anyone. That group will grow, according to marketer Rick Mathieson.

"When you go into the dressing room, you'll be able to capture video or images of yourself in the store mirror and instantly send it out to your social network for instant feedback on whether the style is 'fly' or 'forgettaboutit,'" said Mathieson. "If desired, you'll be able to grab accessories from the catalogue and superimpose them on your reflection using augmented reality and you in the store, and your friends out in the world, will be able to have a real-time shopping experience. Depending on what your friends say, or maybe despite what they say, if you decide you want that shirt, you might throw it in your bag or just wear it and walk right out of the store.

"New-fangled theft deterrent technology will be disabled, and the transaction will happen automatically and wirelessly, perhaps on the fly or with the tap of your phone on a NFC reader, because you've entered your credit card information into a web portal associated with the app or because you have mobile wallet capabilities," said Mathieson. "And you're on your way -- without digging for cash, writing a check, swiping a card or ever again standing in line. At every point of communications -- advertising or retail -- you will be able to take action through the mobile device in unprecedented ways. It will be your remote control for the entire world."

 

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