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2018 Predictions: AdColony

David Murphy

Jude O’Connor, VP brand & agency performance at AdColony, says 2018 will be the year that brands come to appreciate the true potential value of their apps.

In 2018, brands will continue to invest in their apps as a way to connect with consumers and build more brand loyalty, and, ultimately, customer loyalty. Gaming companies have done this successfully for years, because their entire business is their app. But I think brands are going to start seeing apps not just as an extension of their brand, or as a marketing play, but as a core component of their overarching business strategy.

Smartphones are now such a fundamental, primary element of the everyday lives of consumers; businesses must follow suit and make mobile their priority, and create mobile experiences that are qualitative and seamless.

In many ways, 2018 will be a “monkey-see, monkey-do” kind of year. Fortune 500 brands have always kept a close eye on their biggest competitors, but when it comes to mobile, they have even more of a hawk-eye watch. When a major department store brand comes out with an incredible app – a flawless UI, loyalty rewards, sales notifications, etc. – and then runs a highly effective UA campaign and gets a critical mass of users, you know that every one of their competitors is sitting up and taking notice. And, within a short period of time, they will likely follow suit.

Quick service restaurants
The same is true for QSRs right now. In 2017, major fast food companies and delivery restaurants witnessed the success of in-app ordering and food delivery from the likes of GrubHub and Seamless. Now the incumbents, the legacy brands, will have to adapt to consumers’ expectations of how quick-service restaurants should (digitally) serve their customers.

We’re going to see all the major QSR brands start to offer higher levels of convenience through in-app ordering, location-based recommendations and other eCommerce integrations, such as mobile payments and order history.

On the performance side, we’re definitely going to see brands offering more value to consumers in the form of convenience. While there are so many interesting ways you can generate engagement through fun, entertaining experiences in your branding campaigns – catalyzing awareness and brand recall – for direct response, the focus is going to continue to be on added value.

And today’s mobile consumer values convenience almost more than anything. Brands that can make people’s lives easier are going to continue to see high returns on their performance ad spend.

Multi-touch attribution
The industry has been slowly working toward the creation and adoption of a multi-touch attribution standard, and I would love to see that movement accelerate in 2018. We’ve been using a highly flawed last-touch attribution system for so long, and it’s time for that to change.

The only way to do that, however, is to get away from using cookies as the primary identifier, and while there are talks of that, it hasn’t taken shape yet. If I had one wish for the coming year, though, that would be it. Everyone in the industry – publishers, advertisers, and everyone in between – would benefit from a widespread multi-touch attribution metric.