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Will the year of mobile come?

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Smart phones have materialized to be more than just devices. In 2014, mobile has really pushed its envelope when it comes to m-commerce, mobile advertising and mobile content management. Many big brands have been seen putting more effort in taking a mobile first approach since mobile has been giving them more return on investments. eMarketer forecast says, by 2016, the total expenditure on mobile advertising will be $101.37 billion. The reason for the excessive growth rates is the ubiquitous adoption of smartphones in emerging and developing markets and there will be 2-billion smartphone users worldwide next year at this pace.

The surge in smartphone usage

Today nearly two-thirds of Americans now own a smartphone. Smartphone sales in India are expected to reach 80.57 million units by the end of this year and the sales would continue to grow at a CAGR of about 40 per cent over the next five years, according to research firm IDC. Marketers followed the consumers to mobile and globally cash started flowing into mobile and app advertising. Many popular apps like Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat have set up a mobile only platform for the consumers and they are forcing the brands to follow their footsteps as far as the advertising budget is concerned. The scenario in India is not different either. Biggest e-commerce players are shutting down their desktop web portals to take their consumers directly to the apps. Close to 80% traffic and 70% orders are happening on the mobile apps for these companies.

Seamless shopping experience is one aspect from the users perspective that is driving mobile e-commerce apps. The ability to target users and collect relevant data about them is making the brand turn to app centric marketing.

E-commerce giants are shutting down their desktop versions and completely going mobile app centric, absorbing tech talent to build new mobile first products from top companies in the world. All these trends are signaling a paradigm shift to mobile. Especially in markets like China and India, many consumers are accessing the internet – through mobile-only, either because they lack broadband at home, or because they have few options for online access other than their smartphones. So leading brand spends are diverted to the mobile channel.

Industry experts say that mobile ad spending is set to double desktop ad spending by 2017. But does that mean that desktop and traditional TV advertising will become insignificant. The answer is No. TV or desktop ad spending will not decrease by a huge percentage even if the spend on mobile multiplies year on year. Given the massive changes in consumer behavior across screens over the last few years, it’s reasonable to expect that brands would adapt accordingly. But they have to operate in a way that would consider the inertia of consumers to move completely from their usage behavior across other screens.
Mobile cannot be the single medium to reach consumers

Brands have to invest cleverly across multiple screens and channels to reach the audience. Mobile marketers will lose ground if they are sticking to mobile advertisement as the single medium to reach the consumers out there. Instead, a strategic move toward data-driven marketing is the right path to increase marketing RoI should be deployed by the brands. This is possible by integrating the mobile marketing technology with desktop and TV advertising. In simple words, it blends the mobile experience with the traditional advertising channels. Smart watches and beacons are already changing the way marketers interact with their exact target groups. Programmatic TV and TV analytics give the marketers, the power to bring these channels to digital and make them accountable. Cross device advertising and TV analytics are going to change the entire model of advertising, as we know.

When consumers become complex in their purchase decision, brands have to employ complex marketing infrastructure combining mobile with traditional channels. It is not a blip, but a significant advancement toward better marketing. The year that mobile becomes a mainstream marketing solution, desktop and TV advertising will be supplementing it for performance.

About the author / 

Neeta Nair

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