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Mobile advertising to get more creative to target shoppers

By Ramgopal Vidyanand

Mobile marketing is a rapidly changing landscape and 2016 will see even further evolution. Last year witnessed a huge rise in all kinds of mobile advertising, including traditional mobile site ads and in-application mobile ads, and consolidation of mobile ad networks.

This past year also gave rise to more ad blocking on mobile devices. Apple led this charge, supporting ad blockers on iOS phones and tablets using Safari.

Mobile marketers have been constantly trying to deliver more ads, with more relevance and timeliness, all the while navigating growing challenges. With this in mind, here are some key trends to anticipate in 2016:

Advanced location-based targeting
Marketers already use location-based targeting to deliver mobile ads, but 2016 will look to take that to the next level.

This means ads will increasingly be delivered to more than just general locations, such as particular cities or states. What if the same technology that allows advertising within individual cities and states could be applied to users near or even in bricks-and-mortar stores?

Offering ads based on mobile users’ nearby locations can bring a whole new level of precision and effectiveness to mobile ads.

Instead of simply publishing ads in a particular geographic locale, nearby users might begin to see ads for a promotion going on at the neighborhood Starbucks, for example, making that ad that much more relevant and actionable. This type of advertising could be even more targeted if the promotion was based on previous customer purchases.

Shopping for regular items increases
To date, shopping on mobile devices has consisted primarily of browsing and price comparisons. Look to mobile shopping moving to the next level – more shoppers actually conducting transactions, for more types of products.

With companies such as Amazon rolling out Prime Now, marketers at more traditional consumer goods companies have a whole new realm of mobile advertising opportunities at their fingertips.

Prime Now offers goods such as headphones, books, and gadgets, as well as a plethora of regular items – everything ranging from milk to toilet paper to cold medicine.

As Prime Now and similar services grow in popularity, marketers at consumer goods companies will have an entirely new mobile avenue to advertise in.

The idea of advertising on a mobile device about bread or milk may have been laughed at a year ago, but today, companies such as Maola and Sarah Lee now have real reason to consider mobile ads.

Big Data moves from analysis to implementation
In aggregate, information on mobile users’ site visits can be extremely useful in creating more effective mobile marketing campaigns.

Data gleaned from millions of mobile site visits provides an accurate representation of a populace and their mobile shopping trends and preferences.

Data-driven marketing is growing as a hugely important field, with Big Data analytics allowing marketers to better understand their targets and, in turn, offer more relevant ads to them.

In 2016, Big Data analytics will grow to the next phase, moving beyond after-the-fact analysis to enabling real-time, predictive mobile ad targeting.

No longer will marketers and advertisers simply study data post-mortem to better understand the ebb and flow of particular markets. Now, they will be able to start using data to actually predict trends and create more targeted offers than ever before seen.

AS OF 2015, more Google searches were executed on mobile devices than desktop.

Last year also saw more visits to retailers via mobile devices than desktops. More web users are browsing and shopping on mobile devices, and that will just continue to grow in 2016 as mobile apps and devices continue to mature technologically.

Users will get more comfortable in conducting actual transactions on mobile devices.

With mobile shopping becoming easier and more secure, mobile marketers will continue to push the envelope to find creative, unique ways to target ads at these shoppers.

Ramgopal Vidyanand is vice president of corporate marketing and business development at Celltick, Fremont, CA. Reach him at [email protected].