In our final 2014 predictions piece, the UK board of the Mobile Marketing Association offer their thoughts on what’s in store this coming year
2014 will be the year of the tablet. According to comScore, the UK already has the highest tablet penetration in the EU5. In 2014, consumers’ time spent, and the activities they carry out on tablets will broaden, creating strong opportunities for brand and performance advertisers.
2014 will also be the year that brands get serious about mobile gaming. Mobile gaming is already bigger than social media, accounting for 70 per cent of consumers’ time spent on tablet and 30 per cent of time spent on mobile, according to Flurry. Playing games on mobile is arguably one of the largest media events to happen to consumers since the TV arrived in homes. Brands will start to take advantage of this in 2014.
Also in 2014, mobile advertising will become social. Advertising has always had a duty to inform or entertain; now it must also be good enough to be shared or liked.
Simon Birkenhead, director, global advertising sales, Telefonica and MMA UK vice chairman
“2014 will be the year that the industry comes full circle and media agencies realise they will be unable to take full advantage of digital and mobile without in-house creative, content, production and analytics teams.
Programmatic media buying will continue to grow at a rapid pace, taking an increasing amount of ‘premium’ inventory and improving its effectiveness through the addition of rich, deep mobile data. We will begin to see television ads being bought and distributed through real-time ad serving platforms, and brands will finally regard mobile as a must-have, mainstream channel for every campaign they run.”
Andrew French, VP client services, Somo
“In 2014, advertisers will look to use increasingly rich data sets in order to target their ads to the most relevant customers. Audience, behavioural and contextual data will allow advertisers to see exactly who the user is, what they are doing, and where and how they are doing it. With this in mind I see three key mobile trends for 2014. The first is better creative executions. When you know so much about a user and their context, you can serve a super-relevant message and creative. This will drive far greater engagement and response rates. Video is going to see massive increases next year, and should form a key part of mobile strategies; it is a fantastic way of delivering your message to your target audience.
Secondly, cross-device attribution. Understanding your customer journey is becoming ever more important and complicated. To truly understand the impact of your advertising, you must track your users across devices. Targeting is going to be increasingly important here as well. To ensure budgets are spent wisely, consider the connected consumer from a device-neutral position.
Finally, I think that 2014 will see the emergence of hackers and fraud on mobile. As we store growing amounts of personal data on our devices – everything from dating to banking – the opportunities for fraudulent behaviour increase, and the potential gains to be made skyrocket. We will start to be far more conscious of our most personal devices and demand improved protection and security.”
Pratick Thakrar, MD, Imagine Mobile
In 2014, we will see tablets becoming the first screen. Tablet penetration is expected to reach 50 per cent in 2014 and with cheaper, but more than capable devices, coming into the market, we expect the tablet to become the first screen people turn to. With more content being consumed via the tablet, brands have a huge opportunity to own the environment and deliver both brand and direct response messages in a single environment.
2014 will also see the growing impact of responsive design. The app versus HTML5 debate has raged for a few years now, but with app retention rates, and more importantly time spent within an app both dropping, brands will look to responsive design techniques to deliver better user experiences.
We believe that we will also see early NFC trials having an impact in 2014. QR codes seem to have stalled, but like SMS, should still be considered as part of the mobile marketing mix. However, trials are under way to introduce powerful NFC experiences via print or OOH (out of home) advertising. We expect simple executions early in 2014, to pave the way for enhanced mobile experiences later in the year.”
James Connolly, co-founder and managing director, Fetch
In 2014, we will hopefully see the definition of mobile evolve and broaden. We will be differentiating between smart and non-smart devices. Today, the smartest consumer machines are smartphones, desktop computers and laptops. Everything else, from TVs to toasters, is not as smart in comparison. What’s going to change in 2014 is the widespread proliferation of wirelessly-enabled machines that are connected to the smartphone as the central hub. More devices will go mobile, hence changing the current definition of the mobile. Smartphones will increasingly become the ‘mothership’ that controls everything else.
In terms of OS, 2014 is unlikely to see a clear contender for third place. The current OS marketplace is dominated by Android and iOS, and this will continue to be the case. HTML5 is making a comeback, so things should look interesting for Windows and Blackberry in that fight for third place in the ecosystem. The likes of Tizen, Mozilla and Jolla are all running on Open Source Platforms – this means not only will they create more competition for Windows and Blackberry, but also that their Open Source Platform will drive down costs of smartphones.
Alex Klose, head of marketing IMIMobile
Mobile is going to continue to spearhead the digitalisation of many aspects of our lives, empowering consumers to continue to choose which brands they want to engage with.
In 2014, I believe that the divided customer channel experience will become the omnichannel experience. Mobile strategy and service optimisation will have a greater impact on revenue generation. And a customer’s loyalty will be won on mobile.
Any marketer already knows that mobile achieves greater engagement with customers, and delivers increased ROI, better open rates and marketing effectiveness than any other channel. However, brands that put mobile at the centre of their customer experience and stay adaptable to the development of mobile technology will succeed in 2014.”
Stephanie Griffiths, director of mobile, Wunderman
The battle between online and high-street retailers is ending as brands create retail experiences that flow naturally between home and store, street and aisle, mobile and market. It is inevitable that this brand of retail will be demanded by what we call the ‘Versat-aisle Shopper’ ever more stridently in 2014 and beyond.
In 2014, retailers will come to appreciate that point-of-sale is an elaborate process, not a unique moment in real time. Mobile will play a massive role in creating seamless experiences, and will have to be integrated in store as people will compare prices, check testimonials/ratings and ask advice from their social network before making a purchase.
Added to this, of course, retailers will have to mobilise their digital presence as more and more users start shopping on their desktop while eating their sandwich at the office, keep on checking items on their smartphone while travelling, and possibly decide to buy on their tablets at the end of the day while watching TV on their sofa – sequential Screening is redefining the way we shop.
George Dixon, mobile manager, Mediacom
Mobile is cementing its position as the screen we have the most regular connection with. With an average of 150 checks each day, it is very much our first screen.
Brands and agencies are beginning to really understand their audience engagement with the platform, and in turn how to use this insight to amplify their campaigns. As we make better use of data, from their behaviour, to their location and interests, our campaigns are becoming smarter.
2014 will continue to see fantastic examples of mobile-centric campaigns, where mobile helps us deliver further engagement, connecting other media channels and sitting at the heart of our marketing strategies. But 2014 will require a step change in our thinking once again, as wearable tech begins to gain scale and we work to unlock the potential this offers. Looks like another exciting year ahead for the industry.”
Mick Rigby, managing director, Yodel Mobile
With big tablet sales anticipated pre-Christmas, we expect to see an increase in app downloads across both our publishing clients and the market as a whole in 2014. In an increasingly saturated market, however, app owners will continue to face really big challenges in helping their potential customers find their apps. We predict that app store optimisation will be absolutely key in 2014; getting your apps set up and searching correctly is vital.
Going beyond discovery, 2014 will also see a shift in focus towards engagement with apps already downloaded. We anticipate a big demand for re-engagement strategies, including retargeting customers, as well as communicating to them in a targeted, timely and appropriate way via push notification messaging to encourage them to use their apps.
Paul O’Grady, senior communications planning manager, Marketing Services, Unilever UK
As investment in mobile increases, the focus on ROI and path to purchase are going to be the key debating points for the industry. We know consumers are spending more of their time with mobile, but cutting through and connecting with the audience at the ‘moment of truth in the consumers journey’ is going to be top the agenda for brands.
Hesham Al-Jehani, product manager, mobile, comScore
Tablet adoption will continue to accelerate in 2014, as more models across a gamut of specs and price points hit the shelves. PC share of online traffic will continue to wane and be displaced by ever more mobile consumption. Hence, mobile-exclusive access to online sites, apps and services will become the norm for a growing number of consumers. What’s more, device consolidation of the connected living room will occasion more second-screen experiences from broadcasters; TV companion apps will gain more traction, and the major brands will experiment with more creative second-screen campaigns.
Also in 2014, mobile commerce transactions will make increasing headway. Moreover, bricks-and-mortar retailers will be better equipped to embrace the omnichannel consumer as they gain a better understanding of how they behave across devices at home, en-route and in-store, and will not shy away from the growing tribe of showroomers. Use of digital coupons, payment apps and proximity marketing will help drive footfall. So, far from sounding its death knell, 2014 will demonstrate that high street retail is alive and well for those that can adapt to the rapidly-changing landscape laid bare by the mobile digital era.
Chris Minas, managing director, Nimbletank
“2014 will bring with it a new era of open platforms to challenge the current monopoly in the mobile landscape by corporate players. A new generation of open source mobile operating systems, devices and partnerships will develop in Asia and the developing world which will impact the European market at some point in 2014.
Mobile web will become even more of a priority; with only 30 – 40 per cent of websites mobile-optimised in 2013, 2014 we will see even more urgency from brands to get mobile-ready. SME’s and b2b businesses too will realise they need to adapt their businesses to the world of mobile and do it quick, or risk closing the door to their mobile customers.
In 2014, the retail sector will put mobile at the heart of their industry, evolving mobile and consumer experiences faster than ever before. From providing an ‘always-connected’ customer view, tying together out-of-store to in-store customer journeys, dynamic pricing, one-o-one relationships and everything else in between, mobile will be the glue that will drive retail into a new era of customer engagement.
2014 will also see the convergence of several major factors, including the UK roll out of 4G, wi-fi becoming more available in-stores, in-store engagement through iBeacon or other connected technologies, digital wallets and mobile loyalty. For the first time, mobile can deliver on its long-awaited promise and will be the enabler of a better, smarter, more effective consumer.
David Hendry, director, Catch33
As 2013 saw increasing rise in mobile ad spend, CRM and other activities previously confined to other channels, we predict several things for 2014.
Firstly, personalisation can really take effect when we have reach growing significantly, as realistic planners and buyers are still not buying niche and need significant reach. Coupled with this is the legal position, and the consumer point of view on personalisation and how their information is used across channels, so a bigger drive for respect and security of personal data takes hold in 2014.
More advanced brands and organisations will begin to connect the dots across mobile, desktop and table, and offer personalised or segmented experiences based on real insight on what happens across channels in marketing, ads or CRM.
The overall trend therefore is building loyalty, through better, more realistic campaigns, subtly using personal information as a small lever, not the whole differentiator – no matter what the targeting capabilities of the brand, the message has to be great.
Stephen Jenkins, marketing director EMEA, Millennial Media
In 2013, audience targeting and creative excellence were two of the big mobile trends for advertisers. Both will remain high on the agenda for 2014, alongside two new focuses of measurement and programmatic. What ties these together is data. Specifically, the rich audience data that only mobile can generate compared to online disciplines, where measurement and programmatic practices are more established.
In tandem with specific audience targeting data, new forms of measurement will see marketers looking to real-world metrics as they track how mobile is driving consumers to specified actions such as foot traffic to a specified point of purchase.
Finally, mobile media buying will benefit from increased efficiencies as marketers embrace programmatic buying to target consumers. In this environment, scale and the ability to leverage high quality first- and third-party data more precisely is critical. For brands, the challenge is not simply to understand the importance of this data, but how it can be turned into actionable customer insight.”