ILM East: Anything but SoLoMotion

BIA/Kelsey mobile analyst Mike Boland set up some key themes governing the fast growing work of SoLoMo (social-local-mobile, a coinage of venture capital icon John Doerr) at the opening of today’s Mobile SuperForum at ILM East in Boston.

Boland noted 2010 was a breakout year for check-in, with the bar being raised in 2011 via concrete business models emerging to offer consumers things to see and buy around them. SCVNGR is already monetizing from driving brand engagement and direct response, for example.

Boland described the current environment as the Friendster stage of LBS, referring to the era around 2004 when Friendster was flying high, the point being today’s high fliers may not necessarily be the longer term winners. Which companies will be the Facebooks of LBS, and which will be the Friendsters?

Ultimately, winning in the check-in space will involve understand preferences from check-in behavior. “What were my last 40 check-ins, and what do they say about who I am?”

Boland also expects deals and group buying to break out in mobile, a development he thinks is overdue. Early examples of this are Groupon Now, and efforts from LBS companies like SCVNGR and Foursquare.

Finally Boland cited BIA/Kelsey’s mobile forecast and noted that locally targeted portion of mobile ad spend will grow rapidly. He cited figures from mobile local ad networks that show click-through rates are substantially higher on mobile than the desktop.

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