The impact of mobile marketing innovations and disruptions of years' past will continue to come into focus in 2019 as markets mature and leading players battle for dominance. That’s forecast to be particularly prevalent for mobile video and augmented reality (AR), where strong adoption could hatch some winners, some losers and several acquisitions or mergers.
Mobile marketers will also continue to see how social commerce and voice technology can affect the entire customer journey and, when executed well, shorten the sales funnel. Meanwhile, the rollout of 5G will elevate network speed and marketing capabilities across a newly supercharged mobile landscape.
Below are six key developments set to shake out this year in the mobile marketing world.
A fight for dominance in mobile video
The numbers confirm what many already know: Mobile video set records in 2018, with even more growth predicted to come. Smartphones became the dominant channel to watch online video, with mobile's share of online "video starts" crossing 50% for the first time. In tandem, mobile is forecast to account for 72% of the growth in spending on online video advertising. As video continues to blossom, 2019 is likely to see big players in the space fight for dominance.
"You have some major forces like Jeffrey Katzenberg and Quibi who are now getting into a premium, Hollywood game for a mobile-first vision," Peter Csathy, CEO of consulting firm Creatv Media, told Mobile Marketer. "Major brands will continue to invest significantly in mobile video and perhaps step up the game in production, quality and budgets, following the lead of those major forces."
"Major brands will continue to invest significantly in mobile video and perhaps step up the game in production, quality and budgets."
CEO, Creatv Media
The next 12 months could prove make-or-break for new players and for two big names that launched in 2018: Facebook Watch and Instagram's IGTV. Despite Facebook's billion-dollar investment in these platforms, they have so far underperformed. Facebook clearly sees Watch as a driver of growth, having expanded its ad sales to 40 countries, but the service has struggled to drive viewership. The company will have to prove that both Facebook and Instagram are sources of original content, not just social platforms, Csathy explained, lest they join the mobile-first video graveyard populated by failed efforts from Samsung, Comcast, Verizon and more.
The road to success will require "continuous experimentation," regarding every facet of content. It could also push platforms further into M&A of other content sources and brands.
"Brand-driven and content-driven M&A will accelerate through 2019," Csathy said, as platforms look to secure "targeted audiences that [they] can own and really serve."
Voice tech's blossoming role in the household
If this year was about testing smart speakers' usability in the household, 2019 will be the year of brands proving their voice tech's value. By the end of 2018, ownership of smart speakers like Amazon Echo or Google Home was forecast to hit nearly half (48%) of Americans, up from 32% in August, per Adobe Analytics.
Follow Natalie Koltun on Twitter
First Published on Mobile Marketer