Five Mobile Trends To Catch Up With In 2016

Mobile’s increasing pervasiveness and what it means for marketing strategies was front and center at Mobile Marketer’s Mobile FirstLook event, last week in New York City. Read on for some of the biggest takeaways.

Five Mobile Trends To Catch Up With In 2016

Mobile usage accounts for 60% of consumers’ time online, and that number is only going to continue to grow.

That’s why marketers gathered in New York City last week at Mobile Marketer’s Mobile FirstLook event. They talked about the trends, challenges, and opportunities in mobile. Read on for some of the biggest takeaways.

1. The Move From Mobile To Mobility

Today 90% of the population has a connected device within arm’s length at all times, said Michael Becker, co-founder and managing partner at mCordis. This calls for a transformation in the mindset of marketers, which will most likely start to happen this year. “It means a move from mobile to mobility,” he told attendees at FirstLook.

Because mobile is no longer just that phone we carry in our pockets, and connected devices are now also part of the definition, marketers will be very focused on the rise of the “quantified customer,” he added.

“While mobile is about the technology, the hardware, and the operating system, mobility is about the consumer and how mindsets and tendencies have changed,” Becker said. “In this shift in mindset from mobile to mobility, marketers must develop empathy and understanding of the user.”

2. Mobile Permeates The Entire Organization

Much of the talk about mobile over the past few years has happened within the marketing department. That will continue throughout 2016.

“[As a mobile agency], we’re definitely having to deal with more people within the [brand’s] organization,” said Warren Zenna, EVP and managing director at Mobext, a Havas agency. “Businesses are becoming more integrated around mobile.”

According to Jeremy Sigel, director of mobile for Essence, a WPP agency, this year we’ll start to see business units, such as IT, data science, customer service, sales, and operations, playing a larger role in the mobile strategy of their companies.

3. Mobile Is Digital—A New Era Of Media Buying

Mobile teams, mobile strategy, mobile marketing—all of these terms will start to diminish in 2016 as brand marketers realize that mobile cannot be thought of in a silo.

We’re already seeing a shift. CBS is selling mobile as part of the ad deal for Super Bowl 50. Every 30-second spot during the Big Game will air on TV and digital channels, all for $5 million.

Companies will continue this shift and change the way they buy and sell media in 2016, according to Spencer Sloe, VP and head of ad product and monetization at The Huffington Post. We’ll see more publishers, and media brands, in general, selling advertising this way, he added.

4. Mobile Replaces The Human

It has been a few years since companies began implementing mobile services to complement functions such as customer service, call centers, etc. As brand marketers start to truly realize the benefits (and cost savings) of their mobile investments, expect more instances where companies bring a utility that was once served through a human to mobile, Essence’s Sigel said.

Examples of mobile for utility include remote check deposit in financial apps, and mobile banking as a whole, which has allowed banks to operate anywhere, even places where there aren’t any branches, said Jonathan Pelosi, Google’s head of industry mobile apps, Americas, who also spoke about transformative app experiences. Product locators in retail apps are another good example since they put less onus on sales associates in-store.

“Now that an investment made a few years ago has a positive ROI, clients are recognizing that mobile is really important,” Sigel said.

5. Mobile-Specific Content

Essence’s Sigel said he has seen an increase in clients’ willingness to spend on mobile-specific content. This year that focus will accelerate as brands increasingly focus on engaging consumers anytime, anywhere.

Huffington Post, for example, has made a big bet on mobile. The publication creates videos for its mobile users specifically. It also optimizes existing content for mobile readers. For example, it tightens its headlines, at times uses different pictures than what’s on desktop, shortens desktop articles, and develops other mobile-only content.

“Mobile-specific content was just beginning to be top of mind in 2015,” Sigel said. “Today we have clients coming to us with requests and plans that are mobile-specific and not just treating mobile as an add-on.”

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