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Monday, January 5, 2009

Future-casting: Mobile is the New Online

Posted by @ 5:53 pm

I was doing some “future-casting” with some friends recently, and one statement which resonated with all of us in 2008 is:

“mobile is the new online”

The early adopters are doing it (I can hear them all screaming “old news” already), the consumers are soaking it up, and most of you all know it, but probably on a sub conscious level rather than conscious level.

Our cell phones (or mobile phones, depending where in the world you live) are now our pint sized PCs, camera, organizer, entertainment unit and so on. They have been for years, but the levels of engagement are at record highs.

All through last year, we heard the rumblings of a marketing wave that’s rapidly gathering momentum. The rumblings came in various, often disguised forms. Think iPhone and Google Android launches, Yahoo and Google deals with handset and telephone companies, a myriad of new localized search services… all these things point to the revolution that’s happening.

While I was contemplating what this means for 2009, I stumbled on this new study by Pew Internet & American Life Project. The report, titled The Future of the Internet Part III, raised the following relevant findings:

  • The mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the internet for most people in the world in 2020.
  • Voice recognition and touch user-interfaces with the internet will be more prevalent and accepted by 2020.
  • The divisions between personal time and work time and between physical and virtual reality will be further erased for everyone who is connected, and the results will be mixed in their impact on basic social relations.

Now I debate whether the predictions/forecasts will take the 10 or so years suggested by the report, given the rapid adoption already in place. But it does confirm the need for smart small business operators to starting rethinking their ideas of online.

I’m sure many of you are thinking “hang on, I’ve only just started my search marketing Campaigns”. Its okay – the shift in internet consumption isn’t going to be an overnight phenomenon. But it is inevitable.

While the possibilities of mobile extend widely, even for those of you just seeking out local marketing opportunities – mobile is definitely a consideration that needs to see itself on your plans for 2009.

At the very least, start embracing the mobile friendly marketing opportunities that already exist such as Google Advertising and Google Local services.

Viva la Mobile!

What do you think? do you agree that 2009 will be the year that mobile makes its move on the marketing budget? will you be including mobile in the strategy and planning this year?

share your thoughts below…

Rene LeMerle Rene is the marketing manager of - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

View Rene LeMerle's profile

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