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Nine Mobile Marketing Trends for 2014: The Year of Turning Ideas into Marketing Magic

Posted on December 30, 2013
By Shamala DN

2013 was a year where many businesses started to prioritize their effort on emerging services like mobility, cloud and analytics. Tablets and smartphones are more popular than desktops and mobile devices have surpassed desktops in enabling people to do more on the internet regardless of physical location. The growth in the mobile sector and ecosystem within the past two years has been impressive. With the total value of mobile traffic having already increased multi-fold this year, mobile advertising has gained huge prominence and become hot tech topic.

Mobile communications will further evolve as mobile operators continue to invest heavily in next generation mobile infrastructures. The number of mobile phone subscribers is expected to outgrow the world’s population in the coming year and this is expected to impact business models, empower consumers, and improve collaboration and marketing.

With so many people using smartphones and tablets, mobile strategy is going to be more important than ever in 2014. A new year is a time for change and another chance to do things the best way possible. It’s important to look back at the way businesses were marketing to customers in 2013 and how they can improve in the new mobile year. Let’s take a look at the top mobile trends for 2014. This is where business can start looking at innovative mobile marketing strategies to ride the mobile wave and improve their positions in global marketing.

1. Programmatic Buying – The latest ad technology is geared around automated buying and selling as ad exchanges, supply side platforms and mobile ad networks reach for scale. Programmatic ad buying and selling is changing the mobile landscape and is growing in fast in developed internet markets. Advertisers have been quickly won over by the ability to bring together the combination of historical intent combined with profile and behavioral data in real time through these new automated technologies. Mobile already accounts for 19% of all programmatic spend in the U.S. With mobile display ad spend set to grow much faster than online worldwide, mobile programmatic will quickly become the norm.

2. Wearable Technology – Wearable technology is changing the way we interact with technology and daily life. This advancement is providing businesses with opportunities never before imagined with new products to market on, such as Google Glass and smart watches. As wearable technology gains popularity and becomes integrated into everyday life, marketers who take advantage of wearable technology’s ability to make interactions effortless for consumers can benefit in establishing a strong connection and provide unique experience.

3. Improved Location Targeting – There is a lot of excitement around location-based mobile marketing and the strategy has grown tremendously over the last few years. In 2014 location-based targeting will only improve further. Reaching consumers where they are and converging both digital and real worlds means the right ad at the right place and at the right time. It brings value to consumers helping them find products and services where and when they need. Marketers can use location patterns with existing customer data to deliver custom messages by serving relevant, time bound offers based on their profiles and travel patterns.

4. Mobile Ad formats – As mobile advertising grows, new ad formats are likely to come up. Facebook’s insertion of native advertising into news feeds, Twitter’s promoted tweets, and Instagram’s in-stream ads are a few examples of the new, successful ad formats introduced this year. 2014 will see brands and developers discover more creative ads involving innovative rich media formats. Continuous growing network connectivity speeds will enable brands to test new creative formats, including mobile video, moving away from the standard mobile banner ads.

5. Mobile Big Data – Big data is said to anchor the next revolution in mobile industry. Spending on big data has risen tremendously over the previous few years and 2014 will see further growth. Mobile big data comes in many forms, smartphone penetration, consumer usage patterns, mobile apps and other services working in the background. As the mobile penetration grows, the data from mobile becomes even more important and this data can be used to optimize and personalize mobile experiences. Location data is the primary component of mobile big data which differentiates mobile from online helps transform the mobile advertising industry. The ability to deliver real time, local targeted advertising represents a significant evolution in the mobile ad market. These data points provide mobile app marketers with a wealth of knowledge on user behavior that wasn't previously available.

6. Mobile Video – According to research firm Yankee Group, 2014 will see mobile video viewing levels equaling PC for the first time. Faster wireless networks, better devices and affordable data plans will enable this change and will result in people spending increased time watching video content on mobile devices.Mobile video ads are expected to become the top ad format in the coming year along with new mobile ad formats discussed above. Facebook’s introduction of video on Instagram and the success of Twitter-owned Vine has created new avenues in mobile marketing via social networks. According to eMarketer, US ad spending for mobile video is set to quadruple from this year’s $518 million estimate to nearly $2.1 billion in 2016. This represents tremendous opportunity for marketers to tie in video ads as consumers are active on both social media and mobile as second screen.

7. Rising Mobile Currency – Thewidespread adoption of smartphones has seen a rise in the adoption of mobile wallets. Instead of paying cash or credit card the consumers now can use a mobile phone to pay for wide range of goods and services. As mobile continues to grow at huge pace in developing nations, mobile payment solutions are being deployed as a means of extending financial services to the unbanked community. This is bound to create enormous demand for mobile advertising services and technologies as brands seek to target existing and prospective customers.

8. Mobile Messaging – Mobile-focused social messaging apps such as Snapchat, Pheed, WeChat, WhatsApp etc. are growing their monthly active users at tremendous rates meaning consumer interest in communicating on these platforms and mobile devices in general is high. These apps allow users to communicate with text, images, video and other media in real time on simple, visually appealing platforms. Although this isn’t a trend, it still represents the growing number of customers for these apps on mobile phones today. This data presents a massive opportunity for businesses to get in front of their customers and take an active role in discovering the best mobile marketing messages for these platforms.

9. App Marketing – Over the last few years, app promotion was all about reaching the top positions in the chart through incentivized download generation. This year the strategies shifted toward a more CPI (click per install) sensitive approach through non-incentivized downloads. As mobile advertising continues to evolve, the metrics used to gauge the effectiveness of campaigns have also evolved. 2014 will see new metrics with a clear focus on generating ROI based positive campaigns. New metrics such as consumer lifetime value (LTV) and average revenue per user (ARPU) are evolving and these will be analyzed carefully in accordance with the business model of the app.

Every year analysts predict that the coming year will be ‘the year of mobile.’ While there is no doubt that the last few years have seen a tremendous growth in mobile ecosystem, newer developments and evolving mobile business models promise 2014 to be a huge year for mobile business. In 2014, businesses will need to be responsive and quickly adapt to changes in the ways consumers communicate. It will also be essential to adopt technology-driven strategies to engage consumers. While mobile will remain high on everyone’s priority lists in 2014, there will be growing pressure from both brands and publishers to extract more value and accountability from mobile advertising.

All in all, 2014 is definitely going to be an exciting year for mobile advertising.

Have a safe and healthy New Year!

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