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Three Mobile Marketing Predictions For 2018

Backed by the rapid development of innovative technologies and growing education around mobile, smartphone adoption is sweeping across India, and especially among marketers

Photo Credit : ShutterStock


2017 has been a whirlwind for the mobile marketing industry in India, as consumers tapped away on their mobile phones, from using messaging apps and shopping for clothes, to booking rides and paying bills. Mobile is now such an integral part of our everyday lives, and it's no surprise that it has become a hot favorite among Indian marketers.

Amidst the telco wars, data prices and handset costs have fallen rapidly, catalyzing an exponential increase in smartphone adoption. For the first time, mobile ad spend is set to overtake desktop ad spend, and will account for 56% of the global digital advertising market in 2017.

As we enter the last quarter of 2017 and push forward soon into 2018, technology and innovation will continue to drive the growth in mobile marketing, and this momentum shows no sign of slowing down. Here are three key predictions I believe will define the state of mobile marketing in India in the coming year.

Rise in programmatic adoption
Some believe programmatic is currently just a buzzword in India, but this is set to change as programmatic will soon command a big share of the pie once more advertisers start recognizing its benefits. This move to programmatic advertising will be fueled by the extensive use of mobile, with mobile users expected to surpass 5.5bn by 2022, and the projected rise in data consumption to 7GB/month per active user by 2021, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report.

As it stands, programmatic has primarily been used by larger agencies and brands, albeit in silos due to a lack of knowledge of programmatic and its competencies. More education is therefore critical to equip Indian agencies, brands and technology providers with the right skills to embrace and implement programmatic campaigns, from native ads to programmatic video.

Over the past few years, the Mobile Marketing Association has been facilitating the sharing of best practices around programmatic, and next year will see more open conversations and expert guidance across the industry. We also expect to see the ecosystem come together and collaborate to pursue a more holistic approach to programmatic, including standardizing metrics, setting expectations and building creative and planning capabilities to fill gaps in data quality.

Optimize ad spend with artificial intelligence (AI)
AI has taken off globally; more than half of global marketers use AI, and over a quarter will follow suit over the next two years. PM Modi, too, earlier this year advocated for an environment conducive for digital growth and predicted that AI will drive the human race. Against this backdrop, we expect AI to play a more prominent role in personalising consumer journeys and increasing conversion in the coming year.

Predictive analytics offered by AI allows marketers to track a user's entire online journey, to deliver more personalised messages and target consumers more strategically across channels. More marketers will soon collect and channel user data into AI programmes, to optimise their communications with consumers and drive business impact.

AI will also come into play to combat ad fraud, particularly as the percentage of fraudulent mobile ad clicks in India stands at approximately 32%, almost twice the global average of 15%, leading to monetary losses of around $6.5 billion globally. More marketers will turn to AI to detect fraudulent activities through its analysis of traffic and conversion rates, and self-learning ability. By identifying non-human behavior in real-time, AI will allow brands to intercept fraudulent activities and minimize losses.

More accurate measurement with multi-touch attribution 
Users in India are fulfilling different parts of their consumption journey on multiple devices; over 51% of online shoppers use two or more devices to shop online, and 39% of cross-device shoppers use smartphones as final devices for purchase, even if they may have used desktops as first devices for browsing. With cross-screen and cross-channel campaigns becoming the norm, all these varied touch-points have rendered traditional measurement metrics and marketing mix models obsolete. It comes as no surprise that 60% of marketers we surveyed identified measurement and attribution as a top need, calling for measurement standards that holistically account for the entire consumer journey.

Against this backdrop, we expect to see more marketers move from traditional marketing mixed modelling to multi-touch attribution (MTA). Our research indicates that over 150 of the top 500 marketers globally use MTA, and another 250 plan to implement it in the next 18 months; and we'll soon see the same in India. MTA draws on user-level data analytics to allocate proportional credit to specific touchpoints, allowing marketers to evaluate across all channels. By linking different devices owned by the same user into a single point of reference with a unified user ID, MTA bridges an important gap in measurement, and enables marketers to accurately track their ROI on any device, at any point of time.

Backed by the rapid development of innovative technologies and growing education around mobile, smartphone adoption is sweeping across India, and especially among marketers. Looking forward, 2018 is poised to propel mobile up the agenda of marketers and usher in more creative, effective, and agile marketing.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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mobile marketing Predictions indian market

Rohit Dadwal

The author is Managing Director, Mobile Marketing Association, APAC

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