Mobile Marketing: Three Words Edition

As the new year unfolds, many people will publish their annual “three words” posts. We decided to partake in the trend but give it a mobile marketing twist. Our three words for the year are:

Immersion

If the word of 2013 was “experience,” this year’s will be immersion. Brands will go beyond small-scale experiences to immersive ones that extend beyond the walls of the store. They will incorporate not only the in-store experience but also the website, social, and mobile.

The key to immersion will be seamless transitions from one screen to the next and from the screen to the store. Every piece has to align and work toward whatever return the brand hopes to achieve.

Immersion includes experiences tailored to customers on the front-facing end, which means a lot more work on the back end. Inventory databases will have to be consolidated to a single point that serves the store and website, including mobile. It also will mean regularly updating employees about new specials and customer touch points – perhaps even pushing those announcements and processes to them not only via weekly meetings but also through personal devices.

Money

Businesses will continue to spend more money on mobile ads, and they will look for ways to create apps that either integrate with in-store sales in some way or allow for mobile payments. While it’s unlikely that one mobile payment platform will win the 2014 mobile wallet battle, we’ll see more contenders.

As for mobile ads themselves, businesses will spend more on them in the upcoming year. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) says that three-quarters of the marketing executives surveyed in its “Marketer Perceptions of Mobile Advertising” study expect that their companies’ mobile advertising spend will increase in the next two years.

The first of our three words hints at the reason for increased spending; immersive experiences aren’t cheap. Our third word, content, points to another reason. Content – specifically high-quality content – comes at a higher price. Saks Fifth Avenue’s holiday windows are a testament to both facts.

Content

We know. “Content” is the word of the year every year. It’s with reason; content may, in fact, be king. We believe we’ll see a lot of new content designed specifically for mobile this year. If we see new devices take off this year like Glass, we may see new content for them, too.

New forms to deliver content also will mean new ad formats. We’ll probably see new types of video ads thanks to the work of Vine, Instagram, and similar platforms. Expect more content optimized to fit varying screen sizes, and public disdain for companies that don’t take optimization into consideration. We’ll also see more attention paid to high-quality, eye-catching graphics.