Given the ever-growing expectation for having anytime, anywhere internet and cellular access, it’s no wonder that mobile devices are commanding a greater share of consumer attention every year. According to eMarketer, U.S. adults will spend nearly four hours per day on mobile devices in 2020, up from two and three-quarters hours in 2015.
So it’s not surprising that marketers’ investments in mobile campaigns continue to grow at a strong clip. This year, for example, mobile ad spending is expected to increase by more than 21% to $120 billion. But this year also promises to be a pivotal one in mobile’s development that will present marketers with fresh opportunities for engaging consumers along with new challenges in managing data related to those consumers. Here are a few take-aways from eMarketer’s trends report.
5G penetration may be low at present, but that doesn’t mean expectations for it aren’t sky high and rising atmospherically with each step closer to full rollout. The next generation of broadband is already being touted as the technology that will open up huge opportunities for mobile advertising. In particular, this will have a huge effect on video advertising on mobile.
For example, 5G is expected to make a huge difference in mobile gaming. The low latency and high-speed connections could introduce much more immersive multiplayer mobile games. And, according to eMarketer, brands may finally discover in-game video advertising in a big way. In addition, given that mobile video advertising overall is growing so quickly—25% in 2020—the financial infusion will breed more innovation in the mobile video ad space, including more interactivity.
Context is Everything
So much of online advertising lately has been about capitalizing on users’ personal information and data. But new regulations around consumer privacy, along with burgeoning cookie restrictions, are forcing a shift that will likely result in the resurgence of contextual advertising. Using the context of an app or web page rather than an individual’s personal data to gauge interest, is an effective way for marketers to target consumers in a world without cookies.
Marketers will need to be more judicious about how they collect and use data. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As Scott Swanson, CEO and co-founder of Aki Technologies told eMarketer, “In reality, the app or content that somebody is using is probably one of the things that’s most indicative of the kind of moment that person is having.”
The combination of the opportunities unleashed by 5G and the challenges associated with privacy could result in a kind of push-me, pull-you situation for marketers but there’s a workaround, according to Teads’ Global Creative Director, Coca Cocallemen. He feels upping the ante on the creative for mobile ads will do much to help brands capitalize on the exciting capabilities of new broadband networks while engaging audiences in impactful, effective ways. Cocallemen makes the case in AdWeek that the quality of the creative on mobile matters more than all the slicing, dicing and targeting data stores can yield.
Marketers need to step up, in his view, and treat mobile as the unique and powerful platform that it is. Noting that 85% of mobile videos were created for larger, panoramic TV screens, he underscores the importance of creating video for the specific medium rather than just trying to press an existing asset into a service it might not be able to fully deliver on. It’s not a new observation, but it’s an important one to bear in mind as mobile achieves new levels of primacy.