Commentary

3 Mobile Predictions For 2015

  • by December 5, 2014

2014 was a year in which U.S. adults for the first time spent more time on smartphones and tablets than with desktop computers or laptops.  

It was also a year in which mobile advertising became the fastest-growing portion of the ad budget. Companies spent 83% more on mobile than they did in 2013, for example, eclipsing more traditional spend on magazines, newspapers and radio.

But what do these trends indicate for 2015?  

eMarketer believes ad budgets will continue to grow from about 9% of the overall budget to 14% next year. But beyond these numbers, we will see some important shifts in advertiser behavior next year.

Big Brands (finally) Get on Board

As impressive as 2014’s mobile ad growth sounds, there still is huge gap in the amount of consumer interest in mobile and ad spend alike, which is still dwarfed by budgets for TV (38.2%) and desktop (28.2%).

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That gap will considerably narrow in 2015, however, as household brands finally get more into the action. Luxury, travel and retail brands that only dipped their toes in the water in 2014 will be investing more in mobile advertising and marketing.

We expect mobile ad budgets to triple over the next three years to make up half of all ad spend.

Apps Will Become Revenue Drivers

Until quite recently, the app industry has been all about the download. But increasingly, companies are realizing the importance of monetizing their investment in these apps by focusing on keeping app users coming back. Even more specifically, getting these users to take specific actions that could generate revenues.

That means an industry shift from viewing the app experience on a cost per install basis to cost per engagement basis.

Doing so takes some smart data analysis and compelling offers. A major mobile games developer, for example, has put in place tracking systems to evaluate whether users who download the game are coming back. They then attempt to reengage those with waning interest with the help of a special discounts or promotions, such as free game currency.

We will see an evolution in this direction in 2015.

Airlines, for example, will seek to reach app users waiting in an airport to offer them attractive offers, such as a seat upgrade or even a coupon for an airport store.  Retailers, using a combination of beacon technology, hi-fi system leveraging ultrasound and even data from the store’s Wi-Fi system can identify app users and send them a relevant offer to help drive in store sales.

Apps Go Native and Get Creative

But there’s more to apps than just offering a discount. Increasingly, companies are looking at incorporating native features right into the app that imbue the experience with an irresistible sense of fun that will keep users coming back.

Take for example “blow.”

Users who launch an app using this feature are confronted with a gray screen, but are instructed to briefly blow on the screen to clean it.

Indian smartphone maker Micromax already features a way to unlock the Canvas 4 phone by blowing on it or shaking it. Another such feature called scratch lets users wipe away virtual snow or rain with the swipe of a finger. It is these kind of native, fun features that should keep people wanting to engage with an app.

Will these trends take hold quickly?

If we are talking about large companies, probably not. Incorporating data from different sources on the front and back end is not something that can be set up in a few days. But by the end 2015, the app as we know it now will be much different than the ones we see today.  It will be exciting to see how consumers take to these changes.

1 comment about "3 Mobile Predictions For 2015".
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  1. Leonard Zachary from T___n__, December 5, 2014 at 1:33 p.m.

    Is there a forecast for how well the broadcast TV networks will do on mobile advertising versus the dominant digital players?

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