The future of advertising can fit in the palm of your hand. Today, the majority of internet users, 92.1%, use a mobile device to go online. Mobile devices account for more than half of the web traffic in the world.
The rise of mobile device use has led to calls to adopt a mobile-first strategy, first with design, and next with advertising technologies. With 2023 just around the corner, here are the mobile marketing trends to look out for.
Before taking a closer look at the marketing and advertising trends that are expected to be all over in 2023, it’s important to define what technology in advertising, or “ad tech” is.
Ad tech is the tools, platforms and software advertisers and publishers use to manage digital and mobile advertising. Companies often assemble an ad tech stack, consisting of various tools and platforms that distribute ads and make the most of revenue. Often, ad tech is associated with programmatic advertising, which allows for the automatic sale and purchase of ads.
Ad tech can be complicated, which is why your company may need a digital media strategist to help you determine which methods and trends will work best for you.
The Future of AdTech: 4 Predictions For Advertising Technology
As ad tech evolves, here are a few areas that should see growth in the coming months and years.
- The rise of first-party data: The death of third-party data has been somewhat exaggerated, but is on the way. Eventually, Google and the like will block third-party cookies, meaning it’s first-party data all the way. Brands that want to make the most of ad tech moving forward will need to explore cookieless options and user-centric data.
- It’s all about context: As cookies crumble, context moves to the forefront. Contextual advertising pairs ads with relevant content. An ad for baking supplies might appear on a recipe website or an ad for yoga pants might appear on a fitness site.
- Ads in streaming: For years, streaming services were ad-free. Now, in a bid to attract more customers, many streaming platforms are introducing lower-priced, ad-supported tiers. These ads can be connected to first-party data and customized based on the audience.
- Ads in podcasts: The podcast is another format that’s ripe for ad tech. Expect the number of ads in podcasts to increase in the coming months, reaching targeted audiences.
Why Is Mobile the Future of Advertising?
Mobile advertising does more than connect your brand to people. It also provides more data. When someone’s on their phone, you can get access to what they’re looking at, what apps they’ve downloaded and where they use their phones.
If a mobile user passes by a brick-and-mortar location, you can know and you can send a ping or notification to them.
Mobile Ad Tech Trends to Gain Traction
What does the future of mobile marketing look like? Keep an eye out for the following trends in 2023 and beyond.
1. Location-based or app-based targeting
Location-based targeting delivers ads to users based on their geographic location. There are several ways to target users based on location, including proximity marketing and geo-fencing.
With geo-fencing, marketers create a geographical boundary. Anytime a mobile user in the targeted demographic enters the boundary area, they can receive ads and marketing materials. For example, if a smartphone user who has previously shown interest in a cosmetics brand passes the boundary line 50 feet from the brand’s store, they might receive a coupon offering them 10% off their next purchase.
Geo-fencing encourages real-time engagement with a brand by reaching users when they are within walking distance.
Proximity marketing is a hyper-local example of location-based targeting. While geo-fencing relies on GPS to determine a user’s physical location, proximity marketing uses Bluetooth, beacons and apps.
For proximity marketing to work, the user needs to have installed an app on their device, which communicates with a beacon installed in the geographic area. An example is an app that gives a user points or rewards for stepping foot in a store.
Once the user has enabled the app, they’ll receive push notifications whenever they are within a certain distance of the beacon.
2. Playable, immersive and interactive videos
Engagement is the goal with any type of advertising and mobile ad tech allows for a uniquely engaging ad experience.
Expect to see a rise in the number of playable and interactive video ads in 2023 and the years to come. Playable ads mimic the experience of using an app or playing a video game. They create a connection between the user and the advertiser that just doesn’t exist with more static ad formats.
Playable ads rely on the old adage of “show, don’t tell.” They let a user try out whatever’s being advertised, virtually, at least. For example, a sneaker brand might create an ad that lets a user play around with how lightweight and flexible its latest line of shoes is.
Or, an auto manufacturer might produce a video game ad that lets users experience what it’s like behind the wheel.
3. Mobile Ad Spend Increasing Across the Board
For the past five years, mobile ad spend has been inching up, across all formats. It’s expected to keep on increasing through 2026. In 2017, mobile ad spending totaled $111.14 billion.
By 2026, the figure is expected to reach $463.55 billion.
While all advertising formats, from banner ads to video ads and search ads to social media, will see extensive growth over the next few years, some ad formats will see more growth than others.
Video ad spend is expected to be $94.44 billion in 2023, up from $15.51 billion in 2017, an more than six-fold increase. Search ad and banner ad spend will both double while social media spending is expected to increase nearly five times.
4. Increasing mobile gaming advertising
Mobile use is popular and ever-increasing and one area of mobile use is experiencing the greatest gains: gaming.
There are more than 2.2 billion mobile gamers in the world, with another billion expected to join their ranks in 2023. In the U.S., about half of all mobile games play at least 10 times a week.
As mobile gaming becomes more popular, so does mobile gaming advertising. Ad spend in mobile games is expected to reach $221.51 billion by 2027. In 2022, ad spend on mobile gaming was more than three times the spend in console games.
Mobile gamers seem more willing to accept advertisements, too, particularly if access to the game itself is free. That makes gamers’ relationship with ads similar to that of streaming users. Many are happy to watch or engage with an ad if it means the end product, the game or the streaming service, is cheap or free to use.
Now’s the Time to Embrace a Mobile Marketing Strategy
We’ve seen the future and it’s mobile. Going forward, focusing on boosting your mobile ad spend and embracing engaging ad formats, like in-game ads, is the way to go.