by Simona Gentile

Digital Director, PHD Global Business

Time spent with digital media continues to grow, and the growth is all mobile. ComScore found that mobile now accounts for 69% of digital media time spent. By comparison, the desktop has fallen to less than one-third of total digital media time.

Mobile devices are forecast to account for 73% of the time global consumers spend using the internet in 2018, up from 70% in 2017, and this is expected to rise further to 76% by 2019.

And at the end of last year, the amount of money spent on internet ads going to mobile ads, overtook the amount spent on desktop ads.

Furthermore, it’s forecasted that 59% of all internet adspend is estimated to go to mobile ads in 2018. Looking ahead to 2019, this will increase to 62%, totalling US$156 billion, and account for 26% of adspend across all media.

Programmatic mobile, which allows real-time, location-based targeting and enables marketers to reach more precise audiences, segments and consumers at bigger scale will play a key role in the future of mobile. In the US, 80% of mobile ads are bought programmatically. In the UK, it’s 50%, predicted to rise to 90% by 2019. Within a couple of years almost all mobile digital display ads will be purchased programmatically.

This fast pace of change will be driven by some key trends in mobile, namely:

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are two very hot buzzwords right now, and often seem to be used interchangeably. ML is a current application of AI and allows us to teach a computer programme to recognise complex patterns (objects, sounds, speech, feelings, events, etc.) by analysing large data sets and to make intelligent decisions, predictions or recommendations based on this data, using a special algorithm. AI is the broader concept of machines being able to carry out tasks in a way that we would consider ‘smart’. Virtual Personal Assistants (VPAs), Intelligent Apps, Cyber Security, Internet of Things (IoT) – each component of the technology sector will employ AI capabilities to its processes; examples are the recent launches of Google Clip and Huawei Mate10, the world’s first camera and smartphone devices to use AI processors. According to a new report from International Data Corporation (IDC), the AI market will experience a revenue growth of more than $47 billion in 2020.
  2. IoT is going to remain a major trend in 2018. Today, IoT is present in modern wearable technology, smart thermostats, smart bulbs, dimmable streetlights, etc. Analysts predict that IoT will grow to over $661 billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 33.3%. This directly impacts the mobile app trends as IoT devices are majorly controlled by smartphones.
  3. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR and VR) are going to be hot in 2018. Experts predict that they will generate $150 billion in revenue by 2020.
  4. Visual and voice search will be generating 30% of e-commerce revenue by 2021.
  5. 64% of shoppers prefer texting rather than talking. 25% of chatbot users use it to find or purchase a product. 47% of internet users would buy through a chatbot. By 2021, half of the world’s businesses will spend more on chatbots than any other mobile app development.
  6. Regardless of whether a brand strategy is Mobile or App first, the final objective for both should always be to improve the customer experience, which is correlated to a lower m-site or app loading time. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Progressive Web App (PWA) will help m-site to load more quickly, reducing bounce rate and deliver an app-like user experience.
  7. Powerful mobile apps with direct cloud interaction are set to revolutionise the smartphone industry. Cisco research says that globally, cloud apps will drive 90% of total mobile data traffic by 2019. Cloud-based mobile apps are especially attractive for enterprises as they would largely alleviate the data security issues inherent in Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).
  8. The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is going to be a focus for many organisations as they work out how to identify and protect the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that they hold. With Blockchain, advertising will be better through transparency, security and unalterability of the data from buyer to seller. Blockchain and Cyber Security will dominate all aspects of the technological advancements.
  9. 5G – 5th generation of the mobile network technology – is still a few years away and international standards have yet to be finalised, but its economic impact is expected to be substantial, while it also has the potential to transform advertising and marketing. 5G will enable genuinely real-time, two-way communications between brands and consumers. It will also support the anticipated explosion of connected devices and contribute to the development of connected cities and driverless cars. 5G removes the need for human intervention in a range of tasks, enabling brands to revolutionise their approach to retail, both online and in-store, and brands innovating in VR and AR will be able to deliver more seamless experiences. While that is the promise, there are some formidable hurdles to overcome, including the infrastructure investment required to get 5G off the ground – €500 billion in Europe alone on one estimate. The UK government, for instance, has already allocated £1.1 billion to explore the next era of connectivity. Innovations in 5G technology are likely to further accelerate brand investment in video advertising: forecasts reported a 117% year-on-year global increase in video ad budgets. With its bad experience in 3G, China is determined to be a major player in 5G, with a meaningful share of IPRs.

Brands and marketers should start to see these innovations as an opportunity to grow and become pioneers in our industries.

To conclude, I’ll refer to a quote from innovator and author Brian Halligan: “Innovation: Imagine the future and fill in the gaps.”

This article formed part of ‘PHD Perspectives’, click this link to read the full publication http://bit.ly/phdperspectives