We've all heard the numbers. More than half of the mobile phones in the U.S. today are smartphones. And according to a recent MIT study, tablets have already penetrated 10 percent of the market in less than three years. That's a faster adoption rate than we saw with smartphones -- or any other technology, for that matter.
Digital marketers are sprinting to catch up with this rapid rate of smartphone and tablet adoption. Industry observers predict that mobile advertising will grow from an estimated $5 billion today to $18 billion by 2015. And not surprisingly, scores of companies are emerging to help marketers decide where and how to allocate those dollars.
It's the Wild West out there in the mobile landscape. So which companies really deserve your attention (and, consequently, your marketing dollars)? To helps marketers cut through the clutter, iMedia is hosting the 2nd annual Next Wave Start-Up Challenge and Showcase. From a pool of 27 nominated companies, 11 of the best mobile startups in the media and marketing landscape have been selected, via iMedia community voting, to pitch to more than 300 digital marketing elites at the iMedia Breakthrough Summit. Mobile innovation experts and advisors from top-tier brands, agency incubators, and the venture community will vote on site to determine the Next Wave winner.
The 11 presenting finalists were selected within three categories: mobile campaign management and analysis, mobile entertainment, and mobile shopping and commerce. Let's take a look at the value they hold for marketers.