In the end of 2016 it is appropriate to look ahead. Let’s try to predict what trend will dominate the mobile marketing industry at 2017. We have spotted 7 mobile marketing trends a mobile marketer should keep an eye on next year. Have something to add? Please feel free to share your predictions in the commentaries.
Rise of the mobile traffic
The most important mobile industry benchmark of 2016 was definitely the mobile traffic volume exceeding the desktop one. It took 2 years for the takeover actually occur because the number of mobile users exceeded the number of desktop users a long time ago, in early 2014. Mostly this had happened due to the growth of emerging markets where the population made great use of smartphones for Internet access. As it can be derived from the chart below, YoY desktop users growth rate will gradually slow down while the YoY mobile users growth rate will face the further increase.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
IDC estimates the worldwide revenue for AR & VR to rise from $5.2 billion in 2016 to $162+ billion in 2020. Pokémon Go was actually not only a game, but a benchmark that showed the readiness of the society to accept the rules of augmented reality. In 2017 we are ready to meet new AR apps, AR advertisement, AR education technologies, etc. VR is only at a stage of adoption but the hardware is expected to become more and more priceless and common. AR & VR are entering the consumers’ life, and the early birds will lead the industry.
Self-sufficiency and independence of mobile market counterparts
Advertisers and publishers now know the ropes, and apply new technologies and approaches easily. It’s been awhile since app developers and mobile website owners depended on managers of the networks and agencies. Ad platforms now offer self-serve decisions, there are tons of solutions allowing to create video ads and promo creatives without any Photoshop knowledge, etc. Online economy, including mobile, has grown lots of individuals and small businesses who aren’t ready to cede the job. And they are not ready to pay managers for promotion or monetization.
Сonsolidation of big players
2016 brought a lot of mergers and acquisitions, and this trend will continue in 2017. The thing is that vertical consolidation will sooner or later bring us to oligopoly when most of the traffic and promotional platforms will be concentrated in the hands of large corporations. The mobile marketing counterparts will probably concentrate on mergers and acquisitions to build a full chain service of the app promotion including app creation, ASO, user acquisition, fraud detection, tracking and analytics, remarketing, etc.
Growth of Video
Video is expected to growth both as live streaming trend and video ads. In June more than 50% of US adults watched video ads daily, and 32% of the daily time spent viewing video was through tablets and smartphones. Video ads seem to be more preferable for users, increases brand awareness and engagement, and lead to conversions. According to IAB, in 2016 advertisers were going to spend more than $10 million on digital and mobile video advertising, and this sum doubled in last 3 years. Mobile video spendings showed 28% increase over the period 2014-2016. Do not forget that video advertising has yet to hit the emerging markets, that’s gonna be something mobile advertisers should not miss.
78% of eMarketer respondents confirmed increasing spendings on location-based mobile advertising in 2016. Along with the rise of small business in mobile industry and convergence of mobile and offline, the foot traffic data and location-based data become increasingly important. We expect the more small offline business go mobile with their own apps, mobile payments and the growing demand for location-based ads in social media to engage customers on spot. Location-targeted mobile advertising in the USA is expected to reach $29.5 billion by 2020, showing the YoY growth at 25%.
Last Google and Apple updates are aimed to erase the borderline between apps and web experience. Instant apps, AMP (accelerated mobile pages), PWA (progressive web app) will provide mobile users with the same interaction as an app, while Apple Pay and Siri are brought to desktop. It may reflect that users prefer the platform-agnostic user experience, and this is also the hidden trend for majority of community.
Winter holidays is a right time to overthink the mobile strategy. The trends described are just opportunities, choose wisely only those relevant to your business.