Based on the event “Mobile Hotspot 2014″, which was hosted by Resolution MENA last month, the agency released top five trends to look out for this year.
Mobile will be bigger than web
By 2020, mobile marketing investments will comprise more than 50 per cent of digital budgets worldwide. Smartphone penetration is increasing rapidly, with the UAE and Saudi Arabia leading the global trend. In terms of sales, tablets are the fastest growing device and will overtake PCs by 2017. With smartphones growing at 38 per cent year on year on average, mobile Internet traffic is about to surpass PC Internet traffic. As consumers increasingly rely on their mobile devices to engage with social media (66 per cent), play games (59 per cent) or be entertained (52 per cent), mobile is an approach most brands need to consider. Social platforms have geared their efforts towards mobile as they see engagement levels skyrocket as compared to the web.
Smartphones are consumers’ most personal and influential device
Idleness often leads us to our pockets where we reach out for our smartphone. Millenials have leap-frogged the PC and demand more out of their devices. As they replace the map, the watch, the camera, the newspaper, the bank teller or even the friend’s advice, smartphones have become ubiquitous and essential to our lives. So much so that the opportunities within mobile advertising keep growing. Though they still are rather fragmented, it’s up to us, mobile specialists, to pinpoint the unique ways for a specific brand to add relevance to consumers’ lives with a holistic digital strategy.
A smart use of mobile goes beyond reach
Mobile marketing isn’t about devices but about mobility. It’s about immersing a brand in people’s lives when they are ‘on the go’. It’s not about retrofitting mobile into a traditional or even digital plan, but considering its unique properties from the outset, against the backdrop of a brand’s business objectives. Mobile metrics can extend as far as ROI if enough information is exchanged. Creatively as well, putting mobile first is adding to the effectiveness of the approach, as adapting existing assets is no longer enough. Today’s mobile technology allows for very interesting creative executions with clever targeting mechanics.
Multi-layered approach to innovation
As mobility helps connect, engage and influence consumers, their expectations of their devices but also brands keep growing. To properly engage consumers, brands need to innovate. Realizing that viewers seat in front of the TV with a mobile device, US network AMC increased the engagement with their hit show ‘The Walking Dead’ with a synchronized app to create a second viewing and opportunities for brands to communicate in real-time. Tablets and smartphones extend the reach of TV content reach and open new doors through timely rewards and a two-screen approach, with Twitter and Shazam for example. There’s also more to come in terms of mobile-retail integration and mobile wallets, which will change the purchasing user journey. We expect to see more mobile app brand partnerships and emerging opportunities for brands to capitalize on the popularity of chat over mobile.
Better with numbers
None of this will work without precision in terms of targeting and performance evaluation. In this cookie-free environment, we’re seeing rapid moves in this area to enhance our capabilities. The availability of telco data will enhance our targeting accuracy. While respecting the need for privacy, the richness of data in social mobile allows us to be very precise and effective. Broad targeting is no longer enough and, thanks to new tools and technology, we now can be much more accurate in the identification of, connection and engagement with specific audiences. Mobile marketing professionals in our panel on the topic were very clear on their efforts to use business-relevant performance metrics rather than looser proxies.
Ultimately, Mobile Hotspot made one point eminently clear: mobile marketing will only grow from this point onwards. All the elements are in place to make it one of the most effective media approaches and, as it grows in sophistication and maturity, brands will find in it a powerful communication and business channel.