April 14, 2014
It seems like 2014 has begun a tipping year for brands and agencies to finally seriously start thinking about mobile in their marketing strategy. Globally ad spend jumped by 105% in 2013, and is predicted to climb another 75% this year for a total of $31.5 billion. The biggest drawback has been marketers getting the education needed for a successful mobile product and a successful ad campaign. It’s a totally new media channel that requires simplification, engagement, and quick response. Companies like Facebook and Yahoo, once completely thought of as a desktop brands, are now calling themselves and positioning as mobile first brands.
That being said, let’s get to the 5 biggest mobile advertising trends for 2014.
1) BIG Data Grows Up: I think we’re all a bit sick of the term ‘big data’, but it’s been coined that way for a reason over the past few years. Mobile opens up a world of data that no other channel can provide, with access to a user’s on-the-go lifestyle, consumption habits, social, transactions and is the fabric to connecting to the world around us – it truly tells marketers who their consumer is. The issue has always been really utilizing the data at hand to its fullest capability. Smart marketers will understand how the data is collected, how it is matched to devices for targeting, how to execute creative based on data, and how to ultimately measure performance. This is all possible now thanks to new ways of matching data, new analytic solutions, new creative units, and new ad platforms. The rise of programmatic buying continues to help out in this area, but still is not the Holy Grail, and unfortunately there is no one-stop solution for this, rather a variety of solutions in tandem. In 2014, 1st party data for re-targeting / modeling, 2nd party data, and 3rd party data should be a part of your strategy to grow your brand and ultimately performance.
2) Mobile Ads stand on its own two legs: Mobile in general has been the little child of desktop in terms of creativity since its inception. This heavily started to change and take shape in 2013, with social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter leading the way. I always like to say that the data normally speaks for itself, and although standard baby banners show some results – new ad units are trumping the results in terms of quality consumers being acquired or engaging with brands. The rage is all about native units in 2014, which allows brands to simply embed their message into a publisher’s site / app and match the look and feel of the publisher, without being intrusive. Understanding how consumers interact and the multiple touch points on a mobile device is key. In 2014 the best brands in mobile will be leveraging data and multiple creative units including Native, Banners, Interstitials, Rich Media, Video, Search and Social to ensure your brand is mobile first.
3) Value of Sponsorships: Some of the smartest brands out there are going beyond just the simple idea of running banner ads and looking at sponsoring apps with large reach / frequency (don’t hear that enough in mobile, eh?). A perfect example of this is taking over and immersing your brand in a sports app. Just think about the amount of time this demographic opens the app just in one day. They’re opening the app because they literally see it as a piece of their life, and by placing your brand messaging in a non-intrusive way – you are now forming a new rich connection that is much more valuable than a standard desktop sponsorship. This is due to the intimacy and brand affiliation with the apps you’re sponsoring. In 2014, brands will begin to understand the value of aligning with already established players in the mobile space to increase their likeability!
4) Mocial is now here: The days of building websites and driving traffic to gain brand exposure or acquire new users is beginning to dwindle. We are now in a new era of social discovery, where consumers are talking about brands and amplifying messages. It’s not really a new thing – social has been booming for years, BUT the way consumers are doing it is mobilizing. As mentioned, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Vine, and the others are drastically becoming or already are mobile first brands. Consumers are not going on desktop to share brand messages, rather they are going to mobile devices. Flurry’s most recent study shows 86% of usage is within apps, and as a brand – being where your consumers are should be the most important aspect to building your business. Just think about it, what do you recall better, the last ad you saw, or the last picture you saw on Instagram? Providing social ad experiences, whether through native, video, social platforms, rich media or any other ad units will be key in 2014.
5) Quality over Quantity: With over 1 million apps in the iOS App Store and in Google play, the shift from pure number of downloads to quality is changing every day. On iOS, the number of downloads directly effects your ranking. With the number of apps rapidly increasing, the costs to get to a specific rank is beginning to not benefit advertisers like it did in the past. In 2014, the shift to driving quality engaged users, and maintaining them will continue to grow. Brands should stop looking at a simple ‘cost per install’ or ‘cost per download’ and go beyond to measure in-app events from user registrations, purchases, social sharing and more. As mentioned above, with a trend towards mobile and social increasing, so should your strategy on how to achieve that.
2014 is an exciting year for the mobile landscape. It will be a year where things really start to take shape for both marketers to continue to increase the ROI in mobile, and for consumers to finally get the experiences they’ve been asking for. If you’re not getting this education / testing from your agencies or partners, it’s time to make sure you get ahead of the curve before it’s too late.