The mobile phone has been the star of the year 2015 and will continue to shine through 2016. In my opinion, these are the key trends that will drive the mobile marketing industry in the coming year.
1. Smarter data, sharper results
Today, we are living in an "on-demand economy" and companies such as Airbnb and others have made the concept of shared economy a reality. Similarly, in the mobile marketing space, "data-pooling" will become a reality in the coming year. Today, rich data is sitting at multiple places such as telcos, e-commerce firms, taxi apps and others. All of these companies possess certain insights on customers. In 2016, we will see a scenario where data from multiple sources are integrated with each other. This integration will enable marketers to derive richer insights on their users. That said, potential partnerships can emerge between companies who have data and those that can monetise this data. Ad Tech firms will be at the forefront of this trend and will bring together data sets from multiple sources.
While 2015 saw "appification" gain momentum, we will witness the shift to an era of "apptimisation" in 2016.
2. "Apptimisation" is coming
While 2015 saw "appification" gain momentum, we will witness the shift to an era of "apptimisation" in 2016. E-commerce and mobile-first companies will start evolving their campaign objectives and focus on value creation over just user acquisition. In the current scenario, marketers cannot force their ads on customers in order to see traction; instead, they have to provide a compelling offer to make them use their products and services using predictive analysis. Marketers will now focus more on attribution modelling, engagement metrics, LTV and active users.
3. Re-emergence of "mobile web"
While apps are gaining traction, one cannot defy the role of the mobile web. This year will see mobile web make a comeback as e-commerce firms and others take into consideration consumer needs. This year, brands will have a renewed focus to ensure that both mobile apps and mobile sites provide an engaging consumer experience.
4. Mobile becomes the new TV
With the launch of 4G, quality of media on the web will be better, making it possible for people to stream high definition videos on their mobile phones. Soon, mobile video will surpass TV viewership and become the preferred source for entertainment and information. Though the adoption of video as a medium is low among brands, consumers are extensively using video through platforms such as Dubsmash, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine to name a few.
5. Money trails: Cash, plastic and now mobile
It's not too long before your mobile number will become your global bank account number or your virtual debit/credit card number. Mobile wallets will be used for everything from recharges to online shopping to ordering food to grocery purchase.
It's not too long before your mobile number will become your global bank account number or your virtual debit/credit card number.
6. Entertainment space to be disrupted
The entertainment arena in India is also headed for disruption, with the gaming space leading this trend. With reducing price points, consumers are opening up to the idea of purchasing virtual items within games. This trend promises to usher in a near term opportunity for the digital gaming space in India like converting Candy Crush Saga coins to Subway Surfer coins or Marvel Future Fight Crystals.
7. Willing and wired
FitBit, Moto 360, iWatch -- everyone wants a slice of the wearables pie. Wearables will see increased adoption in 2016, with the introduction of more affordable devices. Additionally, Oculus Rift and other VR devices will also introduce another new medium of advertising, with integration to popular social media platforms, video channels, and even forms of direct messaging. Apart from these, the connected TV market is also set to explode in 2016.
8. More power to programmatic media buying
As mentioned earlier, we are living in an on-demand economy. The media buying space will be no different. Automation is the future and the use of technology for buying, selling or fulfilling ads will increase substantially. Marketers will look at alternatives to simplify the media buying process, and programmatic will be the answer. If figures are any indication, programmatic media buying is set to consume 30% of budgets in Southeast Asia as it overtakes conventional media buying.
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