The following is a guest contributed post by Shai Gottesdiener, the General Manager of Growmobile by Perion.
Now that the holiday season is in full swing, we thought it would be a good time to pause and think about the amazing things that happened in the mobile marketing sector this year.
Here are the four trends we thought dominated the sector in 2015, as well as some thoughts on what will be big in 2016.
Mobile video: lights, camera, action
Mobile video advertising spend on mobile has grown massively in 2015. According to Venturebeat, spend in 2015 has tripled in size from an enormous $1.5bn in 2014 and shows no sign of stopping.
And the reason for that growth is simple: mobile video advertising is very engaging. You get to see and engage with more content, as well as have a more engaging user experience, in a 30-second video, rather than in normal creatives. Adding audio to moving visuals creates a really captivating ad and that’s very tempting for advertisers.
Sometimes it can have a downside though. Some of the gaming advertisers created amazing clips for their games, which didn’t match what users saw in the app. That means they ended up spending lots on advertising, because they spend whenever there is an install, without getting users engaged.
Takeaway: the more marketers learn about video advertising and the better they get at creating custom audiences, the more they can ensure their customers are getting a better user experience.
Retention and engagement: the rise of “get ‘em and keep ‘em”
Probably the biggest overall trend in the mobile marketing sector this year was the shift from thinking only about user acquisition to what happens to your user after they install your app.
At Growmobile, we found that many of our customers were spending decent amounts of money on getting traffic, but losing it very quickly. And with the likes of King, Supercell and Uber able to spend millions of dollars on acquisition, developers on a smaller budget – who aren’t able to keep their users interested – quickly find they’re losing out in the market.
By offering developers ways to better engage with their app users and measuring what users are doing in-app, whether it’s making in-app purchases or sharing, we’ve seen a bigger shift by developers towards preserving their client base to meet business objectives – rather than buying more, sometimes costly, traffic.
Relevancy and the fight back against the ad blockers
One of the big challenges the mobile marketing industry has seen in the last year is the rise of ad blockers on mobile. Ad blocking has already cost the desktop ad business potentially billions in revenues, so Apple’s decision to allow blockers into the App Store set alarm bells off for marketers.
So far, it hasn’t had much of an impact. The blockers only really affect the mobile web, so what we’ve seen is ad spend shift from there to native mobile ads in apps as a result. And we expect to see companies develop “ad blocker blockers” to fight back against people using the tech.
The biggest way marketers have fought back is by providing relevant ads to users on their mobile devices. Blocking started in the first place because we missed the point of the advertisement; there’s no point banging someone in the head again and again if they don’t want to see it.
But if I know you’re a male, of a certain age, who lives in a certain area and has a certain interest, then I’m able, more than ever, to better target the right creative at the right person – stopping the tension caused by low quality advertising on the web and beyond.
2016: rapid evolution of the sector
Finally, we think that 2016 is going to be a really good year for mobile marketing because companies are finally aligning their marketing efforts with the strength of mobile.
Although mobile advertising spend is growing, publishers have still been relatively slow to switch over to it. With its effectiveness demonstrated most clearly with the boom in Facebook’s revenues, we expect mobile advertising spend to increase significantly as advertisers come around to how effective a channel it is.
This will only likely increase as the technology continues to rapidly improve. New video formats on Facebook like “boomerang” videos, that play in reverse, and 360 videos, that allow people to look around within the video ahead of the arrival of VR next year, suggest video is getting ready to skyrocket.
And relevancy is only likely to improve as marketers get better at knowing their customer base. Devices like smart watches, which track users’ movement and behavior much more accurately, will help location-based advertising, while new channels like Instagram will offer great new formats to target a totally different audience.
As technology continues to get better and marketers get smarter, mobile marketing is only likely to improve. Are you ready to capitalize on it? (we know we are…)