What a whirlwind 2016 has been for the mobile marketing industry. We have been seeing more creative, integrated mobile marketing campaigns that go beyond conventional display advertising, as new technologies and innovations unlock a myriad of possibilities for deeper, more meaningful consumer engagement.
It’s not surprising then that among marketers we surveyed, 61% believe that mobile is critical to the future of the company. Here are five key predictions for mobile marketing in 2017.
- Voice search is the new search
The movement away from mobile browsers in favour of apps, especially among Generation Z, will give voice search a significant boost. Coupled with enhanced voice search apps supported by increasingly sophisticated AI technology such as Siri and Google Now, and greater ownership of wearable devices with voice control. The fundamental question for marketers will be whether they are truly speaking the same language as voice searchers.
- Interact, not just advertise, through messaging apps and chatbots
In terms of overall usage and number of sessions, messaging apps are growing in dominance – Facebook Messenger, Kakao Talk and WhatsApp are some of the world’s leading messaging apps, with WhatsApp boasting over 1 billion monthly active users (MAUs) this year. With MAUs projected to keep growing in 2017, messaging apps presents an opportunity for marketers to engage consumers through content distribution and even commerce.
- More on-demand capabilities to support marketing at the right time and place
So much of everyday life can be accomplished almost instantaneously through mobile these days – you can order a meal through UberEats and it arrives within an hour, you can book a cab through Lyft and it arrives within minutes, you can browse accommodation options on Airbnb and book instantly.
As such convenience becomes the norm, mobile marketing or advertising will become ever more contextual, closely linked to ‘just in time’ products and services, for the right location and occasion, as part of a hassle-free experience. 2017 will see more brands across various industries ramping up fulfilment time and prioritising user experience through more sophisticated use of complementary on-demand technologies that help complete the transaction quickly for the customer, from cloud services to mobile CRM systems. To stay competitive, marketers must support their marketing and advertising with on-demand capabilities.
- Experiential marketing through advertising across media and platforms
This year, we’ve seen how much potential mobile has to offer – but it can be so much more when combined with other media. As new technologies emerge, marketers will increasingly integrate mobile with other platforms to better engage consumers in more creative ways.
Given such multimedia connectivity, we can expect more marketers next year to integrate the digital and physical worlds via mobile to create interactive and immersive experiences. If the explosive success of Pokemon Go is any indication, advances in virtual reality is set to take the world by storm soon.
- Mobile payment brings marketing closer to conversion
With the heightened popularity of digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, mobile payment has been the talk of the town this year. By 2019, digital wallets are predicted to be the most popular payment method, overtaking credit and debit cards, according to a report by payment processing company Worldpay. Convenience of contactless payments is cited as a top reason driving the adoption of mobile payments, and as seen with India’s recent demonetisation announcement, the move to digital currency especially through mobile is only a matter of time.
Seamless commerce transactions via mobile will soon become the norm as mobile is slated to put a buy button everywhere – we’ve already seen this on Facebook, Google and Twitter, and will certainly welcome more in the coming year. The time is ripe for brands to ensure that their mobile advertising is closely linked to a seamless payment and transaction experience.