January 13, 2016
By Adam Lavine
This will be a fascinating and pivotal year for mobile’s role in marketing. Here are 10 predictions of what the year holds in store for mobile:
1. HTML5 will gain wider adoption: Brand marketers, agencies and developers will fully embrace the fifth standard of HTML. It is easy to forget this standard was approved just over a year ago by W3C.
Expect to see richer non-app experiences that leverage HTML5's video, audio and canvas elements as well as slicker usage of vector (SVG) graphics.
2. Apple Pay will dominate at United States retail while Google Wallet takes on PayPal: 2016 will be the year that Apple Pay emerges as a force to be reckoned with, especially within the juggernaut U.S. economy.
Apple's blend of distribution, convenience, token-based security, and biometric authentication will cause Apple Pay use to skyrocket.
Google Wallet's new "text to cash" feature enabling people to securely send funds via text message will make it a real contender to PayPal, whose gigantic marketshare gives it nowhere to go but down.
3. Mobile content marketing will emerge: As marketers get control over the user experience with HTML5, they will begin to build larger and more segmented libraries of mobile content. This content will be used to drive targeted consumer relationships to connect brands and audiences through mobile devices.
4. Multi-device ad retargeting becomes the norm: Widely available consumer and device data combined with robust and sophisticated digital ad ecosystems makes 2016 the year advanced multi-device targeting and retargeting goes from the realm of magic to everyday capability. But ...
5. Ad blockers – "Winter Is Coming": Mobile browsers such as Safari and Chrome from companies such as Apple and Google will prioritize consumer preference and privacy, and will make ad blocking a default setting which consumers will not care to change.
Advertisers will have to rely more on context, content and cool-factor to break through "The Wall" defending the seven kingdoms of mobile advertising campaigns.
6. CMOs will realize applications are for the 1 percent: Chief marketing officers will begin to realize native mobile apps are for the 1 percent of their audience that are the hardcore brand advocates, and increasingly embrace other forms of mobile communication including mobile Web, email, SMS, social and digital ad retargeting.
7. Post-click wars – "The Engagement Awakens": Marketers will begin to recognize and prioritize the importance and value of post-click engagement over top-of-the-funnel awareness campaigns. This will drive a shift of mobile ad dollars and priority away from fuzzy-KPI brand marketing towards quant-driven performance marketing.
8. Gamification returns via mobile: Gamfication, once all the rage on desktop, will re-emerge on mobile in 2016 as marketers seek ways to engage their audience with snackable content over longer relationship arcs.
Expect to see points, rewards, prizes, and badges increasingly make their way into mobile marketing campaigns.
9. Opt-ins will become an important mobile metric: Brands will increasingly demand an increase in opt-in list sizes as core KPIs for marketing dollars and begin measuring cost-per-acquisition for email and SMS as a key mobile metric.
Agencies will be expected to grow brand databases across email, SMS, mobile apps and device IDs for retargeting and remarketing purposes.
10. The agency world gets Darwinian: As brands increasingly demand quantifiable, specific results from their mobile marketing campaigns, big agencies will begin to lose accounts, and will have to work harder for the dollars they do make from mobile.
Those agencies that do have solid mobile capabilities will earn more business as a result, but the survival of the fittest will come at a cost for other agencies.
Adam Lavine is CEO of FunMobility, a San Ramon, CA-based mobile agency and content marketing specialist. Reach him at email@example.com.