Deep-Linking Into Mobile Trends 2016

2015 has been a momentous year for the advertising industry, especially the mobile advertising industry. The proliferation of ad-blocking tools was met with hysteria and fear by many, but those who are experienced within the industry know that it is a natural progression to native advertising and signals the death of banner ads and pop-up advertising, which is long overdue.

The time has come for the banner ad and pop-up advertising to settle into retirement. The trends that will drive the mobile industry forward involve more intimate engagement with consumers, more advanced targeting and generally a better ad product. Mobile users want to be engaged by mobile ads and interact with a brand on their terms, and strategies must follow suit by not forcing ads on users’ screens. Content and creativity will reign supreme next year -- and these are the six trends that will drive mobile advertising to new heights in 2016.

1.  Mobile apps: App indexing and deep-linking practices will grow as app owners look to improve content discoverability and engagement.

Marketers will take advantage of the opportunity, provided by both Google (App Indexing API) and Apple (Search APIs) to surface the content of their apps in mobile search engines and digital assistants (i.e., Siri/spotlight search, Google Now). They will begin deep-linking into app-based content from advertising, Web sites or other apps to facilitate mobile consumer journeys and conversions.

Google mobile search results will increasingly include "app-first" content and offer the ability to "stream" content from apps that are not installed on devices. Therefore, apps will become more like interlinkable Web sites.

2.  Push notifications:  Sophisticated push-messaging strategies will become paramount for mobile customer retention.

Marketers will be forced to develop smarter, more personalized and contextually relevant push notifications as part of wider mCRM, as they look to overcome the challenge of low app engagement and grow app user LTV. The adoption of smartwatches and connected devices (plus accompanying apps) will also require a strategic approach. Push notifications will increasingly become the "front door" to mobile consumer interaction -- becoming "make or break" to app brand and business success.

3.  Mobile ad targeting:  An increasing focus on data-driven inventory buys plus native creative will improve ad experience and effectiveness.

Marketers will focus more on leveraging multiple data sources (around audience behaviors / preferences plus situation, context, location) to improve mobile ad targeting (toward predictive targeting). This will deliver more effective and efficient cross-screen targeting, but they will need to overcome the challenges of the lack of right skills, tools and processes to deliver

Growing use of data management platforms (DMPs) by advertisers and media owners, alongside demand-side platforms (DSPs) and mobile real-time bidding (RTB) programmatic buying will be coupled with a focus on developing more native, non-intrusive, acceptable ad formats (in response to the growing threat of ad blocking).

4.  Mobile social:  Mobile-centric paid, owned and earned media social strategies will become central to brand and business success.

Marketers will be forced to develop more comprehensive social media strategies specifically to target audiences -- where they spend vast majority of their time. Audiences will be targeted across different mobile social & messaging platforms (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Whatsapp, etc.) whether for brand building or direct sales objectives

Paid media ads will need to be tailored for each platform -- as TV budgets start to flow toward social, as will owned media branded content which will develop and evolve in the form of emojis, stickers, vines, image posts, vertical video and messaging. Influencer marketing will grow in importance as marketers turn to celebrities, Vine artists and others for earned media content creation and co-marketing.

5.  Mobile video:  Video production for small/all screens will expand and evolve into vertical and virtual formats.

Marketers will begin to produce more bespoke video creative for paid and owned propagation across all screens, particularly the small screen, as mobile video ad inventory opportunities expand. This is especially true for Facebook and Google/YouTube properties.

The leading providers will expand and innovate their inventory far beyond the pre-roll. Vertical video (360-degree and spherical) will become increasingly commonplace, not only on Snapchat. 2016 will see the introduction of more virtual reality video accessible via Google Cardboard on mobile as well as VR headsets

6.  Mobile purchase:  The rise in mobile payment systems and wallets will focus attention on closed-loop mobile marketing

Marketers will focus more on how to drive direct sales from their POE mobile marketing efforts both online and in physical, high street stores. This will be spurred on by:

·      Growing consumer adoption of mobile payment solutions (like Apple Pay / Android Pay / Samsung Pay, Paypal) and wallets
       (like Apple Wallet and Masterpass) for high street spending

·      Growing consumer adoption of mobile coupons for high street redemption

·      Growing consumer confidence in m-commerce spending

·      Growing adoption of "buy now" buttons (i.e., on Google and within social media platforms) by retailers

It is widely reported that mobile ad spend will top $100B, and could account for more than 50% of digital ad spend by the end of 2016. China and the U.S. are expected to account for almost two-thirds of the market, but even in Britain, mobile is expected to overtake television ad spend next year.

Mobile advertising provides a level of engagement and intimacy that no other platform can provide. When you combine that with the advantages of location data and the increasing time we all spend on our smartphones and how ad blocking will raise the bar for the entire industry, 2016 is set to be a year of evolution and revolution, providing users with a much less intrusive and more engaging advertising experience.

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