This article first appeared on The Drum
Over the last two years, advertisers across the globe have been trying to formulate a new playbook to keep pace with the dramatic changes observed in the consumer landscape. Be it meeting consumers where they are in a world with constantly shifting social distancing measures, or joining them in the new exciting virtual realities which have seen huge traction over the last 20 months, brands today must embrace agility and resilience to drive meaningful connection with consumers. We share three key defining trends that will shape brand experiences of the future.
1.) Driving personalized experiences at scale with deterministic audiences
According to Forbes, 91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop from brands that offer them personalized experiences while 71% of consumers feel frustrated when shopping experiences are impersonal. Brands today must rise to the expectations of consumers while respecting privacy.
The need for building your own first-party data or leveraging deterministic audiences has never been more urgent. Despite the need, data quality remains a significant obstacle for brands of all sizes, which means many marketers will struggle to establish the relevant connections that consumers are seeking. But first-party data typically highlights brand-specific interactions, which means it does not provide information about consumer behavior away from any given brand. Second- and third-party data provide brands with information about what consumers do when they’re not directly engaging with the brand. For true omnichannel marketing efforts, marketers need information beyond direct brand engagement. Especially when customer acquisition is a top priority for marketers this year, brands and marketers must embrace data partnerships as a way to enrich their own first-party data. Even in the absence of first-party data, advertisers must find themselves a reliable partner that offers audience intelligence, powers deep consumer insights, and provides personalized advertising across the customer lifecycle as well as attribution in a privacy-compliant manner.
2.) Gaming: the gateway to the metaverse
Last year, gaming remained at the forefront of the entertainment industry which witnessed a revolution with the advent of smartphones; mobile gaming accounted for over 48% of overall revenues, quashing both console and PC gaming. In turn, Southeast Asia has emerged as one of the most viable gaming markets around the globe. With the dominance of premium publishers, such as the SEA group, mobile is poised to account for 69.4% of all gaming revenue in the region.
What’s critical to note is that gaming has become a popular source of entertainment regardless of age and gender, establishing itself as a serious competitor of user attention for social media and streaming apps. While many thought gaming would remain only a short-term fad as a result of lockdowns, Southeast Asians have committed to mobile gaming; with a 2X growth in usage year-on-year.
As consumers begin to explore the endless possibilities of the metaverse, gaming has emerged as a natural channel for brands to explore the possibilities of this new virtual reality. If you played the game Second Life in the early 2000s, or, more recently, Roblox, Fortnite, Haegin’s Play Together, Minecraft, Among Us, then you’ve been part of a mini-metaverse. Today, we find ourselves in mini-metaverses – standalone universes on proprietary platforms that aren’t yet interoperable. In order to keep pace with these exciting developments, it is critical for brands to take the first step with gaming and cement their place in the futuristic realities of the metaverse.
3.) Guiding the post-pandemic consumer along their path to purchase
While digital reliance in every facet of life has exponentially increased, so has the variety of devices that consumers use. Today, media consumption, networking, work, and shopping are happening across a range of connected devices from the desktop to the laptop, tablet, connected TVs, albeit anchored on the mobile. According to estimates from Cisco’s Annual Internet Report (2018-2023), the number of devices connected to IP networks is projected to climb to more than three times the global population by 2023, with 3.6 networked devices per capita. This means that brands should no longer continue to merely broadcast ads and influence consumers with only one channel in mind.
Fundamentally, mobile as a medium has a transformational potential as it primarily connects the media experiences across all the digital channels. Very similar to remote control, it can manage how an individual goes about interacting with media, content, and information throughout the day, which makes it a uniquely compelling medium to supercharge the brand’s advertising potential. Working with cross-identity graphs can truly help reach brands consumers across different mediums and also influence different personas that might be involved in a purchase, be it the influencer, decision-maker, or purchaser.
With the average Southeast Asian spending up to five hours daily on their smartphones, mobile now forms the backbone of brand strategy across the region as advertisers understand, identify, engage and acquire audiences. This involves creating valuable mobile experiences for consumers by focusing on three things: understanding your consumers, meeting them where they are, and enabling them to make informed decisions. Ultimately, brands that do not build on their mobile marketing maturity will be left behind by the competition – and, more importantly, will fail to keep pace with the connected consumer. Resilient brands will focus on leveraging programmatic buying, video, gaming advertising, and data-driven personalization on mobile in 2022.
Interested in learning more about trends that will define mobile marketing’s future? Download InMobi’s Mobile Marketing Handbook here to find out more.