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As I write this article there are 39 days to go before we usher in the next leap year. The year 2011 has been a tremendous year in mobile marketing. We saw an increase in the use of smart phones, text messages, mobile money transfers and advertising. The number of business people paying a keen attention to mobile marketing saw a sharp rise. In addition, this was the year legendary founder of Apple Steve Jobs passed on. As we prepare to enter 2012, here are seven things mobile marketers can expect. 1. Mobile text messages. According to Portio Research 6.9 trillion SMS were sent in 2010 while this is expected to rise to 8 trillion in 2011. The year 2012 will see consumers showing strong demand for SMS in addition to MMS and mobile instant messages (IM). 2. Mobile smartphones. According to IDC 302 million mobile handsets were shipped in 2010 which represents 21.8% of total mobile shipments. In 2012 the number of smartphones will sharply rise. In addition, smartphones that come to the market will get smarter with more functionality and ease of use. 3. Mobile advertising expenditure. According to Gartner mobile advertising expenditure was $1.6 billion in 2010 and this number is expected to rise to $3.3 billion in 2011. The year 2012 will certainly see a sharp rise in mobile advertising, possibly double the 2011 figure. And as expected Asia will continue to dominate the global ad spending; a whopping 77% of mobile users, according to the International Telecommunication Union, are in this region. 4. Google moves. Google earns in excess of a billion dollars in a year from mobile advertising. It is expected that in 2012 the company will position itself to generate more revenue from this source. Key adjustments are expected in the mobile search results, and localization of mobile searches. Apparently, locally targeted ads constitute 51% of total US ad spending. 5. Mobile money transfers. According to Gartner there will be 141.1 million m-payments with a total value of $86.1 billion in 2011. The year 2012 will see global giants like EBay, Google, PayPal, and Skype enhancing their mobile payment systems. In addition, developing countries where there is a low banking penetration will witness a bigger reliance on mobile payments. 6. Mobile handsets. Mobile subscribers will grow from the current 5.3 billion. We expect the USA to come closer to 100% penetration rate as more people get connected especially in Africa where penetration averages 50%. 7. Facebook access. According to Facebook official page, there are currently 350 million active users that access Facebook on their mobile phones. My prediction is that in the year 2012 this number is expected to rise. In addition, Facebook use is expected to spread to other parts of the

developing countries that currently have low mobile penetration. Final thought... As the Google CEO, Eric Schmidt said in 2010 the future is mobile. And any marketer, business owner out there who hasn't yet though of mobile marketing should reconsider his position. This mobile marketing wave is not about to stop.

Mary Wilhite is a Mobile Marketing Specialist, also known as the Mobile Marketing Queen. Teaching small businesses, entrepreneurs, and internet marketers how to attract better customers with mobile marketing devices. Get more of her mobile marketing tips, tricks, and strategies today. Just click here

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