Mobile marketing to surpass $1 billion in the US in 2011

Forrester Research has published its annual mobile technology outlook for 2011, and it’s top prediction is for mobile marketing to surpass $1 billion in the US alone.

The research outlines Forrester’s top-level projections for the year ahead, and includes a quick look at their predictions from last year. Forrester gave itself a “B+,” saying nearly all of its projections came to fruition.

They expect the trends they outlined last year to continue, and they’ve added a few more trends that they think will develop over the coming 12 months.

Here’s the top ten predictions from Forrester for the next year in our order of importance.

  1. Mobile marketing spend will grow significantly and surpass $1 billion in the US as consumers spend billions via mobile.
  2. 2011 is — finally — the year that Near Field Communication (NFC) begins to matter. The market will finally move away from the trial stage in regions where NFC infrastructure is in place.
  3. Casual gaming will continue to lead the mobile charge for content companies. Forrester has already highlighted how media companies have some of the most advanced mobile strategies.
  4. News publishers expect mobile to represent more than 20% of their total online audience. While they don’t expect advertisers to follow consumers that quickly, they will need to generate new revenue streams.
  5. Expect new business models based on subscriptions, micro-transactions, and in-application billing to expand from gaming to other content categories, such as news and music.
  6. The apps versus mobile Internet debate will continue — and remain irrelevant. This isn’t a question of either/or — but both.
  7. 2011 will be the year of the “dumb” smartphone user. Thanks to handset subsidies, smartphones will be available to the masses. Expect new smartphone users to be less engaged and active than the first cohorts of Android and iPhone early adopters. The good news is that thanks to customer education and the convenience that these devices offer, even “dumb” smartphone users will consume more mobile media than ever before and will have incremental usage of mobile data
  8. The mobile fragmentation problem will continue in 2011. Prioritising mobile developments will still be a challenge, and cross-platform development has not yet been achieved successfully.
  9. Mobile will increasingly prompt consumers to interact with their physical environment. Technologies such as QR codes and mobile augmented reality are already helping bridge the real and digital worlds via mobile devices.
  10. The mobile/social/local combo will explode in usage but generate little revenue.
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