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Understanding and exploiting the precise [ANDROID] applications that will drive new revenue opportunities is the larger challenge.

“Everybody’s working on mobile right now — it’s just a question of how fast and how much,” says Julie A. Ask, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research.

Mobile marketing is “a big deal,” says David Rich, president and CEO of ICC/Decision Services, which assists retailers and brand merchandisers in reaching their customers. “It is going to be so ingrained in just how we shop and how we conduct our business. The opportunity is huge.”

Digital coupon applications have received a fair amount of attention, and retailers like J.C. Penney, Best Buy, Kroger and Target have launched programs over recent months. Retailers will need to improve how digital coupons are distributed, how they will promote the application and how they will get them into the hands of consumers.

Steve Roberts, CEO of ShopText, a provider of mobile promotion response and loyalty programs to brands and retailers, says mobile marketing applications will need to engage consumers to opt in to programs by creating a new direct-to-consumer channel. Texting is inherent to smartphones, and retailers need to create opportunities for ongoing messages to trigger transaction fulfillment to club, rewards, debit or credit cards, Roberts says.

Rather than trying to jam web content and video into smartphones’ limiting form factor, the marketplace’s approach to the smartphone should be akin to that of a “handheld mouse”: The point is for consumers to create a point-and-click, see the text and fulfill the…

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