By Yogeeta Chainani
As a business space, mobile marketing is dynamic in nature- one that requires marketers to stay on top of the latest and most relevant trends. The onset of the pandemic in 2020 accelerated the growth of this segment. Businesses, especially D2C brands had no choice but to address the unforeseen changes within the mobile marketing ecosystem- after all, in a short span of time the user activity had shifted and the average time spent on smartphones had increased. Indians spent a record high of 4.7 hours a day on their mobile phone in 2021 as compared to 3.7 hours in 2019, marking a 30 percent rise in the average time spent on smartphones.
While globally, spending on mobile advertising reached a record figure of $223 billion in 2020 (17% increase YOY) (source- Statista), by the end of 2021 in India, the share of mobile in digital media spend had increased to 76% as compared to 45% in FY19. The space has been growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 45% to $1.9 billion (source- Prabhudas Lilladher).
With the impact of the Omicron variant steadily reducing and businesses steadily shifting to a pre-pandemic mode of operations, the mobile marketing ecosystem for 2022 will certainly need marketers to set more ambitious expectations to stay ahead of the curve. With brands looking to accelerate their growth trajectory, there are three pivotal mobile marketing trends that marketing leaders should keep on their radar.
Marketers need to choose wisely in regards to their tech stack, with an ability to enhance and change it whenever necessary. The pandemic has been termed as “The Great Accelerator” for ushering in seismic shifts in the usage of mobile devices and digital services which were previously untapped. As a watershed moment for India’s e-retail market, the pandemic drove a 12-month acceleration in e-retail penetration (the e-retail market surged by 5% to reach $38 billion despite a multi-month lockdown), which was at 4.6% by the end of FY21. Research undertaken by FIS Global reveals 58% of consumers are spending more online, 27% of them have subscribed to at least one new digital streaming service, and 42% of consumers acknowledging having purchased more through mobile devices. Due to these changes, customer centricity has become more important than ever before. This is a marketing philosophy that aligns with user expectations regarding frictionless interactions and highly relevant experiences. For marketers in India to be able to quickly meet these consumer demands, they will need martech and analytics technology which would enable them to personalise their customer’s user experience and adapt to new insights. This is why marketers want more precise targeting capabilities than ever before.
Managing 10,000 campaigns across 10 publishers and 10 sub-publishers involves analysis of a million data points and populating diverse and hefty spreadsheets/tables. This takes a marketer’s valuable time away which could have been better spent on strategy, planning, and creativity.
Automation is reigning supreme by taking care of laborious manual tasks and enabling marketers to spend more time on strategy and creative endeavors- and in turn, increasing productivity and return on ad spend (ROAS). The current time calls for marketers to set the parameters in alignment with their overall strategy so that automated tools can make decisions at humanly impossible speed, increasing this critical metric.
Tracking the next wave of regulations in mobile marketing is helping brands stay ahead of the game. Marketers, especially marketing leaders and CEOs, cannot afford to miss the boat. Take privacy regulations as an example- which can practically impact a brand’s marketing roadmap overnight. Marketing leaders need to share such awareness with their partners and suppliers as well.
An example of the rapid changes to the mobile marketing industry is the introduction of Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency, which limited tracking across apps on iOS devices. In the face of new regulations, investing in the right tech stack will result in scaling faster and in a more flexible strategy. Moreover, companies that want to grow internationally should work with partners with a global footprint- so that they can stay informed about local as well as global market intelligence and respond to local regulations and other changes that affect marketing.
All in all, the year 2022 will be fast-paced in nature and will present umpteen opportunities that can be leveraged for revenue and growth. In the post-pandemic world, the industry ecosystem will strive towards innovating its products and marketing strategies. With mobile marketing expected to continue driving momentum for brands this year, the fact remains that mobile will have to be at the core of any brand’s marketing strategy and their overall business infrastructure. Mobile will be where actions and relationships will be built and therefore brands and marketers in India will have to make strategic efforts to better understand this ecosystem and its working.
The author is co-founder and CEO, Swaarm