TREND.iNSIGHT: The First Screen

TRENDAFRiCA March 14, 2013

‘Fang Bang Lit’

Mobile - retro phone box

The hottest publishing genre in the last couple of years (before the ghastly 50 Shades of misogynistic nonsense arrived) is known as ‘Fang Bang Lit’ – young women having relationships with vampires. It’s what all young girls are reading. (At least they’re reading.)

Simon Silvester says watching teens is important because teen-habits of today are the adult-habits of tomorrow: the same boys who played games in the 80s are playing games as adults and those who rebelled by wearing blue jeans in the 60s are retirees, still wearing their blue jeans. Just maybe not as skinny.

So, as popular as Fang Bang Lit is and based on what teens are currently doing online and with their mobile devices, this is what marketers need to note for their future generation of consumers, opines Silvester:
1. Everyone will be socially networked because otherwise they are afraid of never being invited anywhere.
2. No one will lose touch. With anyone. Ever.
3. Social networks will be valued for the security they offer users.
4. Celebrity culture will explode further as the mobile internet allows people to follow those lives 24/7. We can all be stalkers.
5. It will be normal to use GPS to let other people(and stalkers) monitor where you are. Friends will think you’ve been abducted if you are out of range. If your signal is off, your better half will think you have been cheating.
6. Linking your mobile device to the cloud will be essential so that you don’t lose your life if you lose your mobile.
7. The music and film industries will find it increasingly harder to get people to pay. Afterall, you don’t pay for air?
8. With more choice, people will become more narrow-minded with less of a worldview, only watching what they want to and what they are interested in, whether it be sport, or reality shows.
9. There will be no privacy and no one will actually care very much. This is the reality generation.
10. In fact, Silvester says that over the next decade, urban society may redevelop characteristics of the tribal environment where mankind lived in the prehistoric era all together: “where there was no privacy and everyone knew who you were sleeping with, and what you thought and did”.

Those mobile players and plays to watch in 2013 according to Native with the Mobile Marketing Association, Ericsson and JWT:
• Standard Bank’s adoption of contactless payment technology. It will begin to roll out NFC-enabled credit and cheque cards allowing South African customers to use the ‘tap-and-go’ method of payment.
• Mxit, which seemed to have lost its way in 2012 when it overspent on acquisitions, lost their CEO Alan Knott-Craig Jnr in a boardroom barney and ended the year with retrenchments. It aims in 2013 to streamline the business and double their user base.
• The first African designed smartphone was launched by a Congolese inventor, Verone Mankou, who also designed what was billed as Africa’s first tablet computer, in 2011.
• In fact, 500 million Africans now have mobile connectivity and Africa is the next big market for smartphones.
• Datacosts remain key to development and innovation and have been declining.
• Visual mobile networks are hugely appealing with an explosion in Pinterest and Instagram reflecting users’ dalliance with all things beautiful.
• Facebook’s refocus on mobile was a long time coming and it took the company by surprise that the vast majority of users connecting daily, did so via mobile phone. Facebook reached 1 billion users in 2012 and now reaches 40% of all internet users.
• Samsung and Apple are leading in the smartphone market.
• LTE, which stands for Long-Term Evolution is “the next generation of mobile standards that will provide super-speed broadband connectivity.” Also called 4G. Local operators, Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and 8ta are either live already with commercial LTE services or are running trials.
• Cell C has made impressive market challenges with the appointment of former Vodacom CEO Alan Knott-Craig at the helm and he is leading the charge in getting consumers to understand what they are being billed for and for how much.
• LTE is the fastest-developing system in the history of mobile communications in terms of build out and uptake. Within five years, more than half of the world’s population is expected to benefit from LTE coverage, Ericsson reports.
• Brand investment in mobile will increase and opportunities will increase for retailers

The next major tipping point for mobile will be the mobile wallet, Prakash Patel says, with a full suite of financial options, from “snacking” to get quick info, a balance; to “lunching” through transactions or sending funds; and “fine dining” deep engagement with your finances.

Important themes/trends he has identified are:
1. Usability: making sure all content is adapted to all devices through responsive design.
2. Google wallet: coupons, banking, loyalty cards all in one device.’
3. Sixth sense: Mobile is a gamechanger which has totally transformed business and personal communication and created huge disruption in industries such as marketing and advertising, not seen since the invention of the original telephone, Patel says.
4. Speed and data: South Africa will continue to lag until this is sorted out. “We are breeding a minority population for mobile in South Africa, building connections and apps for the minority with smartphones, not thinking about the majority with feature phones.
5. Mobile as a channel: Patel thinks brands and marketers need to start thinking about mobile as a channel in its own right and the most important channel in terms of convergence and collaboration, creating and connecting. “It is the biggest connecter in action. Through mobile I can connect you to a great product experience.”

Marketer’s ‘dream app’


The problem with technology is that most people don’t know what they want. So how to use technology to figure it out for them is the marketer’s dream app of tomorrow.

It’s not impossible, Silvester says.

Silvester says search functions of the future need to move out of the office and help users deal with the hassle of dealing with life.

One of agency JWT’s 10 trends that will shape our world in 2013 was that of ‘The Mobile Fingerprint’, where we’ll see everyday objects become smarter as technology gets embedded into everything from eyeglasses to socks and to bikes, helping us to measure, navigate and augment the world, Native reports.

What people worldwide do know for certain, is that they don’t want to live without their smartphones and are prepared to give up other choice ‘vices’ to exchange for internet usage on their smartphones:

• Beer: 43%
• Chocolate: 36%
• Superbowl tickets: 34%
• High heels: 26%
• Cable TV: 20%

But, even George Orwell couldn’t have conceptualised a device that would allow ‘Big Brother’ to see where it’s citizens were allthe time – or that those citizens would voluntarily carry those devices with them and be quite happy about broadcasting their GPS location to the world, Silvester points out.

Alan Knott-Craig (snr) says we have to get data right with huge investment, but low pricing to reach every village, every school, building networks with the private sector, in collaboration with Government.

“You need gamechangers, a visionary sitting in Government or Government allowing companies to be innovative… It is easy for a market to get stale, and South Africa got stale in the telecommunications industry. South Africa used to be the most innovative. In some ways, Africa is more innovative than SA, driven by need and desperation,” Knott-Craig says.

Yoav Tchelet believes mobile devices have to carry on converging and manufacturers will have to try find that sweetspot. Tablets, for example, are still used as primarily entertainment devices. “I don’t know if there will be a need for tablets in 10 years? It will be more about mobile phones integrating with TV screens. All indications are that television will become more integrated with mobile and the TV industry will be able to unlock innovation. The future will unlock more opportunities for them.

“And that is where the value will be, rather than interrupting, but being part of the experience, to start being part of people’s lives.”

Mobile remains a marketers’dream device – if only they learn to engage with the users of these devices properly.
*TREND. will additionally focus exclusively on Mobile Apps and the future in a special in-depth Dissect report in the 2nd quarter of 2013. To become a sponsor contact us.

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Comments (2)

  1. Pingback: TREND. | TREND.Facts: March 18

  2. Pingback: The 2nd internet revolution : Marklives!com

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