Monday, November 16, 2015

We’re well into the fourth quarter of 2015 and, despite the regular holiday madness, there are still emerging trends on the mobile marketing front. In fact, with so much change occurring at the end of this year, 2016 is already shaping up to be a prolific time for mobile. Here’s a look at the most striking mobile trends of 2015 along with a brief analysis to help determine successful mobile marketing plans for next year:

Get with the Program

In case you’ve been living under a rock, global mobile users overtook desktop users almost two years ago. According to a report by comScore, the tipping point occurred in 2014, a defining moment for mobile and a wake up call to marketers who would have otherwise ignored this potential media channel.

In 2016, mobile marketers will no longer have the luxury of considering whether they should or shouldn’t incorporate mobile into a marketing campaign; instead they will be asking how to incorporate mobile successfully.

There’s real money on the table, folks. In a report by eMarketer, the deficit between time spent on mobile and the amount of ad spending is estimated to be worth $25 billion. That’s a huge opportunity for smart companies to take advantage of. Ultimately it comes down to who will spend the time and effort first to capture this growing market segment. It’s time to get with the mobile program—if you don’t, your competitors almost certainly will.

Research on Mobile

Another impressive trend to emerge late this year involves how consumers research products using mobile.

This is important for a few reasons: 1) the way consumers research products has a direct correlation with path to purchase; 2) consumers have timely access to information, which allows them to compare prices on-the-go and make bargain decisions; and 3) while most mobile research begins on a search engine like Google, branded websites and apps combined make up 59 percent of a user’s total searching activity.

For marketers considering their mobile plans for next year, it’s critical to take into account that consumers have become empowered by their mobile device to make smarter, more informed purchases.

This should translate into well-optimized, mobile-responsive websites and apps. Additionally, it’s important to note that mobile creative should not be miniature versions of creative intended for other channels like print or television. Mobile content should be uniquely mobile. And finally, businesses should help consumers find them by enabling location extensions. According to a report by Google, 69 percent of mobile shoppers expect businesses to be within 5 miles of their location. The easier it is to see that your store is nearby, the more likely a customer will make the trip to buy a product.

Get Smart

Finally, marketers need to wise up to the importance of multi-platform use and understand the split between mobile users and desktop devices. In early 2015, the largest segment of consumer activity online was an arrangement of desktop, mobile, and tablet use. This segment makes up about 60 percent of total usage and will likely grow in 2016. Get smart about your marketing plan by keeping track of each individual market with advanced segments in Google analytics or similar tools that will allow you to play to your strengths and mitigate wasteful spending.

In the mobile world, there’s no one-size-fits-all remedy for successful marketing strategies. The best thing you can do is track each segment separately and regularly split-test your creative until you find a fit that works best.

It’s an exciting time for mobile marketers, and 2016 is going to be another exciting year. Stay updated about trends and new research as it becomes available to ensure you’re making smart and informed decisions—just like mobile consumers.