Three Mobile Hotspots That Could Spawn The Next $100 Billion Company

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Industry analysts believe that the next $100 billion dollar business will be mobile. Already, many of the largest businesses in the technology world have a mobile component and more are being added every day. But amidst this incredible diversity of fields that can benefit from a mobile offering, where will the true titan of mobile emerge? Here are three hotspots that we believe could easily produce the next major business in the mobile field.

Messaging

With Facebook spending $19 billion on Whatsapp, there is no question that mobile messaging has taken off. The big question for mobile messaging, then, is monetization. Whatsapp pledges to never show ads to its users, and charges $0.99/year. Likewise, Facebook has assured Whatsapp that they will not have to compromise their principles.

This presents an interesting problem for mobile messaging companies with ethics similar to Whatsapp. The first to solve it in a financially viable way will likely be the winner, and could definitely be the first massive mobile company.

Commerce

Shopping is transitioning towards m-commerce with new apps that beautifully showcase products. While massive e-commerce sites like Amazon may have a reasonable foothold on the mobile commerce space, there is still a lot of uncertainty in their mobile offerings.

One of the problems with the modern shopping experience is the massive catalogs of products available to consumers. Smaller e-commerce sites can target individuals to a greater degree and offer a more commoditized product than the big guys. Mobile commerce companies have access to more options than their desktop counterparts, such as better location data and the ability to use push notifications.

Purchasing

Mobile commerce isn’t just about the nice shopping apps that are prominent in the App Store, it is also about making payment more seamless, and the startup that can really get the payment system down will be on top.

With iOS 8, Apple is allowing third party developers to begin using the fingerprint sensor found on the iPhone 5S and newer devices. Some mobile commerce startups will be able to use this functionality to make purchases even simpler, all you need is one finger. This functionality could even be used to have multiple payment methods on one device; one for each member of the family depending on the fingerprint.

Mobile is huge, but even though we’re starting to see some front runners emerge, the kings of mobile have yet to be crowned. It is entirely possible that nobody has even heard of the new billion dollar companies yet. The possibilities are endless.

 

Justin Profile PictureThis post was guest authored by Justin Fowler. Justin is a student at the University of Texas at Austin and the co-founder of Audio Press. You can find him on Twitter and on his blog.

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The Highly Targeted Mobile App

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Mobile apps have mass appeal. Regardless of business type or size, a mobile app can also have an incredible ROI. The key word there of course, is can. While the marketing aficionados and business book gurus out there preach a certain lesson all the time, it is difficult to apply it to your own business when, quite frankly, you want all the customers you can get.

As it stands, the gurus and aficionados are right. The best way generate a positive ROI for your app is focus.

Now, there is obviously some built-in targeting for your app. The individuals most likely to download a mobile app are tech savvy. They are likely on Twitter and Facebook. They play Angry Birds and have a positive attitude towards businesses that go mobile. You can definitely cater to that audience.

But even then, the focus is not tight enough. Putting aside the fact that all of the above behaviors can be just as easily applied to both a hip college kid and his parents, the fact is that the “tech nerd” is dying. We are all tech nerds now to some extent, and so the term is increasingly ineffective as a differentiator.

So how do you focus your mobile app? Get ready for a frustrating answer.

It really depends on you.

Truthfully, mobile apps provide a framework for you to pursue your existing targeted marketing efforts (and you do have a target consumer, right?). Certain modules work well for certain businesses, but the effectiveness of those modules relies on the power of the business itself to identify and speak to a certain audience.

Identify your target audience, demonstrate the fact that you know what they want and are able to give it to them, and your mobile app will let you cut through the clutter of a customer’s inbox and Facebook feed. Mobile apps are highly flexible. They are as remarkable as you.

Core Mobile for Small Business

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The necessity of keen mobile strategy becomes more evident every day. As smartphone ownership and app usage continue to climb dramatically, businesses realize that mobile represents one of the few marketing platforms that presents the opportunity for both micro-targeted efforts and nearly universal appeal. All that being said, many businesses still have only a token presence on mobile, often represented by social interaction or a mobile-optimized website. These are great supplementary marketing avenues, but they are not enough. To become truly successful in the current climate, it is necessary to treat mobile as a primary marketing channel.

Of course, some companies have staked their reputation on mobile marketing. However, these are primarily enterprise-level businesses or tech companies. The reason for this is simple: small businesses treat any new potential investment with suspicion, particularly when it is as modern as the recent trend towards mobile engagement. Somewhat ironically, small businesses have the most to benefit from adopting a core mobile strategy.

Where big-brands can afford to increase top of mind awareness through traditional marketing efforts, they struggle to establish unique and personalized customer interactions. This key differentiator has always existed as a benefit for small business, but for the first time it is possible to furnish those personal relationships on a massive scale.

A mobile-first marketing approach gives small businesses the power to directly approach their customer base and thereby increase top-of-mind awareness without investing a ton of money. Rather, the mobile approach is one that allows the personality of the business to shine through the marketing clutter that consumers regularly encounter. A push notification coming through an app you have specifically downloaded to your device from a company you trust is always more effective than a spammy email.

Generalizations are dangerous, yet it is safe to say that the majority of small businesses would be wise to consider adopting mobile as their primary outreach method. Due to the mass numbers of customers with smartphones, the opportunity to create brand loyalty and mutually beneficial interactions through a mobile device, and the cost-effective nature of mobile marketing efforts businesses can greatly benefit from establishing a mobile presence.