Anthony Del Gigante | February 05, 2020
By Anthony Del Gigante
What mobile trends are likely to have a major impact on marketing in the coming year?
This question is particularly difficult to answer in 2020, as we are in a period of transition: current mobile technologies continue to transform consumer and business behaviors in crucial ways, but the effects of the next big innovation, 5G wireless, will likely not be felt this year.
As Forrester Research put it in a recent report: “Yes, [5G] will be important for industrial players, but for consumers, 5G in 2020 will look like 3G in 2004 or 4G in 2010. ”
In other words, 5G is something you should definitely think about, but unless your business is in the wireless industry, the technology is unlikely to affect your marketing efforts until 2021.
So what will count this year? Mobile experts at MDG Advertising looked into the research and identified these seven key mobile trends that marketers should watch closely in 2020:
1. The rapid growth of m-commerce
M-commerce is nothing new: people have been using their mobile devices to make purchases for several years now.
What is new is the scale of m-commerce. Thanks to developments such as increasingly sophisticated shopping applications and social media commerce integrations, more people than ever are expected to turn to their phones or tablets for purchases in 2020.
How big will m-commerce be this year? Mobile sales are projected to reach $ 284 billion in 2020, or roughly 45% of the total e-commerce market in the United States.
2. The Ever Changing Nature of Social Media Content
A few years ago, social media was relatively established: Facebook dominated the landscape with its news feed, made up mostly of text and photos.
The times have changed. While Facebook remains immensely popular, it’s used by 69% of American adults– it now faces fierce competition from other networks. Specifically, a younger audience is adopting platforms such as YouTube, Instagram (which is owned by Facebook), Snapchat, Twitter, Twitch, and TikTok.
Much of these changes are due to mobile: smartphones have sparked the adoption of new apps and, more importantly for marketers, new types of content. On social media, text and photos are now complemented by a host of mobile formats, such as short, vertically oriented stories and videos. In 2020, expect the nature of social media content to continue to change as different platforms continue to innovate in offerings for mobile audiences.
3. The tremendous growth of mobile gaming
It’s hard to overstate how important mobile gaming has become. A few years ago, in 2017, most gaming revenue was driven by sales of console and PC titles. Now, mobile games represent 57% of all industry revenues.
This tremendous growth is not only driven by hardcore gamers: in 2020, some 213 million Americans are waiting to play games on their smartphones and tablets. In other words, mobile gaming is embraced by everyone.
Last year Netflix declared that he sees Fortnite as a bigger competitor than HBO. It might sound strange, but it makes a lot of sense – thanks to mobile, gaming is becoming an essential media channel.
4. The significantly improved quality of in-app advertising
Although they are well aware of the popularity of mobile apps, many marketers have struggled to effectively use the channel for advertising. This is largely because the experience has been difficult: bot fraud has been rampant and complex campaigns have been difficult to run.
These problems are finally resolved. Fraud is on the decline thanks to the concerted efforts of major industry players, and ad platforms make it much easier to create sophisticated in-app campaigns.
Thanks to these changes, expenses are expected to jump into 2020 and beyond, with advertisers increasingly adopting a wide range of different formats, including in-app banner ads, interstitial ads, rich media ads, video ads, and native ads.
5. The Incredible Effectiveness of Location-Based Mobile Ads
Smartphones have delivered the holy grail to marketers: the ability to serve location-targeted ads while consumers are on the go.
Not surprisingly, this combination of the right place and the right time has proven to be incredibly effective. That’s why brands of all kinds, from local dentists to global retailers, are increasingly focusing their ad spend on format.
Expect this trend to continue: spending on location-targeted mobile ads expected to rise to $ 31.1 billion this year, up from $ 26.5 billion in 2019.
6. The continued rise of mobile audio marketing
Because smartphones and tablets provide so many visual opportunities for brands, marketers sometimes overlook the audio opportunities they offer. This is a mistake, because listening to content, from Spotify playlists to Headspace meditations, is a key behavior of the mobile audience.
One area in particular that is booming is podcasting: some 51% of Americans to say they now listen to podcasts, with most claiming to engage outside the home (i.e. in the car or using a mobile device on the go).
Podcasts are especially important for brands because they are a simple channel to deliver engaging audio ads to a wide range of audiences. This ability, combined with the growing popularity of the content type, is why podcast ad spend is expected to grow rapidly. projected to reach $ 863 million this year and exceed $ 1 billion in 2021.
7. The Powerful Benefits of Programmatic Mobile Ad Purchases
Finally, here’s great news for marketers: Mobile advertising is getting more and more powerful. This is largely because large advertising platforms are making their programmatic and real-time (RTB) bidding tools much more sophisticated by adopting technologies such as AI and machine learning.
While in the past, mobile ad purchases often involved a lot of tinkering and manual guesswork, now marketers can just set a few parameters and let the ad platform find the best placements.
Programmatic buying is becoming the norm in all formats. For example, 69% of the global display inventory is expected to buy programmatically this year, which means advertisers should see ever greater efficiency gains. This should prepare brands well for mobile marketing both in 2020 and well beyond.