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The Faster, Lighter, Smaller Mobile Christmas

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If October is the month of mobile launches, this October was one of the most important in recent years, thanks to the first ever next-generation 4G LTE network to go live on UK shores. With average speeds appearing to be 22mbps, mobile broadband is now faster than the vast majority of home broadband. On the device front, the Apple iPad Mini, Google Nexus 4 and 10, 4th Generation iPad, the release of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Microsoft Surface will lead to Christmas 2012 speeding up the mobile agenda for marketers and brands.

With new technology come the early adopters who jump on the latest devices and networks, keen to find out the new capabilities available. For brands wanting to tap into this affluent and eager market, there is no better time to run mobile marketing campaigns. Campaigns that utilise the top inventory will see better results as consumers try out the different capabilities and interactive features that mobile devices allow for.

As faster networks spread throughout the country, we are expecting to see a closer integration of traditional campaigns with mobile as brands continue to understand the role mobile plays in the marketing mix. Over the coming years, LTE networks will cover more of the UK than fixed line internet, providing more consistent speeds to make rich media campaigns more feasible. This ought to help to deliver highly innovative campaigns that will make mobile a truly sexy channel for marketers and brands to utilise. Now is the time to start looking at tools such as augmented reality, location targeting, rich media and mobile commerce and figuring out how they fit into assisting brands deliver unique and impressive campaigns.

Since the introduction of the iPad, brands and marketers have been trying to understand how these devices will be used and how they will impact their marketing channels. From what we've seen, the impact has been far beyond what anyone really expected. With the current release of more affordable devices such as Amazon Kindle Fire HD and the Google Nexus 7, as well as other high-end devices such as the Microsoft Surface the impact of tablets upon mobile advertising will continue to increase after the Christmas period.

Over the Christmas period, we predict that spend on tablets will increase by 25% with over 90% of our global client campaigns already planned to ensure they secure the most valuable inventory. Significantly, this means that for the first time ever, we expect that the tablet versus handset spend will split towards tablets in terms of media spend capitalising on the spending habits of tablet users. For retailers looking to capitalise on the growing opportunity, running socio-demographic targeted campaigns and having websites optimised for tablet devices will result in the best results.

Due to tablet usage being more akin to sofa surfing, exact location targeting hasn't proven to be a big factor when it comes to the success of tablet campaigns with less than 10% of our tablet campaigns utilising geo-targeting. Instead, for the most successful tablet campaigns, other targeting methods such as country or city geo-targeting, demographic, language, time of day and channel targeting is proven to be more important. With faster networks speeds and an increase in large pocket friendly devices coming to the market, exact targeting will increasingly be a more integral part of tablet campaigns as users take advantage of the portability of smaller tablets.

Millions of new tablets and smartphones are being bought as users upgrade and gravitate towards the latest devices. With Christmas just around the corner, these users will be more willing to try new types of marketing and advertising, which could lead them to make purchases through their gadgets. Come Christmas day, we expect to see a huge boost in traffic once a large number of tablets and smartphones are activated. Brands who ignore the opportunity of targeting these consumers risk losing out on higher value sales.