2006 Mobile Marketing Predictions — Michael Becker, iLoop Mobile CTO

iLoop CTO Michael Becker has made some predictions for mobile marketing in the coming year…the company is obviously involved in the space, but we can see if iLoop puts its money where its mouth is.
Prediction 1: The Baseline Plateau for Mass Market Mobile Services will Continue to Rise — Services, like mobile TV and video, interactive and 3d gaming, alternate billing services, and more, will certainly be viable in 2006; however, they will not be ready for mass market use by marketers. These services will be niche market solutions. Marketers need to pay special attention to their market segments, understand what phones are in use and make sure the operator services subscribers have signed up for (e.g. sms, data plans, picture messaging, etc.) to be able to determine if mass market or niche markets campaigns are appropriate for the targeted segment.
Prediction 2: Solidification of the Mobile Marketing Ecosystem in an Increasingly Borderless World — We’ll see firms specialize and provide expertise in 1) marketing & promotion, 2) content & talent, or 3) technical execution and delivery. Most firms will not handle all three, rather they’ll form strategic alliances to fill the missing gaps when delivering their solutions; however, with a few notable exceptions, a handful of firms will be able to successfully handle two out of the three roles.
Prediction 3: Regulations and Guidelines will Stabilize — The regulations and guidelines from government bodies and industry associations have been quite stable; however, the rules from the individual operators, especially in the United States, have been changing regularly as the operators grapple with the challenges of opening their networks while simultaneous protecting their customers from uninvited traffic. In 2006 we’ll see the operators stabilize their business models and their rules will change less often and be clearer than they have been in the past.
Prediction 4: Allocation of Marketing Budgets to Mobile — This is the year that main stream marketers will take notice of mobile and launch programs.
Prediction 5: Proliferation of the mobile internet — WAP is back. This time for real. Marketers will have yet another tool to use for mass market programs, in addition to SMS, which is the most robust mass market solution in the market today.
Prediction 6: Increased Diffusion of New Value Added Services, like Mobile Search
We’ll see an increased diffusion of new value added mobile services like text based mobile search, community applications, instant voice response, alternative billing methods like credit card and Pay Pal, and the mobile internet as noted above, in 2006.
Prediction 7: Hockey Stick Increase in Published Mobile Research — There will be a significant increase in academic research looking at many angles of the mobile services phenomenon published by reputable academic journals in 2006. The industry will benefit greatly from these studies, since they will shed light on consumer response paradigms, effective business and implementation strategies, and help set benchmarks for success.