trends in mobile technology in 2014 and beyond

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This white paper describes 10 useful mobile tools and trends associations can use to achieve effective engagement with their users. Read more to find out how you can incorporate mobile technology for your association’s benefit.


  • 1. www.resultsathand.comStrategicMobile Trendsfor Associationsin 2014 andBeyond

2. 2Strategic Mobile Trends for Associationsin 2014 and BeyondGartners Top 10 Strategic Technology TrendsWhy Mobile?In October 2013, Gartner identified what it believes to be the top 10 strategic technology trends to pay attention to in 2014. Gartner defines a strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.2 Gartner states that some of these technologies are mature technologies ready for adoption and others are new technologies that early adopters may benefit from considering earlier rather than later (Gartner). Organizations do not need to adopt or invest in all of these technologies, according to David Clearley, Gartner Fellow and VP, but should look to make deliberate decisions about them during the next two years (Gartner).Elizabeth MitchellResults at Hand SoftwareDecember 2013Now is a good time to consider and adopt a mobile strategy that utilizes the most current technologies and trends to effectively engage your members.You may have missed the memo, but mobile isnt what it was before. Though the average mobile experience in the past involved a small screen and a slow connection, several technological advancements and the increased adoption of smartphones and mobile devices like tablets has increased the opportunity to utilize the mobile medium to reach audiences.Aaron Wolowiec, Founder and President of Event Garde, a professional development consulting firm that works withassociation leaders who want to deliver dynamic, meaningful and compelling education and networking experiences, adds:With the growing use and integration of mobile technology both in our personal and professional lives - most people are within three feet of their mobile devices at any given time - its no wonder associations are turning to and leveraging mobile technology in support of their missions. From goal setting to problem solving and from information sharing to information gathering, mobile technology holds tremendous opportunity both to engage key association constituents and to promote enhanced member learning.1Your association can leverage mobile technology to meet your advocacy, education, communication, and engagement goals. This report will highlight some available mobile tools and trends worth considering for your association in 2014. 3. 3Based on this report from Gartner and other research we have collected, Results at Hand has identified 10 mobile trends to pay attention to in your strategic plan for 2014 and beyond. Though you may choose not to respond to a specific trend, being aware of these trends and making conscientious decisions about them will help your association stay engaged with the people you serve.Strategic Mobile Trends for AssociationsOf Gartners trends, those related to mobile are Mobile Device Diversity and Management, Mobile Apps and Applications, and the 3 trends related to Cloud Computing.1. Native vs. Web-Based Mobile Apps2. Responsive Design3. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)4. Cloud Storage and the Personal Cloud5. Mobile Proximity Technology (NFC & BLE)6. Mobile Payment Systems7. Mobile Video8. Mobile Advertising9. Mobile Security10. Event Apps as a ServiceStrategic Mobile TrendsGartners 2014 Ten Strategic Technology Trends1. Mobile Device Diversity and Management2. Mobile Apps and Applications3. The Internet of Everything4. Hybrid Cloud and IT as Service Broker5. Cloud/Client Architecture6. The Era of Personal Cloud7. Software Defined Anything8. Web-Scale IT9. Smart Machines10. 3-D Printing 4. 4If you are building a mobile app, there are two common methods: building a native app or a mobile web app. There are benefits and disadvantages to both methods. The debate over which is best for your associations needs is a strategic decision worth considering in 2014.Native applications are built to work with a specific operating system (OS). Users download an app from an OS-specific store and use the app. The two most common and most supported mobile operating systems for smartphones are Android and iOS. According to comScore, as of October 2013, Android and iOS accountedSmartphoneSubscribersby OS 52.2%Android 40.6%Apple+ 7.2%All OthersChart ANative Apps 2014 Strategic Mobile TrendsTrend 1: Native vs. Web-Based Mobile Apps JS VSIf your association already has a website optimized for mobile experiences, that offers most of the same features as your PC-optimized experience, then you are headed in the right direction in terms of addressing the increasing importance of mobile. But having a mobile site alone is not enough. Nielsen reports that:Apps vs. Mobile WebsitesBetween July 2011 and July 2012, mobile web users grew at 82 percent...but mobile app users grew 85 percent. Further, by the beginning of 2013, people were spending over 80 percent of their mobile time using apps. Anyone limiting themselves to an in-browser mobile advertising model is finding its customers for just a fraction of their mobile-screen time.3Mobile apps offer improved user engagement and are often expected by mobile users. According to Compuware, 85% of users preferred mobile apps over mobile websites. Apps are perceived as more convenient (55 percent), faster (48 percent) and easier to browse (40 percent).4 Michael Kopp, a technology strategist at Compuware, adds:While apps may be preferred, it is a mistake for companies to ignore mobile sites however, as mobile visitors tend to be situational when an app is available on their devices, they will use it, but they will use the mobile web when an app is not available.5Associations would benefit from mobile strategies that include mobile sites and mobile apps. 5. 5But there are benefits to in-browser applications. Compared to native apps, web-based apps are often more affordable. Web-based apps can be accessed from any browser with an internet connection including devices such as phones, tablets, and laptops. Using a web-based app strategy accommodates different platforms (such as Windows and BlackBerry) and older devices. If you are trying to be compatible with as many devices as possible, a web-based app is certainly a good option. But keep in mind that many of your users will prefer to use a native app rather than a web-based app to access content and interact with your association on a mobile device. Providing a web-based app offers greater engagement than a mobile website, but native apps are still preferred by users.The best strategy for mobile apps is to use a combined approach. By utilizing both mediums, associations can support multiple platforms and device sizes while still tapping into the benefits of native apps. You may wonder if supporting native iOS, native Android, and a web-based app is considerably more of an expense rather than selecting one or two of these options. There are development platforms that support the build out of HTML5 web and native applications with little re-work. This strategy allows associations to reach the most people possible and effectively utilize resources.The Best Strategy: Use A Combined ApproachWeb-Based Apps JSWhich Apps Are Usedon Smartphones?Social Networking 85%Maps/Navigation/Search 84%Productivity 74%Videos/Movies 65%Games 61%Shopping/Retail 53%Banking/Finance 53%Chart Bfor 52.2% and 40.6% of all smartphones subscribers respectively.6 If you have a mobile strategy that addresses these platforms, you are addressing over 90% of current mobile and tablet users.The benefits to using native apps are that native apps can access and utilize phone features so that a user has a better integrated experience. A native app can access a file system, camera, navigation, calendar, and other features of a phone that an in-browser app may not be as able to readily access, if at all. According to Michael Kopp, native mobile apps will continue to be preferred by consumers over web based applications because they are more responsive (Mobile Commerce). 6. 6If you are thinking about updating your associations website or web-based products in 2014, responsive design is a must. Responsive design allows a site or apps visual appearance to adapt to the screen size and orientation used by a specific user. Old design strategies focused on pixel-perfect solutions trying to get a site to look the same across browsers and platforms. Given the device diversity present today and the increasing diversity of technology tools in the future, its impossible to be able to show the same exact site or app across the multitude of devices and platforms available. And the reality is, when designing web experiences in 2014 and beyond, you dont want to display the same experienceTrend 2: Responsive Designto all of your users. Responsive design allows a site or app to display differently based on screen sizes, orientation (landscape/portrait) and media types. By utilizing this technology, instead of building separate experiences for laptops, tablets, mobile phones, large screens, and the increasing number of devices accessing the internet, one code base is built that responds to the device being used, offering an optimized experience.Responsive design extends beyond the browser. HTML-based email can also be built responsively. 2014 may see a shift towards a focus on mobile email experiences first. According to Gregory Kennedy of TapSense: Over half of all email is now opened on a mobile device. We expect email will flip from a desktop PC-focused channel to a mobile-first channel in 2014. The amount of email opened on mobile is projected to continue increasing, and the decline in PC sales should accelerate the trend.7If your association uses email to communicate with members, have you considered that members are likely opening your emails on mobile devices?Indiana Society of Association ExecutivesResults at Hand SoftwareYour association is likely to hear more about responsive design. If you are considering web strategies in 2014, especially with a website build, employing responsive design will help your association reach as many people and devices as possible. 7. 7Trend 3: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)Given the diversity of mobile devices and the helpful features found on smartphones, individuals expect to be able to use their personal phones to access work information such as email. BYOD programs allow employees to use their own devices to increase their productivity, whether on a phone, a tablet, or a laptop. They may use these devices at home, on the go, or in the office.Associations can make use of the BYOD trend by being aware of the ways that association members use technology. Given the increasing number of people using their own devices for work-related activities, how might your members be able to access your resources throughout the workday to receive the help they need to accomplish their goals? Are your resources easily accessible on a mobile phone?A study by Dell found that allowing employees to use their own devices in the workplace improved productivity. BYOD programs allow employees to interact with work- related tools and information using the interfaces that are comfortable to them. The Dell survey adds: the BYOD movement is about much more than managing devices -- itsWhats BYOD? The BYOD movement is about much more than managing devices -- its about users, how they do their jobs and the degree to which organizations empower them to achieve maximum productivity -- regardless of device or location. (BYOD) about users, how they do their jobs and the degree to which organizations empower them to achieve maximum productivity -- regardless of device or location (BYOD).An additional mobile trend we will continue to hear about in 2014 is the use of peripheral devices and wearable technology that integrate with mobile phones, such as glasses and watches. Given the diversity of mobile devices and mobile accessories, developing strategies that allow and encourage members to use the best tools for them to accomplish their goals will be of increasing importance. The key BYOD takeaway for your association: offering resources and tools online can be beneficial to your members, but only if those resource and tools work on the devices that association members use daily. Offering resources and tools online can be beneficial to your members, but only if those resource and tools work on the devices that association members use daily. 8. 8Theres a lot of talk about clouds as of late and their usage will continue to increase as a means to store data. Organizations are increasingly hosting data and information on cloud-based systems. Applications are increasingly being offered through the cloud. There is also a trend for people to access and store filesTrend 4: Cloud Storage and the Personal Cloudthrough cloud storage systems. Services such as Dropbox, iCloud, and Google Drive allow individuals to store and share their data and access it from any device with an internet connection.One of the greatest benefits of cloud storage for mobile devices is the ability to access a wealth of information that may have been difficult or impossible to access if the data had to be stored directly onto a users device.Why the Cloud?Cloud storage enables users to download and upload data using different types of devices. Users can access their files from any device with an internet connection. Associations can leverage cloud technology by storing resources in the cloud. It may also be worth considering integrating with cloud storage providers so that users can store files and resources on their own personal clouds. If you offer resources or articles, a user can save the information that is most relevant to them for future use. Whether a user accesses your site from a mobile app, a tablet, or a desktop, cloud storage and cloud storage integration could potentially be powerful tools.If your association offers educational opportunities or conferences, cloud storage may be a helpful replacement for printed materials, saving paper and reducing printing expenses. Attendees of a seminar can access resources by downloading or accessing files through the cloud, rather than using printed materials. 9. 9Trend 5: Mobile Proximity Technology(NFC and BLE)In 2013, the roll out of iOS7 and Android 4.3 included support for bluetooth low energy, exposing more opportunities to incorporate new proximity features and services via your smartphone.Proximity technology such as Near Field Communications (NFC) and BLE will increasingly be discussed as a means to accomplish many location-based tasks. Near field communication uses electronic tags to store data, similar to other radio frequency identification (RFID) systems, like passports and work ID tags. The electronic tag on a mobile device is placed within close proximity (2 inches) to another device that can read the frequency. While NFC requires very close proximity for action, BLE is optimized for greater distances for example a 10 foot radius around a device (max. 200 ft). Unlike classic bluetooth, BLE is designed not to drain your battery.Proximity technology can be used to transfer data or information, such as financial data, contact information, and files. NFC and BLE may be increasingly used for payment. These are emerging technologies that will see movement in 2014.NFC and BLE have many practical uses for associations. At a large conference, an electronic boundary of beacons can be created to sign attendees in and out. NFC and BLE are perfect for networking events. Two people at a conference can exchange contact information based on their proximity to each other. In an event app, attendees can easily find booths or other attendees. Expect to see proximity technology further explored in 2014, especially in mobile event apps.Whats NFC?Electronic tags that store data and that communicate only in very close range to another device. 10. 10Trend 6: Mobile Payment SystemsMore people are using their mobile devices for payment. Mobile payment systems, virtual wallets, and proximity-based payment are trends that will continue to grow over time.Mobile payment systems allow a user to pay for a good or service using a mobile phone or tablet. There are several ways mobile payment systems can be implemented. Virtual or digital wallets store payment information securely so that a user does not need to enter payment information each time they make a purchase. Near field communicationis increasingly being used in mobile payment systems. Using a pin and placing a device within close proximity to a NFC payment terminalMobile payment systems allow a user to pay for a good or service using a mobile phone or tablet.initiates a payment. Given the ease of use of mobile phones, apps are increasingly being used for payment in place of credit cards, even with in-store purchases.There are several ways associations can leverage mobile payment systems, including event registration, membership dues, certification, training, and donations. If a user can identify what they wish to purchase and make that purchase through their mobile device rather than logging onto a larger device to complete a purchase, you can create a mobile experience that is fluid, easy-to-use, and intuitive.Expect increasing attention to be paid to mobile payment systems in the future and consider how your association might leverage this technology.Ways We Use Our SmartphonesText Messaging/SMS 86%Web Browsing 82%Email 75%Social Networking 63%Applications 62%Location-Based Services 48%Streaming Music 38%Mobile Banking 38%Mobile Shopping 30%Video 28%Chart C 11. 11smartphone users, 65% of these applications were to access mobile video (Mobile Consumer 22-23).It may be worth considering how your association can integrate mobile video into pre-existing and upcoming projects to help share information. Videos can be used to share activities, increase engagement, promote learning, and spread information about advocacy initiatives.A growing mobile trend is the use of microvideos (videos around 6 seconds in length). Instead of complex video equipment and video editing software, microvideos require less overhead. Yola adds: a smartphone is all that is needed. As these microvideos are so small, they can be created and uploaded quickly (5 More Trends). Companies like Vine and Instagram, who host these microvideos, have helped remove many of the barriers for small businesses and associations to adopt mobile videoTrend 7: Mobile VideoVideo accounts for much of mobile data traffic and will continue to be a growing trend. Associations have the opportunity to use video to reach people. Yola reports video is much more likely to be shared compared to links or text posts. They are also very quick to digest compared to, say, reading a blog post and are great to quickly show off a skill or the results of a process.9 Associations can utilize mobile video for advertising and for sharing information with association members.If your association is not utilizing video, you are missing a potential outlet to reach members and potential members. Cisco predicts that video will account for 66% of mobile traffic in 2017 (5 More Trends). According to Cisco, mobile video traffic was 51 percent of traffic by the end of 2012.10 Video size alone does not account for the amount of mobile traffic used up by mobile video. According to Nielsen, 40% of U.S. smartphone users watch mobile video once a day or more, 42% several times a week, and 16% once a week.11 Of mobile applications used by U.S.strategies (5 More Trends). If your associations wants to get out a short message to its audience, microvideo is a great solution.How are you utilizing mobile video today or incorporating it into your future plans? 12. 12Trend 8: Mobile AdvertisingGiven that more people are using their phones, focus on mobile advertising is likely to increase in the future. Yola reports: mobile search advertising is expected to grow 100% this year and 54% next year, while mobile banner advertising is expected to grow 100% this year and 54% next year. Yola also reports that mobile click through rates can be ashigh as 18%, while on the Web ad interaction rates are around 1% (5 More Trends).Associations can leverage mobile advertising by incorporating advertising into their mobile apps. In- app banner ads for sponsors and partners offer the opportunity for more revenue to support the work of your association.Thinking beyond the mobile screen, associations can consider the mobile user in other marketing approaches by utilizing QR codes on print and electronic materials that link to apps or discounts.Trend 9: Mobile SecurityGiven the capacity of mobile phones to provide payment systems, use location data, and store and access an incredible amount of information, security is of paramount importance when considering mobile technology. Users want to know that their data is secure. And when considering BYOD programs and cloud storage, organizations want to make sure that their data is being keptsecure.Your association members expect their information and data to be secure. Associations can choose mobile partners who value security and make sure that data is kept safe and that payments are processed with the best safety measures. Additionally, placing your apps inside an OS-specific app store gives your application greater credibility with your users. Phones are powerful devices, but they have access to a great deal of personal and confidential information. Being aware of the need for security and providing mobile tools that are secure will help your association address this concern in 2014 and beyond.Advertising models for laptops and desktops are not so easily translated to the mobile medium. Though mobile offers a huge opportunity for advertising, marketers will need to be creative about how they engage users. The best mobile strategies are device- aware. Yola reports that incorporating click- to-call functionality in mobile ads (being able to call by clicking on an ad) increases user engagement (5 More Trends). When building mobile advertisements or incorporating them into your apps, associations can be most effective by making sure they are targeted towards mobile users. 13. 13A common trend among associations is to utilize mobile applications to create guides for events such as conferences. These interactive event guides have the potential for a great amount of user engagement if there are designed well.If you are looking to try out a mobile app for your association, an event app is a good place to start. The event app as a service model alleviates the need for resident mobile technology knowledge or resourcesTrend 10: Event Apps as a Serviceon the part of the association. The cost of a mobile app for a single event is relatively low and affordable subscriptions make it easy for associations to transition to a membership app that supports all member events and engagements, as well as communications.Aaron Wolowiec of Event Garde adds:When used strategically mobile technology can engage and support members and industry partners both during annual meetings and events, as well as between these in-person gatherings. Although many associations already offer robust calendars of education and networking programs throughout the year, these experiences often dont result in true learning. Two primary elements of learning are retention and transference. That is, we must retain and apply newfound information and knowledge to our workplaces to achieve learning (and, incidentally, to attain a high ROI). Associations are leveraging mobiles capacity for anytime, anyplace information sharing and gathering to support their missions and to promote both learning and networking.Event apps reduce printing costs for events and increase engagement, as attendees of an event can interact with the information most relevant to them. Maps and agendas ensure attendees find their next desired location and have all the materials and tools needed for every session on their smartphones. Integration of social media, audience response polling, and surveying into an event app increases communication between attendees and increases engagement with your association.The current trends in mobile event guides include real-time audience polling, customizable agendas, gamification, video content, geolocation, and CEU tracking. With BLE supported in both iOS7 and Android 4.3, you can expect new location-aware features beyond a venue map included in apps in 2014. As we find ways to creatively utilize emerging mobile technologies, there will be new ways to incorporate these trends into mobile apps. 14. 14ConclusionIf your association is considering addressing your mobile strategy in 2014, you are choosing to address a medium that will continue to see growth in the coming years. The accessibility of cellphones has made them a commonly used device by the average person globally. Your association members and audiences are hoping to access information and resources from your association from their mobile phones. We hope that these 2014 strategic mobile trends will help your association consider and adopt a strategy that works the best for your associations needs and goals.Results at Hand SoftwareResults at Hand Software was founded by the owners of, serving NPOs and associations for over 6 years. [email protected] produces exciting and effective mobile apps for associations, event planners, distributed sales forces, and savvy leaders everywhere. We offer event apps, membership apps,education and training apps, and advocacy apps. We love associations and offer resources and tools catered to their needs. 15. 15Endnotes1: Aaron Wolowiec, Founder and President of Event Garde, provided us with information gathered from his own expertise.2: Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2014, Gartner, October 8, 2013 (https://www. Jeff Smith and Dorothy Tse, Getting Started with Mobile: What Marketers Need to Know, Nielsen, October 1, 2013.4: Mobile Apps: What Consumers Really Need and Want, A Global Study of Consumers Expectations and Experiences of Mobile Applications, Compuware, June 2012. Page 6.5: Michael Kopp, Mobile commerce: 5 trends to watch in 2014, The Future of Commerce, August 30, 2013 ( comScore Reports October 2013 U.S. Smartphone Subscriber Market Share, comScore, December 5, 2013 ( Smartphone_Subscriber_Market_Share).7: Gregory Kennedy, Six Trends for 2014 in Mobile Marketing and Advertising, MarketingProfs, December 2, 2013 ( advertising).8: Scott Campbell, Study: BYOD Brings Employee Productivity Gains, CRN, January 22, 2013 (http://www.crn. com/news/mobility/240146736/study-byod-brings-employee-productivity-gains.htm).9: 5 More Mobile Trends for 2014, Yola, October 7, 2013 ( for-2014).10: Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, Cisco, February 6, 2013. Page 1.11: The Mobile Consumer: A Global Snapshot, Nielsen, February 2013. Pages 26-27.ChartsChart A: comScore.Chart B: United States data. Mobile Consumer, pages 22-23.Chart C: United States data. Mobile Consumer, pages 19-21.Sources 16. 16Additional SourcesThomas Husson and Julie A. Ask, 2013 Mobile Trends for Marketers, Forrester, February 13, 2013.Paul Coggins, Four mobile advertising trends to look out for in 2014, The Guardian, 2013 (http://www. Macy, 4 Big Trends in 2014 -- Social/Mobile/Data in the Cloud, Huffington Post, October 20, 2013 ( Redwood, Four Mobile UX Trends heading into 2014, Simple Usability: Behavorial Research Consultancy, April 2013 ( Mobile Trends to Watch, Yola, September 30, 2013 (, PCMag ( Terms: mobile payment service, RFID, and NFC.ImagesPage 6: Screenshots generated from the website of Indiana Society of Association Executives (http://www. This is one of the only midwest state-level Society of Association Executives organizations with a responsive site.Page 8: Alejandro Escamilla, Unsplash, 2013.Page 10: Emerson Alecrim, InfoWester/Wikimedia Commons, February 28, 2012.Page 11: Intel Free Press, Flickr/Wikimedia Commons, July 18, 2013.Page 12: Alejandro Escamilla, Unsplash, 2013. 17. www.resultsathand.comA powerful eventmobile app thatworks as hardas you do.Results At Hand Software offers iPhone Native apps, Android native apps,and a mobile web app for use at events to streamline communication and addvalue for conference attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, & event managers.ConferenceBeat Provides a deeper engagement for attendees Renders higher value to exhibitors Offers new opportunities for Sponsors to reach target audience Delivers timely and appropriate information to everyone(before, during and after the event) Reduces unnecessary paper and printing GO GREEN Simplifies and automates data entry to free up staff resources