The diversity of tactics in the mobile medium is astounding. Advertisers now have an extremely robust palette of mobile tools to choose from to connect their messages and experiences with their desired audiences thanks to advancements in mobile ad units, mobile search, mobile apps, mobile websites, and SMS. Each of these mobile tactics is now being successfully embraced by advertisers to drive brand awareness, consideration, purchases, and loyalty.
The quality of the work is at an all-time high. As a judge at the recent 2012 D&AD (Design and Art Direction) Awards, I received a strong overview of where the industry is heading and it's clear that some of the best creative and technical minds have finally shifted over to the mobile medium. Brands like Nike and their recent Nike+ Fuelband product shows just how far the quality of the work has come where the Nike+ Fuelband app leverages social platform design, Bluetooth integration, and 3D animations. This is a far cry from when mobile ad units were a brand's main mobile advertising option. The recent addition of the Mobile Lions to the Cannes Advertising Festival will also continue to accelerate this shift in talent and drive up the quality of mobile work in the upcoming years.
Innovation has accelerated. Recently, each innovative mobile product or service seems to beget the next one as the boundaries of the mobile medium continue to be stretched. In the past year, mobile has seen breakthroughs from the likes of Uber, Clear, Path, and Figure as mobile designers look to leverage location information, gestures, and UI advancements to reduce complexity and provide for more compelling services. In the near future, we'll also start to see more designers attempt to add voice control and personalization to improve users' experience on mobile.
Experimentation leads to advances. Recently, the apps, Highlight and Sonar were released at SXSW with much fanfare. Both are considered social discovery apps, which help to monitor your location in the physical world and alert you when "similar" people are in close proximity to you. While, both of those apps have had difficulties gaining traction and overcoming the "creepy" label attached to them, they have fueled the imagination of what is now possible using a combination of GPS, open graph technologies, and the social web to find commonalities between people that were not always immediately obvious. Social discovery apps are leading the experimentation charge as the web evolves to become the 'personal web', a web rebuilt around individuals.
Cultural Influence on society. More than 2/3 of our time on mobile phones is now used for non-communication activities with the average American spending 94 minutes per day utilizing mobile apps vs. 72 minutes of web-based consumption. Mobile is poised to surpass television as the dominant consumer access point for all media. How we experience life, relationships, entertainment, education, exercise, and work have been completely transformed (for better or worse) because of mobile.