Thursday, March 26, 2015

The mobile marketing trends in 2015 are shifting: many of the trends predicted last year are coming to fruition, AND others that we couldn’t possibly predict are cropping up. Here are six trends that we will see in 2015 and beyond.

1) mCommerce and the mobile wallet.

We’ve seen the mobile wallet before. Google Wallet and Apple Pay have been trying for years to get consumers to use their services and, until now, other mWallet services have been too clunky to warrant any adoption. But things are changing in 2015: consumers are starting to embrace mobile payment options. Millennials are the biggest mobile spenders, with 39% of their demographic purchasing more than $50 a month in services or goods via their smartphones. Apps like Square Cash and Amazon Prime make it easy; even banking apps are getting on board. And with Starbucks’ app boasting over 7 million mobile payments per week, no one can deny the money to be made.

2) Engagement trumps market share with “deep linking.”

Greater engagement with consumers is taking precedent over market share for mobile marketers. While most consumers are spending their time searching for products and services over their smartphones, they are still returning to their desktop computers to complete a purchase. Mobile marketers are attempting to overcome the switch, therefore, through a technique called “deep linking.” Deep linking allows a link to take you to a particular place within an app. For example, if you see an ad within a mobile game that is re-advertising that Pebble smartwatch you’ve been eyeing, the deep link will take you within your Amazon Prime app – directly to the page where you can buy in one click. The idea of deep linking circumnavigates the need for consumers to search again for another product they want.

3) Beacons go mobile (literally).

Beacons create curated mobile experiences whenever you enter a storefront, allowing marketers to cater to individual customers through either their own apps or targeted ads within other brand-agnostic apps. In 2015, beacons have received an upgrade – the beacons themselves are now mobile, attached to bicycles, cars, and other objects using digital stickers.

4) Proximity targeting expands to more locations – and next gen devices.

Proximity targeting has undergone a boost similar to beacons. As you pass by certain locations, suddenly you will see ads popping up in different applications based on your proximity to the business. Many brick-and-mortar locations are taking advantage of proximity targeting. Furthermore, consumers can expect to see targeted ads based on their location both on their smartwatches and in their next gen automobiles by the end of this year.

5) Mobile marketers adopt geotagging as a valuable source for data.

Because geotagging has become commonplace on social networking sites, mobile marketers are taking advantage of the activities in a given area. Location searches will provide local information about those who are geotagging certain events and activities, allowing marketers to maximize the value of local ads by boosting awareness about what is going on and where.

6) Entertainment consumption and gaming goes through the roof.

Candy Crush and Clash of Clans dominated the mobile gaming industry in 2014, and they still garner new users to this day. The domination of these games hasn’t stopped other programmers from copying their model: look at any of the top selling gaming apps and you will see that the majority of games are similar to Candy Crush or Clash of Clans. Even the icons for the apps look similar to Clash of Clans: the image of an open-mouthed hero has worked wonders in converting prospects into customers.

Entertainment for mobile has also grown in 2015. Content providers are seeing mobile as a separate distribution channel from cable and streaming, and companies like Cartoon Network, ESPN, and the History Channel are creating content for on-the-go consumption. Many of these programs target younger audiences or gamers and, therefore, the idea of augmented reality applications for mobile isn’t such a fantasy anymore (using Oculus Rift AR or the like).

The mobile marketing trends of 2015 are blowing up: mCommerce, location-based notifications, wearables and entertainment for mobile are the highlights that we’ve seen this year. As we watch how these trends will grow for the rest of the year, imagine the outcome of mobile marketing – which generated $32.71 billion globally last year – and how it is poised to become the most important aspect of any marketing campaign in 2016.