Mobile Marketing Trends 2015: Top Mobile Predictions from 11 Experts

Loca­tion, mea­sure­ment, and usabil­i­ty among the keys to mobile mar­ket­ing suc­cess in 2015.

Lisa Lacy By Lisa Lacy. Join the discussion » 0 comments

After per­haps a some­what awk­ward ado­les­cence, the mobile indus­try is grow­ing up as it heads into 2015. Mobile is not just geofenc­ing any­more, but rather hold­ing its own as a stand­alone com­po­nent in the media mix. In addi­tion, mobile devices are get­ting bet­ter and more pow­er­ful, which means con­sumers are using them more to do more, which, in turn, is more con­ducive to true cross-chan­nel cam­paigns. Experts agree there is cer­tain­ly room for improve­ment in terms of ful­ly har­ness­ing device capa­bil­i­ties and run­ning cross-chan­nel cam­paigns. In addi­tion, con­sumers are increas­ing­ly will­ing to share per­son­al infor­ma­tion with brands, mean­ing what may have been con­sid­ered creepy and intru­sive not long ago is more tol­er­at­ed and mar­keters have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to cater more specif­i­cal­ly to con­sumer wants and needs. What’s more, new devices like smart­watch­es and ther­mostats only increase adver­tis­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties. Here’s what 11 mobile experts see as the biggest trends in mobile mar­ket­ing today.

Joe Laszlo, Senior Director of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at the Interactive Advertising Bureau

Joe Laszlo If I had to pick two or three things as we wrap up 2014 and start to look ahead, at the high­est lev­el, I’d say loca­tion and loca­tion-aware adver­tis­ing, the trans­for­ma­tion of mobile ad mea­sure­ment and the rise of viewa­bil­i­ty as a mobile ad mea­sure­ment tool and the con­tin­ued evo­lu­tion of mobile ad cre­ative, which might be a copout because it’s a per­pet­u­al chal­lenge to build great, rich mobile ads.

Loca­tion has been a key part of mobile adver­tis­ing since the begin­ning. What makes it trendy now is I think we’re start­ing to see loca­tion grow up and mature and become a real thing. More than just geofenc­ing, it’s tak­ing its place as an inte­gral, but fine­ly inte­grat­ed, part of mobile cam­paigns and not just when you want to reach [con­sumers] with­in a cer­tain dis­tance of a store. There’s more cre­ative and more demand for clar­i­ty and trans­paren­cy and it’s becom­ing more and more a part of the way mar­keters think about return on mar­ket­ing cam­paigns.

The IAB in the past 12 months has real­ly shep­herd­ed a major change in the dig­i­tal indus­try away from impres­sions as the main cur­ren­cy met­ric for dig­i­tal to view­able impres­sions. All the work so far has been focused on PC adver­tis­ing. The stan­dard for viewa­bil­i­ty that we have out in con­junc­tion with the MRC is for desk­top dis­play and video cre­ative, but as desk­top goes, so goes mobile. We’re def­i­nite­ly begin­ning to see ad buy­ers request viewa­bil­i­ty as part of mobile buys and desk­top buys and fast-mov­ing com­pa­nies on the sell­ing side are begin­ning to sell based on viewa­bil­i­ty. Viewa­bil­i­ty in mobile is impor­tant in giv­ing buy­ers more con­fi­dence that ads are seen by the peo­ple they want to be seen by and the mes­sage is get­ting through.

It’s been fun­ny – way back in 2010 to 2012, we felt mobile was this adorable lit­tle tod­dler of a medi­um and every­one liked to pinch its cheeks. From 2012 to now, it’s been in the ado­les­cent stage and surly and we’ve been more focused on how hard it is and the chal­lenges it’s going through and the grow­ing pains and now hope­ful­ly what we’re see­ing around loca­tion and mea­sure­ment is the tran­si­tion to mobile becom­ing a grown-up medi­um, which will take its place along­side TV, desk­top and all oth­er media out there and holds its own as an account­able, trust­wor­thy, reli­able [medi­um].

The things we car­ry around have so many capa­bil­i­ties – not just touch, but motion and where they are in space and ads that play with that and encour­age us to inter­act with the ad beyond just “click here for more info” are excit­ing to cre­ative types as well. We real­ize there’s a lot we can do with mobile ads and tie mobile ads into a brand’s larg­er sto­ry.

Respon­sive design as a capa­bil­i­ty has been around, but as we get into the next year, it may be the year that respon­sive real­ly takes off in terms of help­ing ad design­ers. From small screens up to very big screens and get­ting beyond the capa­bil­i­ties of humans to cus­tom design cre­ative to fit in all the sizes and shapes out there…it will only get worse as peo­ple start to talk about ads on smart watch­es, too.

Rob Grossberg, CEO of TreSensa

Rob Grossberg Profile Picture 4-20-13 copyFirst of all, brands are real­ly strug­gling to con­nect with users on mobile and what is becom­ing clear is the cur­rent way brands have tried mar­ket­ing at users on mobile – fol­low­ing the same approach on desk­top and car­ry­ing over to mobile – mobile is a dif­fer­ent expe­ri­ence and what works on desk­top and TV doesn’t work.

What we’re see­ing and what brands are telling us is that when you look at mobile, it’s not like your com­put­er screen that you are using at work. The phones they have are very per­son­al items. When you’re on it, it’s me time and to be dis­rupt­ed dur­ing your time [with]…push marketing…is even more annoy­ing than rich media.

Even in video on mobile, sec­onds feel like min­utes, so when you have a lit­tle me time and you’re wait­ing in line at Star­bucks and sud­den­ly have to pause while a video loads and the wheel is spin­ning, that’s not a great expe­ri­ence for users on mobile and…brand loy­al­ty has decreased as a result. That sort of push mar­ket­ing on mobile isn’t work­ing.

Where we’ve gone, what we’re espous­ing is the whole native adver­tis­ing mod­el, which is gain­ing more and more trac­tion. We think it’s the native advertising/marketing approach that will win out on mobile, instead of inter­rup­tive adver­tis­ing because it pro­vides users with con­tent they enjoy on mobile and inter­spers­es your brand mes­sage into that con­tent.

Instead of push­ing, you can pull users in and cre­ate con­tent like good video con­tent or oth­er kinds of native mar­ket­ing. That is the trend that’s a big one and we believe in that will take hold. Native mar­ket­ing is going to be the best oppor­tu­ni­ty for brands to con­nect with users on mobile because [it is less] disruptive…[and helps] make that emo­tion­al con­nec­tion with users.

Paul Bremer, General Manager of Rhythm NewMedia, the mobile division of Blinkx

paul bremer_photoFor a while, we looked at mobile as a sep­a­rate enti­ty, a new play thing, but now audi­ence tar­get­ing, stan­dard­iza­tion, and third par­ty val­i­da­tion are start­ing to mate­ri­al­ize in mobile and allow for more uni­form expe­ri­ences.

I think mobile is grow­ing out of an awk­ward ado­les­cence into adult­hood and, as part of that, there’s a much more holis­tic view of media in gen­er­al – and dig­i­tal specif­i­cal­ly — that’s allow­ing mobile to par­tic­i­pate in a more entrenched way in the ecosys­tem than before.

Until recent­ly, [mobile] meant geofenc­ing or very spe­cif­ic loca­tion-based adver­tis­ing based on the assump­tion that mobile con­sumers were most active because of their loca­tion, but the real­i­ty is that mobile con­sumers are doing any num­ber of activ­i­ties, like watch­ing videos.

As more and more pub­lish­ers are putting great pro­gram­ming on every imag­in­able screen, con­sumers are fol­low­ing and will watch the best screen in front of them. New phones like the iPhone 6 are made for great con­tent con­sump­tion and the full-screen immer­sive expe­ri­ence that takes place in the TV envi­ron­ment is also tak­ing place on the smart­phone and tablet.

We’re also start­ing to do mul­ti-screen cam­paigns that take into account the device and plat­form. Because of emerg­ing tech­nol­o­gy, you can actu­al­ly reach the same con­sumer across mul­ti­ple devices and use a TV ad to intro­duce a major mar­ket­ing cam­paign, a tablet to rein­force it and a smart­phone to pro­vide mes­sag­ing to the same con­sumer, mov­ing them down the fun­nel from aware­ness to pur­chase intent.

Mobile’s time has come and not just because of the dis­tinct atten­tion mobile has got­ten recent­ly, but just as impor­tant is the fact that mobile is part of the media mix, akin to when dig­i­tal became part of the media mix after being stand­alone for so long. Mobile video so com­pelling because TV bud­gets are migrat­ing to oth­er medi­ums.

Bryson Meunier, SEO Director of Vivid Seats

Bryson MeunierA few years ago when the iPhone was intro­duced there was this gen­er­al sigh of relief among those who were pre­vi­ous­ly cre­at­ing sep­a­rate expe­ri­ences for mobile users, as the thought was that they wouldn’t have to con­tin­ue doing that since the iPhone (and by exten­sion smart­phones) could access con­tent that could pre­vi­ous­ly only be accessed by com­put­ers. The thought was that mobile and desk­top search results were con­verg­ing as a result of this acces­si­bil­i­ty, where smart­phones would even­tu­al­ly get the same results as users of desk­top com­put­ers. There’s no doubt that this has hap­pened to some extent, as searchers get sim­i­lar, though dif­fer­ent results if they’re using smart­phones to what they would get on a desk­top.

How­ev­er, what I’ve seen hap­pen more in the last year than ever is Google not serv­ing the same desk­top results if con­text implies that the intent is dif­fer­ent, or that some con­tent is less usable on oth­er plat­forms. A great exam­ple of this is Google’s upcom­ing mobile usabil­i­ty update that they’ve hint­ed at, that would effec­tive­ly penal­ize sites for mak­ing a user pinch and zoom their way to con­tent.

Since this has hap­pened (and because smart­phones com­prise more than 50 per­cent of our search traf­fic) I have insist­ed that all con­tent that we cre­ate at Vivid Seats for con­sumers who use search engines pass Google’s mobile usabil­i­ty test. I expect as the algo­rithm rolls out in 2015 that we’ll see many more web­mas­ters pri­or­i­tize mobile usabil­i­ty than they have in the past, and hope­ful­ly even cre­ate con­tent that res­onates in con­text, and isn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly the same across all plat­forms.

In spite of devel­op­ing sep­a­rate inter­faces for smart­phone, desk­top and tablet, Google has real­ly pro­mot­ed the idea that con­tent should work across screens, and I don’t see this idea going away any­time soon. As more con­tent starts show­ing up on more devices, like smart­watch­es and oth­er “smart” con­nect­ed wear­ables and appli­ances, con­tent that doesn’t change based on con­text should be made acces­si­ble to many dif­fer­ent devices. This was a ral­ly­ing cry for respon­sive web design a few years ago, but now we know that these types of expe­ri­ences can be pre­sent­ed through a vari­ety of Google-friend­ly options, includ­ing respon­sive web design, dynam­ic serv­ing and device-spe­cif­ic URLs.

In smart­phone search results now one big dif­fer­ence from desk­top results is that Google gives you the abil­i­ty to open the list­ing in an app or on the web. This is a big change that was intro­duced last Octo­ber, as it was the first time that Google indexed and returned app results when appro­pri­ate. Mobile Web sites are still pre­ferred for mar­keters, as Google only dis­plays app con­tent if the app is already installed on a phone, but this is a trend that opened to all mar­keters in 2014 and will prob­a­bly con­tin­ue to grow as time goes on. Deep link­ing with­in apps makes this pos­si­ble, and I would expect more mar­keters to con­sid­er how the mobile app expe­ri­ence is relat­ed to the mobile Web expe­ri­ence in the new year and how to allow con­sumers the expe­ri­ence that they pre­fer.

The Inter­net of Things has been hypoth­e­sized for a while, but with Google buy­ing Nest for $3.2 bil­lion this year, Google’s Phys­i­cal Web project that they announced in ear­ly Octo­ber, and Apple Pay mak­ing the mobile pay­ments game main­stream, it seems that it’s gain­ing momen­tum like nev­er before. Mar­keters should think about how their prod­ucts and ser­vices might be able to ben­e­fit con­sumers with this “walk up and use any­thing” mot­to that defines the Phys­i­cal Web project.

Whether it’s Google Now, Siri or Cor­tana, search engines of today are in some ways per­son­al assis­tants that not only give you rel­e­vant web pages, but help you to solve prob­lems. Many times with Google today knowl­edge pan­els will answer your ques­tion before you ever get to a web­site. I expect this to con­tin­ue as Google con­tin­ues to build out the “Star Trek com­put­er.”

In the past, pop­u­lar­i­ty was enough for many mar­keters to tar­get cer­tain key­words, but because of voice assis­tants and the new way searchers are using search engines I would expect more mar­keters would con­sid­er the type of query, and whether the best response is a direct answer or a list of results before tar­get­ing. There are also oppor­tu­ni­ties for mar­keters to inte­grate with Google Now and sim­i­lar ser­vices that I expect will only rise in pop­u­lar­i­ty going for­ward.

Shannon Denison, Vice President of Product and Insights at Voltari

shanon_denison_2We’re at this point where con­sumers real­ly own their devices and think about what they want to do with them as opposed to when smart­phones first came out and they were leap­ing off of iPods in terms of con­vinc­ing con­sumers it was some­thing they want­ed and would become a reg­u­lar part of their lives.

If you pull back and look at con­sumer adop­tion of the devices, you have the inno­va­tors doing new and unusu­al things and the mass­es being con­vinced this was a good thing to have. Tech­nol­o­gy and inno­va­tion fol­lowed at a creep­ing pace. We tried to push a lit­tle more in while con­sumers were mak­ing their own adop­tion and uti­liza­tion deci­sions, but now we’ve reached the point where con­sumers aren’t think­ing about “Do I want to use it?” It’s def­i­nite­ly, “I’m using it,” and decid­ing dif­fer­ent ways [to do so].

If you graph the adoption/uptake of new and broad­er activ­i­ties we’re doing on phones – that line is curv­ing up fast now. We’re quick­er to adopt things [on mobile that] we were slow to adopt on the Inter­net, like shop­ping and brows­ing. Think how long it took us to adopt online bank­ing. On mobile devices, it didn’t take too long for us to say we will do bank­ing on our phones as well.

Now it’s almost becom­ing a har­mo­nious sort of – the user push­es a lit­tle and says, “It would be cool if…” and mar­keters can grab tech­nol­o­gy and do some of the things that would be cool, like 1 to 1 mes­sag­ing or, “Turn in two blocks because there’s a ham­burg­er on sale.” Before, it was creepy, but now con­sumers are giv­ing more infor­ma­tion and want to do seri­ous things like bank­ing, deci­sions, work things and then flip and do fun, fam­i­ly social things and say, “Yes, it’s okay if you tar­get me.”

I think many of the things we talked about from a mobile mar­ket­ing per­spec­tive are now becom­ing tech­no­log­i­cal­ly pos­si­ble and con­sumers are start­ing to learn, be edu­cat­ed and par­tic­i­pate and almost push mar­keters for more.

The way mar­keters jumped into the desk­top adver­tis­ing world was very, very mar­keter-ori­ent­ed – I have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to stick an ad here, so I’m going to do that – with no con­sid­er­a­tion to, “Hey, con­sumer, are you cool with that? Is it going to bug you? Are you going to pay atten­tion?”

We often think about response and click-through rates. In dig­i­tal, the rates were vast­ly dif­fer­ent than in the non-dig­i­tal world, yet some­how a less than 5 per­cent response rate was good…In mobile, I think there’s one of these har­mo­nious moments where there’s enough of a feed­back loop and enough variety…and enough inter­ac­tive oppor­tu­ni­ties that mar­keters will pull back and lis­ten to con­sumers more.

Each time we have a new chan­nel, mar­keters run to it and say, “What do we do with it?” and it takes awhile for con­sumers to say what they like and don’t like. Mar­keters that pay atten­tion to that feed­back loop – what­ev­er that looks like – and respond to the feed­back and desires will devel­op the coolest mar­ket­ing tac­tics.

Ben Reubenstein, President of Possible Mobile

16x9_Profile_BenR2I think 2015 is real­ly going to be a year of break­ing away from these tra­di­tion­al means of deliv­ery and focus­ing more on the expe­ri­ence of ads with­in apps because frankly some­thing that every­one agreed in a cou­ple of dif­fer­ent con­ver­sa­tions out at [tech con­fer­ence] Stream and in the wider pop­u­la­tion is that the cur­rent state of ads with­in mobile apps specif­i­cal­ly is a sub­par expe­ri­ence. You have a sit­u­a­tion in which you tap an ad and are tak­en to a full-screen web­site that isn’t opti­mized for the device and ads are served that are not opti­mized for the beau­ti­ful reti­na and HD screens that Apple and Android man­u­fac­tur­ers are putting out.

What we see next year is start­ing to get back in focus and mak­ing sure the ad itself is not only cre­ative and engag­ing, but deliv­ered in a way that real­ly takes advan­tage of the sys­tem. One of the things that we see as a trend is pub­lish­ers of con­tent and folks that have prod­ucts they want to do ads with are com­ing clos­er togeth­er to cre­ate these expe­ri­ences, so they don’t feel bolt­ed on to appli­ca­tions, which is def­i­nite­ly a chal­lenge. Cre­at­ing a more inter­ac­tive, more user-friend­ly expe­ri­ence sounds well and good, but it does have the dis­ad­van­tage of being more cus­tomized and peo­ple have to work hard­er to get there. But, if pos­si­ble, the first ques­tion we ask is, “Does it work?” Our ide­ol­o­gy is if we can apply ana­lyt­ics, met­rics and tweak them, we can turn real ROI from bet­ter ad expe­ri­ences from our appli­ca­tions.

The oth­er bul­let point I want to make sure I com­mu­ni­cate to you is one of the things very impor­tant to mar­keters, and mobile specif­i­cal­ly, is [that mobile is] often out on an island in terms of big strat­e­gy and get­ting a piece of the mes­sage. [Mobile users] might get the same mes­sage, but not the same expe­ri­ence. One of the things we’re focus­ing on is, yes, we’re going to do dig­i­tal, TV and maybe a mobile app, but how does the vision of our adver­tise­ment, mes­sage, how does that go to these dif­fer­ent plat­forms and tell a con­sis­tent sto­ry, so we don’t have dif­fer­ent expe­ri­ences on these dif­fer­ent screens. Users are get­ting infor­ma­tion from the web, desk­top, tablet, TV and phone, so how do we make sure it is con­sis­tent?

A great exam­ple of this is many apps or even mobile web­sites have you sign up to cre­ate an account or join a loy­al­ty pro­gram. Many of these pro­grams have great first offers and what we often see is they have a signup path in mobile apps specif­i­cal­ly, but don’t let users know about the ben­e­fits. It’s not instan­ta­neous. You can then check your email and see an offer, but now that offer is in email and not added to your dig­i­tal wal­let. It’s about doing lit­tle things like that and mak­ing sure the full offer­ing has a seam­less expe­ri­ence.

One of the things, too, is cre­ative. We need to think about mobile cre­ative in a way that is dif­fer­ent than web­site cre­ative. Often­times we see in mar­ket­ing, the same ad going to a web­site or ban­ners serv­ing down to the mobile phone. It’s impor­tant to cre­ate high den­si­ty art­work and have some­one on your team that is respon­si­ble for mak­ing great mobile assets and mak­ing sure the mobile expe­ri­ence is opti­mized and not an after­thought and looks great on these devices that do such a great job of mak­ing rich, beau­ti­ful screens.

John Milinovich, CEO of URX

johnThere has been a shift from acqui­si­tion to reen­gage­ment. If you think about in recent his­to­ry, the fact that mobile dis­tri­b­u­tion has kind of become a solved problem…but now the core focus is how do you get users who have the app to get back in and start using it? In mobile apps for around five or six years, real­ly the focus was on get­ting as many users as pos­si­ble. Now they’re using deep link­ing to get back into apps and there’s a def­i­nite shift towards reen­gage­ment.

Some­thing you have to do is take advan­tage of oppor­tu­ni­ties out there. Com­pa­nies that do a real­ly good job are Spo­ti­fy and Hotel Tonight. I’ll get an email and a push noti­fi­ca­tion when a new song is uploaded from one of my favorite artists. I click on the link and it takes me into the app. That’s fig­ur­ing out some­thing that is per­son­al­ized and tai­lored to me as a user, but makes it eas­i­er for me to engage. With Hotel Tonight, if there’s a new spe­cial in a new city or a new deal, I get a push noti­fi­ca­tion. If I want to book some­where, it’s a no brain­er that I’m going to use that.

In gen­er­al, mobile mar­keters have to fig­ure out ways of lever­ag­ing new or emerg­ing chan­nels to dri­ve back into apps. There are dif­fer­ent trends in mobile search and how mobile is dif­fer­ent than desk­top. On the desk­top, you can use one app to access the world’s infor­ma­tion from a brows­er, but on mobile, you have 30 dif­fer­ent jump­ing off points.

A lot of the trends we see that will be very, very impor­tant in 2015 is fig­ur­ing out ways to lever­age this cross-app search or fig­ure out ways to take the user from one app to your app when they have the concept/intent.

If I’m Spo­ti­fy, how do I find places or users who prob­a­bly want to lis­ten to music, but are track­ing their work­outs in one app and are learn­ing about their favorite music artists on Bill­board. How do you use that as an oppor­tu­ni­ty to get into the Spo­ti­fy expe­ri­ence with cross-app pro­mo­tion?

Part­ner­ships will become real­ly impor­tant in 2015. That’s some­thing real­ly the most sophis­ti­cat­ed mar­keters are start­ing.

Andrew Waber, Market Analyst at Chitika

Andrew_Waber-Headshot There’s still a lot of flux in terms of what’s work­ing and what’s not. What we’ve observed in the mobile ad indus­try is that it con­tin­ues to oper­ate much in the same way as tra­di­tion­al online adver­tis­ing – pri­mar­i­ly large buy­ers are look­ing at mobile web and apps as exten­sions of their exist­ing adver­tis­ing. There’s a nation­al ad buy…and they are tar­get­ing those same users, but with slight­ly adap­tive cre­ative for plat­forms on mobile. It’s not nec­es­sar­i­ly bad, but there’s a lin­ger­ing imma­tu­ri­ty of the ecosys­tem in mobile ads.

I believe that this sit­u­a­tion is sim­i­lar to what you found in search mar­ket­ing pri­or to some­thing like AdWords. What Google AdWords did was democ­ra­tize the indus­try – “These are the key­words we [the adver­tis­er] want to tar­get, let’s tar­get them.” And real­ly the tech­nol­o­gy which stands to do that in the mobile ad indus­try is mobile RTB. It’s already in full swing, but as con­sumers move toward mobile, adver­tis­ers are ini­tial­ly look­ing for rel­e­vance again based on “How can I tar­get the right demo­graph­ic with the right sub­ject?” Still the terms you’d think about in the tra­di­tion­al sense, but with the biggest trend is being loca­tion.

What RTB stands to do is real­ly change the par­a­digm of what loca­tion does. For mobile adver­tis­ing and mobile adver­tis­ers, loca­tion is a much bet­ter tar­get­ing cri­te­ria. In the ear­ly ecosys­tem, mobile ad tar­get­ing is time con­sum­ing and it’s expen­sive for most peo­ple. If you’re a small­er com­pa­ny and want to hit users in a par­tic­u­lar geog­ra­phy in mobile, it’s a much more dif­fi­cult task. There are lim­i­ta­tions and exper­tise on that if you want to run a more tra­di­tion­al ad cam­paign and there are all sorts of larg­er play­ers that have tie-ins with mobile ad net­works and exchanges. Real­ly, with RTB, you have the abil­i­ty to pick and choose what you’re look­ing for and deliv­er on a small scale rather than broad cam­paigns.

The for­mat of mobile ads has been pret­ty sta­t­ic. Peo­ple are think­ing about the best mod­el to go against. What would be real­ly inter­est­ing to see is how these mod­els change in terms of the look and feel of the mobile ad space going for­ward – pre-roll ads and that kind of thing. I’d be inter­est­ed to see the next for­mat that will get users engaged with­out being detri­men­tal to the mobile expe­ri­ence. I don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly know what’s next, but obvi­ous­ly it’s com­ing and there are going to be changes and see­ing how those changes mate­ri­al­ize will be inter­est­ing to watch. I know we’ve had some suc­cess recent­ly — and this goes along with chang­ing for­mats – for image-based adver­tis­ing units, which will dom­i­nate more.

Cindy Krum, CEO of MobileMoxie

CindyKrumHeadshot2010150Deep link­ing is hap­pen­ing in which you can link from the web to an app from a devel­op­ment per­spec­tive, but users may not know they’re going from the web to an app, or they’re less aware, which cre­ates inter­est­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties and prob­lems from a marketer’s per­spec­tive.

From an oppor­tu­ni­ty per­spec­tive, the com­pa­nies that have apps, but don’t have great mobile web­sites could ben­e­fit enor­mous­ly. They can do more mobile inter­ac­tion and lever­age the app, dri­ving traf­fic from Face­book and Twit­ter to the app instead of not being able to mar­ket to a mobile audi­ence because the web­site is bad.

The prob­lem is that if you have an app and a web­site and peo­ple don’t know which one they’re on or are less aware of when they move from the web expe­ri­ence to the app expe­ri­ence, if you have an app that does some things and a web­site that does some­thing sim­i­lar, but the user is unclear, they don’t know what to expect: “I was just here yes­ter­day, but it had dif­fer­ent nav­i­ga­tion,” and tomor­row it’s still dif­fer­ent. If you don’t know you’re mov­ing between the app and the web­site, that could hap­pen a lot.

It’s a lot about the mes­sag­ing with­in dif­fer­ent plat­forms and just mak­ing sure if you’re a mar­keter that the calls to action are clear so that if peo­ple click on a link, they know they’re open­ing the app rather than a page on the web­site.

Google has come out and said by 2015, the num­ber of search­es total will go from less than half mobile to more than half mobile, so we’re at a tip­ping point where we’ll start to see over­all more mobile search­es than desk­top. That’s a pret­ty big deal because it means more peo­ple are feel­ing com­fort­able to search for infor­ma­tion to find answers while they’re away from their com­put­ers, which means we have to start think­ing about encour­ag­ing con­ver­sions and behav­ior that doesn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly assume that some­one is sit­ting still. So, pay­ing more atten­tion to where they are when they’re access­ing dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing stuff and under­stand­ing more about the use case is a big deal.

And we’re get­ting also into pre­dic­tive search with Google Now. It’s an app, but I con­sid­er it a test­ing ground for Google. They do stuff like per­ceive things based on a phone’s loca­tion and oth­er cues. You can see stuff from Gmail, which is creepy, but my phone with Google Now knows when I’m not at home and tells me how long with traf­fic it will take me to get home and will tell me where I parked my car and knows my favorite TV shows and will tell me when they’re on.

It used to be creepy, but this is a very fresh and new, and I think Google is being very care­ful about creep­ing peo­ple out. They’re try­ing, but there’s a util­i­ty to it. When­ev­er you give up pri­va­cy, it’s usu­al­ly for some kind of ben­e­fit. What mar­keters have to do to keep up with that kind of behav­ior from Google is make peo­ple feel com­fort­able with what­ev­er they’re doing on their web­site and on their apps.

Jennifer Wong, Director of Marketing at Tune

Jennifer WongBrand mar­keters are now mea­sur­ing mobile events that tie back to direct results. They aren’t just buy­ing on mil­lions of impres­sions, but they are start­ing to also focus on installs, in-app events and the life­time val­ue of mar­ket­ing.

There has been a large evo­lu­tion of mobile app ad cre­ative in the past year. Ban­ner ads or intru­sive full-page inter­sti­tials are no longer tol­er­at­ed. Mobile video ads will chal­lenge TV bud­gets as they prove to cap­ture audi­ence atten­tion. As an exam­ple, YouTube and Insta­gram videos are high­ly engag­ing, on the organ­ic and paid sides.

Inbound and organ­ic mar­ket­ing are no longer siloed tac­tics. In a recent study, we found the rela­tion­ship between paid and organ­ic mar­ket­ing to be very strong – paid installs dri­ve future organ­ic installs by a fac­tor of 1.5. Mar­keters are now plan­ning paid cam­paigns – such as burst cam­paigns – in-line with app store opti­miza­tion tac­tics to dri­ve the high­est results.

As mar­keters start to scale mobile mar­ket­ing, the rise of pro­gram­mat­ic will hap­pen to improve exe­cu­tion and trans­paren­cy. This will allow real-time data to enrich the buys to be more rel­e­vant and dri­ve high­er con­ver­sions.

As more mar­keters are becom­ing savvy about the attri­bu­tion method­olo­gies avail­able in the cook­ie­less world of mobile, they will start to eval­u­ate cam­paign per­for­mance, not just by chan­nel or cam­paign, but in a holis­tic view across all mar­ket­ing activ­i­ties. Mar­keters will start to look at mul­ti-touch attri­bu­tions for user acqui­si­tion cam­paigns to know which chan­nels are bet­ter at first touch/brand aware­ness or which ones are bet­ter at con­vert­ing users down the fun­nel. As users con­tin­ue to bounce from device to device, often start­ing the pur­chase fun­nel on one device and mak­ing the pur­chase on anoth­er device, mar­keters will also be able to attribute across devices to bet­ter under­stand buy­ing behav­ior and bet­ter plan their media strat­e­gy accord­ing­ly. If there is no mea­sure­ment and attri­bu­tion, spend­ing on mobile can’t scale.

Mar­keters will quick­ly tran­si­tion their mar­ket­ing and adver­tis­ing resources to mobile to match where con­sumers are spend­ing most of their time. Mobile adop­tion has hap­pened so quick­ly, mar­keters are strug­gling to catch up. CMOs have the chance to increase mar­ket cap gain with­out increas­ing bud­get by real­lo­cat­ing resources to mobile.

Apu Gupta, CEO of Curalate

Apu-Gupta-PR-Photo-Mar-2013While mobile traf­fic does­n’t con­vert to pur­chase at the same rate as tablet or desk­top, mobile is dri­ving prod­uct dis­cov­ery. Today, prod­ucts live every­where and the pletho­ra of shopping/product dis­cov­ery apps is mak­ing it eas­i­er for con­sumers to gain inspi­ra­tion. Going for­ward, we’re going to see an increased empha­sis on mov­ing from inspi­ra­tion to trans­ac­tion. Doing this will require mobile mar­keters to make it incred­i­bly easy to con­sol­i­date all rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion relat­ed to a prod­uct in one place, make that prod­uct infor­ma­tion eas­i­ly accessed by third par­ty apps, and reduce the steps involved in check­ing out.

More than 80 per­cent of mar­keters under­stand the sig­nif­i­cance of mobile mar­ket­ing, and yet just 3 per­cent of the over­all dig­i­tal bud­get is allo­cat­ed to this area. This dis­crep­an­cy demon­strates a major dis­con­nect between aware­ness and action, but also a major oppor­tu­ni­ty for the brands that go after this mobile audi­ence and get it right.

Visu­al social chan­nels like Pin­ter­est, Tum­blr and Insta­gram are cre­at­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for brands to con­nect and engage with con­sumers in unique, mean­ing­ful ways. And still, social accounts for just 11 per­cent of the over­all dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing invest­ment, when in real­i­ty, these net­works are among some of the most com­pet­i­tive and fruit­ful envi­ron­ments out there today.

Con­sumers are spend­ing more and more of their time inter­act­ing with brands on mobile. For dig­i­tal mar­keters, it’s not just about spend­ing more; it’s about spend­ing smart — in a way that dri­ves mean­ing­ful traf­fic and rev­enue.

To date, it has been tough for mar­keters to jus­ti­fy invest­ment on mobile-first social plat­forms like Insta­gram, main­ly because the link to ROI has been far less direct than paid and organ­ic search ini­tia­tives. At Curalate, we want to solve for this. With our lat­est Like2Buy solu­tion, brands can now dri­ve con­sumers from Insta­gram – the so-called “king of social engage­ment”– to mobile web pages. Already, we are see­ing a 32 per­cent aver­age increase in time spent on brands’ mobile web­sites com­pared to a brand’s aver­age mobile user. We see this as a tremen­dous and untapped oppor­tu­ni­ty.

What do you see as the biggest mobile mar­ket­ing trends today and com­ing down the pike?

Lisa Lacy

Written by Lisa Lacy

Lisa is a senior features writer for Inked. She also previously covered digital marketing for Incisive Media. Her background includes editorial positions at Dow Jones, the Financial Times, the Huffington Post, AOL, Amazon, Hearst, Martha Stewart Living and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

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