By: Mark Whitehurst
Staying up to date is the only way to be relevant in this growing global economy. And right now, the growth of mobile devices is contributing to an incredible amount of individuals being on the world wide web. In the US, 71% of total digital minutes comes from mobile devices. The average time spent browsing on a smartphone per month is 87 hours in the US, compared to 34 hours on a desktop.
In 2015, more than 35% of web pages were served to a mobile phone. In 2018, that number has risen to 52.2% according to Statista. The category with the highest percentage of mobile search volume is food & beverage with 72%. Following food & beverage are health, sports, news, lifestyle, and retail. Businesses in these industries and many others will instantly see results when incorporating mobile into their strategy. With this information, it is clear that mobile marketing should still be a concern to all marketers when crafting a robust digital strategy.
Here are five mobile marketing trends to keep in mind while developing your campaigns, and as you begin to plan for 2019.
1. Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (AR) enhances and supports real-life environments by superimposing virtual elements onto them, thus providing a greater value-add for lower costs, all around. AR is more than just finding ATMs within 50 yards of you. Big data-driven AR can anticipate and offer what the customer wants before being explicitly asked.
Here’s an example: a man who enjoys pizza is walking down a side-street at lunchtime will be shown enticing photos and a route marker on his smartphone for pizza and Italian restaurants that he can hop over to in under two minutes. Or say you’re reorganizing the living room and want to check out coffee tables. You can download a 360-degree model to position it virtually in your real living room—as seen through the viewfinder—to see if it fits. To see how other companies are using this, check out Amazon, Ikea, Home Depot, and Target within their digital strategy.
Instead of waiting for the customers to chat you up, marketers can engage customers by using chatbots on messaging apps. By inviting interested customers to chat, or messaging them directly if privacy settings allow it, you can directly engage potential and repeat buyers. Chatbots can work 24/7 and eliminate a lot of repetitive workloads related to preliminary queries.
3) User-Generated Content
User-generated content is a great way to let your customers share their story and promote your products at the same time. This is a great way to organically create buyer profiles to help engage your customer along their entire journey.
Consider launching a contest with user-generated content for your next event. Or, you might leverage user-generated content within a specific geolocation such as creating a Snapchat or Instagram filter. Then, you can pull all of the content that is using your filter to display live at an event or use for future social posts.
4) Interactive Ads
Playable advertisements are the next generation of user acquisition channels on mobile. Voxel and mNectar spearhead this field. They stream play sessions of mobile games inside other apps through the cloud, using virtualization software.
After a short time, the ad freezes and promotes an install. Similar tailor-made solutions have been developed with HTML5. For games, it lets users sample the exact product rather than judging it on screenshots or video. This “freemium” model can also be used for tech solutions.
5) Geo-Based Promotions
Near-field communication, low-cost beacon emitters, augmented reality, GPS-tracking, the current technological options open up all sorts of possibilities for creative marketers. As we all know, timing is everything in marketing. Geo-targeting enables us to offer the most relevant content at the exact moment the user might need it, based on their location.
One of the most aggressive and effective techniques used to leverage this opportunity comes from Guatemala. A boutique sneaker store, Meat Pack, put out a discount-finder app called Hijack which starts the sale in a competing outlet. Whenever you enter a sneaker store in the mall where Meat Pack is located, Hijack pushes out a discount promotion on your smartphone for sneakers of the same brand. The discount deal starts off at 99%. It goes down one percent per second. The faster you can get to the Meat Pack shop to redeem, the better deal you get. More than 600 customers were hijacked from their competitors within a week.
As demonstrated by the recent partnership between rewarded discovery platform Viggle and beacon specialist InMarket, or by Shazam’s expansion into partnerships with retail chains, this is another area where physical and digital worlds are bound to increasingly blend together. This enables consumers to benefit from a seamless “experience” between your day-to-day life and shopping.
McDonald’s China and Rovio ran a joint campaign for Angry Birds in China which is a fantastic example of how to merge a digital universe with the real world based on geodata. A geo-location-based system was set up inside the iOS version of the game to detect whether the players were near one of the 1,800 McDonald’s in China. When a user approached one of the flagged spots, the game alerted him that there was something special inside McDonald’s. When they were standing at the right GPS coordinates, Angry Birds loaded a special game mode “courtesy of McDonald’s.”
Mobile Marketing Isn’t Dead
While mobile is no longer the latest and greatest, it’s still a tactic that marketers should know about and understand. A robust digital strategy doesn’t ignore the opportunities that mobile marketing provides. It’s an excellent enhancement to the strategy you already have in place.