Even the savviest marketers weren’t too sure about mobile a few years ago. Sure, the subject was on the horizon, but predictions in this area were unstable. We knew mobile was important – we just had no idea how important. There were a few nail-on-the-head moments, including predicting Apple’s Passbook and Facebook’s mobile functionality. More importantly, marketing is becoming an integrated part of who we are and how we live our lives. If we look at the reduced number of ad dividing TV time versus in-show product placements allowing for binge-watching sessions with uninterrupted advertising streams (a win for both viewers and advertisers), we see that how we view marketing has really shifted in the last couple years. We’re no longer interested in fracturing attention spans but rather, working within them and toward self-interested pursuits by the individual. Take a look at the follow examples to see how we’re already leaning in this direction and what we can expect in the year to come.

So Long Desktops

Let’s do a quick calculation: (1) add a whopping 85% of mobile users who prefer mobile over desktop, (2) factor in the increasing preference for apps over (also desktops), and (3) now times that by the number of smart phones used (religiously) by a millennial generation. What you have is a powerful consumer clout that’s almost exclusively on mobile (and who favor visual social platforms like Instagram and Tumblr over traditional content-heavy channels Twitter and Facebook). Now factor in what Aaron Strout of Marketing Land has to say on the subject:

“Instagram has over 150 million active users and has been the de facto social network of choice for the under-18 crowd. North of two thirds of the top 100 brands are on Instagram, and with its new ad platform, marketers now have even more ways to connect with their target audiences…with 65% of people being visual learners, social sites that focus on photo and short video sharing are going to win in the long run.”

Concierge Shopping

Inviting colleagues to chime in on their mobile predictions, Strout hosts a snippet from Lisa Pearson, CMO at Bazaarvoice who believes that:

“Data is becoming the currency we use to negotiate new relationships with brands, and we’ll use it, in mobile, to barter with businesses. As we enter a store, all of the personal data we wish to share — past purchases, reviews, sizes, shopping lists, shipping preferences — will be immediately available to the retailer via our mobile devices. And in return, we’ll expect a highly personalized experience: Relevant deals, product suggestions, store maps, mobile checkout, and more.”

As a woman, I’d have to completely support this astute observation. I’ve already seen companies becoming more adept at storing customer profiles, which has (among my group of friends), produced a much higher percentage of conversion. I’m more likely to purchase once I’m reminded of what I had “favorited” or what was suggested based on my profile or previous purchases (much like Amazon does). However, if I can go into a shop and be guided directly on what to purchase, I’m confident there would not only a higher likelihood of in-store shopping itself, but also of a greater number of purchases.

The Shifting Meaning of Mobile

Far from just smartphones and tablets, the core meaning of mobile has changed with the advent of Google glasses and the anticipated iWatch. We’re not sure exactly how this will integrate mobile marketing, but give it time and there’ll be a way to squeeze some marketing on there. In the meantime, know that the further we integrate mobile into our lives by “wearables”, the more mobile becomes an indissolvable platform. In fact, Asif Khan, Founder and President of Location Based Marketing, feels that Google Glass will be in automobile windshields by the end of the year.