Until recently, smartphones had been viewed as the tech toys belonging to those consumers lucky enough to work for generous employers. The recession has definitely taken its toll on the growth rate of smartphone sales. However, Infonetics Research predicts that the number of units sold in 2009 will increase, worldwide, by 14.5% over 2008 levels. In addition, Infonetics Research analyst Richard Webb notes that "smartphone sales will easily outstrip the combined revenue of standard mobile phones by 2012.”
For anyone who has ever dreamed of having a personal robot to clean the house or shovel snow, the future has arrived. ABI Research, which tracks developments in a number of fields, notes that robotic technology is finally ready to break into the mainstream marketplace. This development follows years of commercial and military use of robotic technology.
Technology firms, perhaps sensing an end to the recession, are beginning to increase ad spending. Many of these companies have new products and services to tout. And a recent Wall Street Journal article notes that the increase in advertising is designed to win new customers in a tough market.
Marketers that spend heavily on research and development (R&D) to bring new products ranging from computer software to pharmaceuticals have been hurt as much as other companies during the recession. Yet the majority of large public firms with track records of research and development activity continued to invest in innovation. According to a new report by Booz & Company, these companies, on average, added 5.7% to their R&D budgets despite extreme profit pressure.
Purchasing agents in the technology industry have long been accustomed to being educated on the latest version of a product or service before they sign on the dotted line. The industry standard for the educational process has long been the white paper. Eccolo Media, in its recent B2B Technology Collateral Survey, reports that decision makers read white papers even before they issue an RFP (request for proposal).
Over 200 chief marketing officers and senior marketing professionals recently took part in a survey that uncovers the real wants and needs of marketers. "The Agency of the Future Survey," sponsored by Sapient, offers ad agencies a top-ten wish list of those involved with their company's marketing budgets, and with this information, agencies may be able to better meet the needs of their clients.