Given that tablet devices and smartphones account for approximately 52% of Internet use, the potential of mobile marketing is undisputed. Reports predict that mobile ad spending will exceed $65 billion by the year 2020. In addition, bearing in mind that 75% of online content consumption will become mobile by the end of this year, the importance and potential of mobile marketing becomes even more obvious. Among many, a few marketing trends will have their place under the spotlight in 2017.
Mobile customer communication via messaging
Over the past years, messaging apps, such as Facebook and Apple Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Line, have enjoyed great popularity, which will gain a completely new dimension. Since hundreds of users actively use messaging services on a monthly basis, it seems that reaching out to them via those services seems like a logical step. Devices are becoming cheaper, while features of messaging apps are constantly being updated. It didn’t take long for marketers to recognize the potential of these apps that will provide them with an opportunity to establish more personal relationships with their customers.
However, since users connect only with their closest friends via these apps, this trend can be a double-edged sword that can push customers away. This trend should be carefully and gradually implemented by providing customers with a new channel of communication where they can ask questions, resolve issues and eventually be presented with new services. There are some brands, like Sephora, that have successfully implemented this strategy.
Comprehensive mobile in-store experience
E-commerce is far from a new trend, but what consumers will expect this year is a combination of traditional e-commerce and an improved mobile in-store experience. Namely, more and more customers are looking for a reliable in-store Wi-Fi that will provide them with a wide range of services. What they will greatly appreciate is the possibility to check stock availability, gain information about a particular product and its price, see available offers and discounts, as well as reviews. This is an innovative approach that will provide customers with both physical and virtual experience that will open up new possibilities. Of course, this trend also comes with certain challenges, such as the inevitable need to operationalize and optimize the entire concept.
Growing popularity of mobile video
Given that a majority of consumers would rather watch than read, it isn’t surprising that the most popular form of online content is video, and it seems that it will continue to enjoy its immense popularity. Mobile video is expected to exceed $6 billion when it comes to ad-spend by the end of the year. This is why 2017 has brought a variety of updates and improvements to mobile video apps that will make the entire mobile video marketing experience even more authentic. Many predict that, in the case of mobile video, the early bird catches the worm, and that brands that miss this opportunity will be left behind in favor of those who have already established an imposing mobile video presence.
Fading popularity of popups
What customers appreciate is an easy and ready mobile access to relevant information rather than content covered with myriads of popups. Typically, popups appear in front of the eyes of an impatient user immediately after opening up a page, or while they are browsing through it. It seems that year 2017 is ready to say goodbye to annoying popups and provide mobile users with easily accessible content. However, for those who aren’t ready yet, there’s a possibility to hold on to them in a way that will be subtler and won’t cover more than a small part of a page.
Mobile loyalty programs
One of the most successful marketing strategies is mobile loyalty programs that encourage customers to work toward a certain goal reflected in a particular reward. The philosophy behind these programs is quite simple – the more points a customer has collected, the more committed they are to getting the reward. For loyalty programs to be successful, they need to enable customers to track their progress easily and provide them with a valuable and relevant reward. In the case of mobile experience, tracking one’s progress is possible through mobile loyalty apps where they can directly interact with it. As for the rewards, any reward is welcome, from cashback offers and coupons to gift cards. What is important is for a reward to be relevant to a company, its brand and product in order for a mobile loyalty program to be successful.
The era of mobile marketing has begun, so you’d better embrace the possibilities it offers before you’re left behind. By implementing some of these trends, you’ll provide your customers with an improved and more authentic experience.
Emma Miller is a marketer and a writer from Sydney. Her focuses are digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at Bizzmark blog.