As mobile devices become increasingly pervasive and indispensable, today’s consumer is by default a mobile consumer. For today’s consumers, smartphones are with them during literally every part of the day. The mobile phone is way more than a phone now, as the device is how we shop, communicate with others, travel, make payments, take consumer surveys and conduct many more activities.
In the past, mobile used to be thought of as the second screen. That’s no longer the case. Mobile devices have become the most personal screens in our lives, traveling with us everywhere For many people, especially younger folks, mobile is the primary screen, as it is the first thing they see in the morning and the very last thing they look at before going to sleep at night.
In fact, the myriad products and services available on mobile devices have become so central that consulting firm Deloitte refers to it as a “smartphone addiction.” No wonder people look at their smartphones and other mobile technology more than 50 times a day on average now.
“Today, why bother specifying between a consumer and a mobile consumer? Considering the current state of mobile technology, saying global mobile consumer is like saying tiny shrimp or ATM machine - it’s just redundant at this stage,” Richard Thomas, Head of Brand Marketing, North America at InMobi, noted in August 2019. “Every brand today, no matter what space it’s in, must keep the mobile nature of its consumers in mind in everything that happens.”
All this is nothing new. But, too many marketers are only beginning to really grapple with this reality. In 2020, expect far more brands to really understand the mobile nature of today’s consumers and take material advantage of mobile’s many benefits.
“It all goes back to having a mobile strategy that’s based on addressing consumer challenges,” Yory Wurmser, Principal Mobile Analyst with eMarketer, noted.
As Abhay Singhal, CEO of InMobi Marketing Cloud and Co-Founder of InMobi Group noted, this has largely already happened in other global markets like India. It’s especially the case in China, where brands like WeChat and Alibaba address consumer needs and allow their customers to seamlessly consume content, make mobile payments, complete purchases, communicate with others and do just about anything else all through mobile.
“They still want their life to become easier. They still want things to become more automatic, things to become more simpler. They should be able to enjoy time and not worry about how to get from point A to point B, how to shop stuff and so on. So I think those are the things that we believe are going to be critical for marketers in 2020,” Abhay said.
What are the ways in which marketers can take advantage of today’s mobile-first world. One good option is to understand how consumers are already using mobile, and then taking steps to integrate with these habits in mind.
“For example, if you’re a retailer, you want to figure out how your site or app can make shopping easier, how to make payments seamless, and how to notify loyal customers of new deals,” Yory said. “You’ll also continue to see more seamless mobile payment integrations to make the mobile buying experience better.”
In addition to mobile wallets, content can be a great way to get in front of mobile consumers as well. People often turn to their phones for entertainment, and that presents a major opportunity for mobile marketers of all stripes.
“I think historically publishers have avoided creating content because it's very costly. I think that the ways in which you can monetize content today, especially in the mobile ecosystem, have made such strides that even if you tried it in the past, the creation of content may actually be a good business for you today where it wasn't three years ago,” Mike Brooks, SVP of Revenue at WeatherBug, said.
Nevertheless, no matter how marketers decide to incorporate mobile into their marketing and advertising plans, it’s critical to keep the user front and center of everything. What do they really want, and how can mobile help you deliver what they want to them? In 2020, successful brands will take this creed to heart while also respecting personal information.
“Brands of late sometimes trip over themselves in trying to come across as authentic or ethical for their audience. They should be asking themselves what their users want, how are they fulfilling their wants and needs? Once marketers have tailored their messaging, they have the flexibility of marketing through all the modes mentioned above and observing how users respond across them,” Jason Hicks, EVP of Growth at Kochava, said.
No one knows for sure what will happen in the future, but all signs point to plenty of opportunities in the realm of mobile technology for marketers and advertisers in 2020. As our group of experts pointed out, savvy businesses will use all of the screens and data available to them to better understand, identify, engage and acquire the right consumers in the new year, in order to drive real connections with them.
“Apps, which somehow managed to create this close bond between a user and a brand that websites never quite could, emerged as the winner in mobile over the past few years and will be a big focus to drive engagement in 2020. The numbers prove it: App users spend 20x more time with content than mobile web visitors, apps engage and convert 3x better than mobile websites, and apps get 16x more usage minutes per month than their mobile web counterparts,” noted Mada Seghete, Branch’s Co-Founder and Head of Strategy.
But 2020 won’t be without its challenges. Privacy, transparency, trust and fraud will continue to be key talking points and areas in need of sustainable solutions throughout the year.
2020 is shaping up to be a watershed year. By understanding what is likely on the horizon, marketers can steer a steady course and see quality returns from their efforts.
“Enterprises will need to reshape their business models to stay relevant,” Mitel said of mobile devices.
How will brands more effectively understand, identify, engage and acquire mobile-first users? What steps will they take to drive real connections with consumers over mobile? Download InMobi’s 2020 trends report today for key insights on the future from the world’s top mobile experts.
Note: This is the fifth in a five-part series on the top mobile marketing and advertising trends of 2020. The first post covers how mobile in-app advertising overall is likely to evolve and mature in 2020, and the second post covers the top mobile advertising data usage trends of 2020. The third post covered ad fraud and ongoing efforts to boost trust and transparency, and the fourth post discussed OTT and CTV advertising trends. Be sure to stay tuned to the InMobi blog for more predictions, and to see if these trends actually come to fruition in 2020!.
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