The explosive penetration of smartphones in recent years has taken the entire world by storm. Global smartphone penetration has been continuing to surge upwards in double-digit figures year-on-year and India has been no exception to the smartphone boom.
India has, in fact, emerged as the third largest smartphone market in the world and is all set to hit the 500-million Internet users mark by 2017, of which a whopping 314 million would be mobile Internet users. It is expected to overtake the US smartphone market in 2016.
The personal nature of this device has opened up a huge potential target market for businesses to tap into; something that has never before been seen in the history of marketing and advertising. Businesses, both big and small, have realised the power that this simple gadget holds to boost their revenues, and therefore, mobile advertising is witnessing a huge surge of late.
Not surprisingly, globally, mobile ad spends are expected to touch US$100 billion in 2016 and capture 51 per cent of the digital market.
With Southeast Asia, and particularly India, showing signs of explosive growth in smartphones owing to rising income levels, falling smartphone prices and the young demographics becoming increasingly tech savvy, mobile ads can make great inroads and become a lucrative market for ad-revenues.
According to business reports such as eMarketer and others, India is still at a nascent stage when it comes to digital ad spending (only 1.1 per cent of the global spend), despite being the second most-populous country globally. It also reports that India will increase its paid advertising to US$8.53 billion by 2019.
Clearly, this space is sure to pick up even greater momentum in the coming times.
Trends to watch out for!
Many interesting and novel trends seemed to be emerging in the overcrowded mobile advertising and mobile marketing industry such as:
1. Mobile video
This is one of the fastest growing and most popular formats in the mobile ad world. Video ads are generally more receptive and command more eCPM’s. Facebook reported 8 billion video views daily, with 75 pee cent being mobile video ads in November 2015. Google, too, plans to include mobile video ad links in its search results. No wonder advertisers all across seem to be focusing on making creative video ads for mobiles, with vertical videos formats and even 360-degree videos.
2. Native advertising
Native ads concept is pretty interesting, can use the device-specific information for target-specific ad campaigns and prove beneficial in case of in-app environments like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube etc. This helps enhance brand recollection by the users.
3. In-store beacons
Beacons are found to be more effective and can tap into the personalised behavioural patterns of the users, especially indoors, as compared to location services like GPS. Mobile ads that use the beacon signals, especially for in-store promotions, are beginning to find favour with many retailers.
4. Use of wearables to get user data
With the wearable technology market steaming up, marketers are going all out to personalise their ads and target their customer base based on individual data such as physical and emotional signals and preferences. With wearables such fitness bands, smartwatches and even ‘smart’ accessories etc., marketers are all but waiting to use these to tap into the personal data of a user and reap maximum gains.
5. Rise of mobile programmatic
Programmatic ad spending has been on the rise, and shows no signs of letting up. With rich ad formats, and usage of real-time, first and third party data, marketers will buy digital ad inventory based on programmatic solutions for intelligent connections with consumers who can identify the brand that is being advertised.
6. Interactive ads
Users can be more engaged in ads that are interactive. Traditional ad formats are dying down slowly and being replaced with energising ads that give the user the power to play and control.
7. Mobile gaming
Research has shown that mobile gaming accounts for 60 per cent of mobile time usage. Since the gaming audience is more focused on their device screens, as against on-the-go surfing, it is a powerful, yet sparingly used ad genre. Gaming is gaining attention of the advertisers, since a gaming ad-experience is a very powerful in-app advertising platform.
8. Mobile coupons
This involves redeeming a coupon or code received on a mobile for online or offline shopping.These are very effective in increasing in-store purchases. This is the best way to link a mobile ad to the actual purchase and can give valuable feedback on the RoI and effectiveness of ad campaigns as well.
9. Mobile chats
Earlier viewed as chats for customer support, chats via mobile platforms now enable users to connect with their preferred brands, request services, even make purchases, all via a single app that enables the chat. Thus it is a sure-shot tactic for target marketing.
10. App Promotion – install app ads
In today’s world, more challenging than making an app or an ad is to be discovered amidst the millions of apps that keep mushrooming on app stores. Google recently modified its searches to include app search results. This directly affects the discovery and usage of apps.
Paid app discovery and even install campaigns are becoming popular. There is a huge investment in app install ads. Targeting the right audience is the key for a business to get the desired results. Of course, this relies heavily on intelligent tech-solutions like programmatic ad serving and deep digging for user info.
A thorough follow through and analysis is important
Understanding how a customer reacts to your app is crucial for your business. The marketing effort doesn’t end with the app getting downloaded. Knowing whether a person ignored the app post download, uninstalled it or used it to make purchases is important since the information becomes the basis for planning future budgets. It also helps marketers gauge the effectiveness and the ROI of their advertising efforts.
For any business to succeed, it is imperative that they understand the customers’ tastes and preferences and base their marketing strategies around them. Clearly, with smartphones becoming almost a necessity and emerging as that one most-preferred tool for customers to accomplish all they can, it is only wise that businesses smarten up and leverage the medium optimally to enhance their revenues. What better than catching their attention where they like it best!
The author Arun Gupta is CEO and Founder of MoMagic Technologies, a customer acquisition platform for companies developing content and apps. It generates the desired reach and acquisition of the end customer for companies tapping mobile for reach and marketing
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