“THIS is the year of mobile!” is something you hear every year. And each year, we get little closer to the tipping point. And then you drop over the tipping point.
After 2015, there’s no doubt that mobile marketing is the future. But that does not mean that the channel has reached maturity. The reality of mobile is quite the opposite. We are on the very cusp of major changes and innovations that will redefine mobile marketing in the coming year.
Here are 16 trends to watch in 2016:
1. Omnichannel Marketing
As mobile marketing takes its place among established channels, we’ll see brands begin to focus on creating an integrated, seamless experience for their customers across all channels. The very first true omnichannel marketing experiences will begin to emerge as brands connect physical, desktop, mobile, and other devices into one cohesive brand experience.
2. The Rise of Apps
With substantial growth in app indexing and other features designed to include apps in traditional search and web, companies will see the true value in offering a dedicated app. Compared to a mobile optimized website, apps provide more functionality, accessibility, and personalization for users. They also provide a new channel for marketers to reach their audience via push notifications and in-app messages. Expect to see more brands create dedicated apps in 2016.
3. Putting Big Data to Use
If 2015 was the year of big data, 2016 will be the year when companies find the tools that allow them to turn all of that data into a meaningful mobile experience for the users. Traditional legacy systems were not designed to process the trillions of data points customers are now generating, but newer tools like Kahuna can find the signal through all that data noise and enable marketers to personalize like never before.
4. True Person-Centric Marketing
With the tools to process all that data, marketers will begin to use big data to create personalized campaigns based a person’s behavior and preferences. Marketers are able to target amazingly granular segments, delivering relevant marketing messages at the exact time and on the exact device customers prefer.
5. Death of the Demographic
With the rise of big data and personalization, broad demographics will become a thing of the past. Marketers will no longer have to broadly group their customers by generic demographic data. Instead they will be able to dynamically personalize messages based on true affinity and real-time activity. 1-to-1 communication at scale will be easier, faster, and more effective than traditional segmentation.
6. Social Ecommerce Integration
Retailers already know that visual social networks like Instagram and Pinterest are effective channels for ecommerce via third party click-to-purchase tools. In 2016, we will see native social ecommerce integration on these major social networks and others. The ability to purchase items directly off of social networks will be a massive opportunity for brands and will re-shape the ecommerce market.
7. The Internet of Things, Controlled by Your Phone
According to Schibsted Media Group, 60% of American millennials believe that everything will be done on mobile within the next five years. They may be right. As more products, from fridges to toothbrushes, become connected to the internet, the phone will become the defacto control for this internet of things. We will see users controlling their thermostat, dimming their lights, stocking their fridge, and opening their hotel room doors with their phone.
8. Improved Security
As mobile phones connect to more products and to more people, security will become a bigger concern for developers and consumers alike. Developers will need to adhere to the highest security standards and marketers will need to rely on only the most trusted tools. Brands will have to be proactive in the way they protect and reassure customers of their high security standards.
9. Mobile Payments
Mobile payments are already on the rise, but in 2016 they will gain even greater adoption among consumers. According to Forrester, mobile-based payments in the U.S. are expected to reach $142 billion in 2019. Next year we will see brands begin to include payment and ecommerce options on their mobile channels and apps, if they haven’t already.
10. Interactions Will Evolve
Siri changed the way we interact with our phones when it was introduced in 2011, and in 2016 we will see that change continue to really gain momentum. According to econsultancy, nearly half of all millennials already use voice search in the United States. Brands will begin to consider interactions such as voice and gestures for navigation on web and apps.
11. Apps in Search
Google recently announced that it was experimenting with indexing and surfacing of ‘app only’ content in its search results. With app content surfaced in traditional search, we will begin to see a lot more search results appearing with results for things that are not just websites.
12. Google App Streaming
In addition to app content in search results, Google announced it was testing “app streaming,” a feature that allows users to fully interact with apps that aren’t installed on their mobile device. Google expects this to roll out at some point in 2016. With apps that run purely in the cloud, this feature could be the beginning of the mobile search experience regaining market share from the app experience.
13. Video on Mobile
The mobile video market is expected to reach over $13 billion by 2020 and has already grown rapidly in 2015. The rise of video streaming, combined with the fact that mobile traffic has surpassed desktop, will result in video playing a larger role on mobile in 2016. Brands will continue to experiment with and codify video ads and mobile video delivery methods as a way to engage and convert customers.
14. Virtual and Augmented Reality
In 2015, brands were already experimenting with virtual and augmented reality. Starbucks offered an augmented reality feature to allow customers to engage with their red holiday cups. Google introduced Google Cardboard, an inexpensive way for mobile users to experience virtual reality. In 2016, we will see brands builded these technologies into their customer experience, offering unique in-store experiences designed to enhance the buying process.
15. Snapchat Still on the Rise
Snapchat is still a massive force among millennial users and the company has already made a move to monetize that user base. We will see these initial efforts expand in breadth and accessibility in 2016. The company will likely eye location, personalization, and timing as areas to improve their ad targeting.
16. Artificial Intelligence
A machine learning and artificial intelligence race is already underway in the tech sector, and mobile will be its primary battlefield in 2016. Brands will look to companies like Kahuna with established algorithms and technologies to parse through data and optimize marketing campaigns automatically, at a personal scale.
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