By Kamal Dimachkie.
October 24, 2013 12:26 by kippreport
This is when they will play a major enabling role for connectivity beyond the bits and bytes, and when they will power this evolution. Third will be the choices they need to make regarding specialisation. In the future, the operator is less likely to remain a jack-of-all-trades and will clearly need to specialise in particular sectors – some may specialise in IT structures, others in networks, some in services and perhaps even audience specialists.
Communication agencies’ biggest value will be added when they bring deep insight into the habits, motivations and profiles of their target audiences. With the fragmentation of media and audiences, this task has become more challenging, and this is just the beginning. As mobile devices advance and become more ubiquitous, this task will become phenomenally demanding. Brands will reach a point where unless they truly represent a desirable purpose with which people can relate, they will disregard them and deny them access. This is where agencies have a major role to play.
Mass manufacturing must have sealed the transition to consumerism and created the term ‘consumer’. However, the mobile phone, with so much personalisation, seems to be, if not reversing this trend, ushering in a new phase. So begins the age of the individual. Mobile advertising in the future will be selected and directed by individuals themselves. The power of choice and selection will be fully in the hands of individuals, who unlike consumers that are groups or types of individuals that conform to pre-defined brand segments, are highly independent and who may let you know them or a part of them, but they will never let you own them. They will have the power and they will use that to allow brands in, or tune them out.
Despite all of the progress that mobile has made and its obvious ubiquity, the year of the mobile is yet to dawn. That will be the year when everyone will do more with, or through, their mobile phone than with any other device. This behavioural shift needs to apply to the entire population and not just the tech-savvy few with higher-end devices.
For this to happen, the integration of payment mechanisms has to become pervasive; credit card integration and payment systems need to become the norm. This will be the year when the mobile phone will evolve from a telecommunications device to one through which life is controlled and telephony becomes only one part of what it does. Perhaps, at that time, the physical shape and form of the mobile handset as we know it will change beyond our ability to envisage it today.
At that time, the line between marketing and advertising over mobile devices will certainly blur and newer forms of engagement with customers and individuals will emerge. Whatever it is going to be will certainly need to go through the motions of Darwinian evolution and a function of the ecosystems that will support it.
Just like Guttenberg’s printing rearranged the order of life and the course of history, the evolution of the mobile will prove to be an equally, if not more, powerful leveller for humanity. Expect the order of the world to be rearranged. Expect more mobile addicts.