It’s a new year and for many Gartner analysts, it usually means a flurry of inquiries about the Predicts documents we worked on and published in December. And sometimes, a news item pops up during the Christmas-to-New-Year’s break that coincides nicely with a recently published prediction.
This story about Apple’s rumored expansion of Passbook capabilities to include near-field-communications (NFC) including redemption and payment, definitely links to a prediction we published. In the document, “Predicts 2013: Marketing Executives Assume a More Strategic Role” Gene Alvarez and I published the following: “By 2017, 90% of social selling activities globally will be contextually delivered via mobile devices.”
While the Mashable story notes that Apple’s patent application includes a number of items that may or may not make into future versions of Passbook, the story and the application describe scenarios that are spot-on examples of how context will affect marketing and sales via mobile devices.
Passbook is currently billed by as Apple as an app that lets a user store and manage mobile coupons, e-tickets etc., but as noted in “Apple’s Passbook Has Subtle but Powerful Influence,” Gartner noted that “Passbook will be among the first real context-aware technology experiences many consumers will have. “
If you play out the Apple-Passbook-NFC theory by extrapolating from what’s hinted at in the story about the patent, and consider how the role the iTunes store and software play in Apple’s overall strategy, it starts to paint a pretty interesting picture. Content purchases or rentals from the iTunes store, along with purchases made at Apple stores (physical stores or online) can form useful targeting information the company could use to maintain its relationships with customers.
What do you think? Is this scenario something unique to Apple or do you expect other ecosystem players will deliver similar capabilities? Check out the rest of our predictions in the 2013 document to see how they fit into your views (or plans) for the future.
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