By Tim Ritchie, VP of Sales & Account Management, OpenMarket for RCR Wireless
Here are four developments that will significantly impact the mobile ecosystem in 2013. Enterprises and mobile vendors alike are closely tracking these rising trends.The explosive growth of mobile messaging over the last several years will continue in 2013 — even as the types and sources of messages evolve. Over-the-top messaging tools like Apple’s iMessage and WhatsApp Messenger will erode peer-to-peer message growth. Conversely, application-to-peer messaging volumes will grow as large enterprises opt for the ubiquity of traditional SMS messaging.
Juniper Research predicts that in 2016 revenue from A2P messages will reach $70.1 billion and overtake that of P2P SMS. The strategic focus within the mobile messaging ecosystem will shift from communication between individuals to sending and receiving service-enabling messages.
With text message open rates at 98% according to Frost & Sullivan, companies cannot ignore the impact of mobile messaging on critical day-to-day updates. Major enterprises are looking beyond app-focused mobile strategies to include SMS in a variety of operational and marketing functions. New use cases reduce operational costs and bring companies closer to their customers and staff. This includes using mobile messaging for product shipping notifications; airline reservation changes and confirmations; employee reminders to complete time sheets; and augmented staff scheduling for companies that have flexible staffing needs.
SMS, MMS and push notifications are mainstream communications channels alongside more traditional e-mail, print and broadcast mediums. Mobile messaging helps catch prospects during the buying cycle and convert them to customers as fast as possible. App analytics firm Flurry recently found that people spend 23% of their time on mobile devices — second only to TV at 40%. Yet mobile gets about 1% of ad spend, whereas TV captures 43%. Print, on the other hand, gets 29% of ad spend, but accounts for only 6% of leisure time. Marketing investment will continue to shift from print media to mobile in 2013 so that it more closely matches time spent on mobile devices.
Today, mobile represents more than just phones. Tablets are poised to become the primary device by 2016 as consumers and businesses gravitate toward convenience over computing power, according to Forrester Research. Increasing tablet consumption directly contributes to multi-channel messaging growth, allowing companies to easily communicate with their prospects and customers through one vendor relationship and platform. As we approach 2013, multi-channel mobile messaging will become the standard.
In an increasingly connected business world, these four trends will change interactions with colleagues, prospects and customers globally. SMS, MMS and push notifications will open the door to new, effective communication channels. The mobile ecosystem must work together to make substantial progress in 2013, and deliver on the promise of ubiquitous interaction and commerce.