Mobile Marketing Trends Dominating First Half of 2014

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The number of mobile users has been growing like never before. The global smartphone consumers touched the one billion mark in 2012 and is expected to be at a mind boggling 1.75 billion by the end of 2014. The increasing use of smartphones clearly is bringing a huge change in business models and marketing strategies. No wonder then marketers, too, are waking up to what may truly and finally be the year of mobile!

Here we present some of the key trends in the mobile space that are dominating this year and must be kept in mind while devising the marketing strategy for brands.

Better geo targeting
Geo targeting or location-based mobile marketing is really exciting for marketers and has gained immense popularity over the last few years. This is an important trend that really brings value to consumers by letting them find products and services in their location when they want. Geo targeting is one of the holy grails of niche targeting for marketers because it makes your brand relevant to the consumers, helping it to gain traction. Hotels, restaurants and stores are the front-runners when it comes to capitalising on the location-based services.

Time for narrowcasting
Narrowcasting refers to targeting a specific set of people from a given group. For example, while reaching audiences on a social media platform like Facebook one can narrow down the target audience based on their experience, demographic, locations, etc. For instance, suppose you are starting up with operations only in India couple of neighbouring countries, then why waste your precious marketing bucks on reaching everyone. Just narrowcast! Create a campaign for the people in these geographies and get the best out of it. Narrowcasting will be even more important in the next few months to come as content with context is becoming more and more important by the day. Mobile marketing makes it much easier.

Micro content
When it comes to content in the mobile marketing space, it has gotten shorter and will continue to get shorter. That's how it better appeals to mobile viewers. A six second video or a snapchat photo with a clear message is capable of doing a lot more good to your brand than one can imagine.

Mobile instant messaging
There is a huge surge in the number of active users of mobile-based social messaging apps like WeChat, WhatsApp, Hike Messenger, etc. This clearly indicates that consumers are quite hooked on by the instant messaging mobile apps and there lies a great sea of opportunities to tap the consumers. Though the challenge in this one lies in terms of creating messages that reach consumers and are relevant to them and not intruding.

Personalisation and Customisation
While mobile buying of products is not a big trend yet, there is a strong trend of researching products for mobile and then going offline to buy them. This is once again a huge opportunity. This is where personalized and customized offers can play a great role. Marketers can use personalized offers to convert these searchers into actual buyers. For example, if a consumer is reading and researching travel destinations in Europe, he or she will notice ads flashing with cheaper flight tickets and hotels in those destinations.

Emails going to be mobile-first
Emails may have started decades ago as PC-focused communication, but they aren't that anymore. More than 50% of the emails today are now opened on mobiles and it is expected to become a highly mobile focused channel by end of this year. Some fast moving marketers are already working on adapting their marketing strategies to this changing trend and exploring responsive designs for email marketing.
This trend is expected to bring a huge shift in email marketing and optimizing design and content for mobile phones will become a priority.

Increasing interest in wearable technology
Well, just a few years back wearable technology may have just sounded like a fancy item from a sci-fi movie, but not anymore. With products like Google Glass and smart watches, wearable technology is changing a lot in terms of the way consumers behave. While the wearable technology may not be a trend yet, but it certainly is catching up. Once it becomes a part of daily lives of consumers, there will be whole new way to woo them.
Image courtesy: Thinkstock
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