Ritz-Carlton Riyadh Ritz-Carlton Riyadh

What future mobile trends will we see?

“Near Field Communication or NFC (whereby smartphones and similar devices can establish radio communication with each other by bringing them into close proximity) is long overdue in this part of the world. Augmented Reality or AR (meaning an element which is augmented by computer-generated sensory imput such as sound or video) is also gaining traction. I predict more intelligent apps and better usage of NFC and AR to create seamless marketing solutions.”
Prashanth Kumar, digital strategy director, Tonic International

“Personally, I’m eagerly awaiting the launch of Google Wallet and the entrance of NFC into the market. With the presence of micropayments through smartphones, it will become easier for customers to use their smartphones for much more than just social networking and gaming. Revolutionary credit card readers such as the Square have not entered the Middle Eastern market yet and will make for interesting payment systems.”
Mayank Garg, creative technologist, Innovations Digital

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“I think another big trend for this year will be hybrid apps, so being able to create an app that references HTML type content. One of the biggest ones will be mobile commerce – actually generating revenue directly from a mobile device, so booking online with your credit card details on your mobile and using apps to pay for things.”
Paul Parsons, co-founder, DigitALL

How to get started in mobile marketing

Define your objective
What is it you want to achieve in terms of return on investment?

Useful information is available online, for example mobithinking.com but nothing compares to testing out the various options yourself in order to assess the user accessibility.

Talk to the experts
There are several agencies who specialise in mobile marketing and can advise you on strategy, cost and manpower. We spoke to DigitalALL (wvss.net), Tonic International (tonicinternational.com), Ogilvy One (ogilvy.com) and Innovations Digital (innovationsdigital.com).

Know your markets
Match your strategy to the behaviour and demands of your key markets in order to create the biggest impact.

Get the basics right
Ensure that your current online communication, such as your website, is optimised for mobile and/or tablet users.

Case study
Hotel Group: Ritz-Carlton
Initiative: Launch of World Concierge on Foursquare
When: June, 2011
Objective: To deepen engagement and relationships with customers as they travel the world.
Results: At the end of 2011, 160,000 check-ins had been recorded