Posted January 26, 2011 10:38 am by with 2 comments

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You know how we approach research here at Marketing Pilgrim. We look at the title of the report or survey, then we look at the source, then we see the (more often than not) obvious connection to why this ‘research’ was done. The answer is usually PR versus actually showing or proving anything.

These reports often leaves one scratching their head but on occasion there is something that comes across our desk that refreshing because it is, gulp, realistic.

Objectivity in research is defined for me by the use of words that don’t always make every subject sound like an online Utopia where everything is always positive and things are always on the rise. That’s not the real world. Research that states for a particular vertical that everything is ‘unicorns and rainbows’ is marginalized because nothing in this world is all upside. However, you would never guess that from most of the research in the marketplace these days.

That’s why I found the Forrester Report called Mobile Trends in 2011 to be a breath of fresh air. It’s a report that dares use words like irrelevant and a phrase like ‘will generate little revenue’ when talking about the latest sacred cow of the hype machine: mobile.

The report gives a great look back at the 2010 year in mobile and Forrester grades itself on last year’s predictions. That’s interesting for sure and a good reminder of where we have been in the rapidly evolving mobile space.

What’s most interesting is Forrester’s take on the future which include statements like the following for 2011

Use of the mobile/social/local combination will explode but will generate little revenue.

Blasphemer! How could anyone even think such a thing?! That section of the report is closed with

…….location-based advertising will not generate meaningful revenues in 2011.

C’mon, Forrester. Now you’re just not playing nice! Everything that is being hyped right now is guaranteed to be wildly successful right now because, well, because we need it to be! How dare you consider letting realism seep into this conversation! Forrester did footnote this heretical viewpoint by saying essentially that the future is bright but the present is not going to be the home run that everyone is predicting.

Another realistic view is

The apps versus mobile Internet debate will continue — and remain irrelevant

This statement is really about something that is endemic in the Internet marketing industry. It’s this assumption that the degree to which we in the industry use all things digital and cool automatically translates to the rest of the world. Reality check: it does not currently and until the industry recognizes this it will continue to blow smoke up everyone’s skirts to the point of sounding silly. The Internet industry is so full of itself at times that it often forgets that an incredibly large percentage of the rest of the world doesn’t get what it is saying and, in most cases, could give a crap.

As a result apps, may not rule the day for the less sophisticated. The increased smartphone adoption by the “less app apt” (which Forrester affectionately refers to as the ‘dumb’ smartphone user) is an important development. The prediction from Forrester is that average number of apps downloaded by these less sophisticated users be smaller than what the industry may be accustomed to. Download less? How dare they!

Needless to say I liked this report vs. the others in the space because it was not afraid to say things that would fly against the industry ‘conventional wisdom’ which often times has little to do with wisdom and might be better labeled ‘conventional promotion’. Of course, these are all predictions so we’ll just have to wait until next year for Forrester to grade themselves on calling these trends. Should be interesting for sure.

The report is not a freebie and can be purchased here (Marketing Pilgrim receives no payment from Forrester for reports purchased).

  • Hi Frank – it’s good have balanced information on any potential market, online or otherwise. While there may be some great opportunity that exist in many verticals within the online industry, many folks become intoxicated with the hype rather than developing realistic business models with realistic profit potential.

    Some online resources reporting on the industry need to put the Kool-Aid down!

  • No way, Frank. People want highly SEO’d cross-segmented cross-pollenated cross-eyed apps. They want unique apps for every store on the Internet. If they didn’t then why do mobile devices let you flick through nineteen screens worth of icons?

    It has to be true. I read it in a hundred places on the Blogosphereoloid and spent the last fourteen months trying to do just that. If the hype isn’t true then maybe… maybe… no, I wasn’t wasting my time. Surely, the blogosphereoloid never lies.

    Please tell me I wasn’t wasting my time. I’ll beg. Please?