Mobile will remain the digital advertising hero in 2020 too

Experts discuss the importance of mobile advertising in the digital ecosystem, and how 2020 will be a bigger year for it

e4m by Shikha Paliwal
Published: Jan 20, 2020 8:21 AM  | 7 min read
Mobile advertising

Last year, the Dentsu Aegis Network exchange4media Digital Report predicted that digital advertising was expected to grow with a CAGR of 32 per cent to reach Rs 24,920 crore by 2021. The share of mobile advertising, according to the report, was expected to overtake desktop advertising and was predicted to be 67 per cent by 2021.

No one is selling the importance of the digital advertising story anymore because agencies and brand have already bought into it. Instead, they are busy finding new and innovative ways to leverage it. Within digital advertising, the success of mobile advertising is also being written out in big bold letters. Any digital marketer will tell you that the mobile is the cynosure of all eyes vis-à-vis digital advertising.

In 2020 too, the experts expect the mobile to hold centre stage.  Says Suraj Nambiar, Managing Partner & National Media Head, Tonic Worldwide: “The customers for most brands are discovering them through mobile. Most brands analytics of their digital assets see 80 per cent or more of their traffic coming from mobile devices. Today we have 35 to 40 per cent of incremental ad spends going to the digital medium and in that mobile does take a fair share of that spends.”

"Advertising as a sector has significantly evolved, and mobile advertising is one of the finest elements of its evolution," asserts Sameer Makani, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Makani Creatives. He adds, “Conversational advertising and artificial intelligence play a huge role in reaching modern consumers today. This approach has enabled marketers to interact with consumers in a personalized manner while creating a long-term relationship."

Chirag Shah CEO, SVG Mobile said, "The major driver for the growth in mobile advertising is data. The availability of economic data and Jio ecosystem has caught the smartphone penetration in data usage even to the smallest town and villages of India which has given horizontal and vertical growth. The number of people using data and frequency of data usage has increased drastically. The amount of time spent on mobile applications has also added to the growth of mobile advertising. Advancement in the telecom industry (4G connectivity) has also considerably helped in this growth as now it has given people power to share a huge volume of data at a much faster pace. This has also helped in the acceptance of mobile phones in place of laptops/desktops."

Every person, irrespective of age or income groups is typing, swiping and watching on their smartphones, in fact, India’s mobile user base is second only to China.  Cheap data plans and affordable smartphones have rewritten the rules of digital advertising or advertising in general. Digital agencies now talk about digital advertising as being synonymous with mobile advertising.

Says Keegan Pereira, Creative Director, Togglehead, “Quite simply, there are a lot more mobile phones around. With nearly a billion users in India alone, mobile advertising doesn’t just look to reach us. It follows us, stays with us and more importantly, at times, looks to get ahead of us.” 

Last year’s DAN e4m report stated that on mobile devices, social media spending takes the maximum share of 28 per cent, followed by display (24 per cent) and search (23 per cent), adding that the spending share of video was expected to grow to 20 per cent in 2019. Judging by the response of experts, video will remain a popular format this year too. Brands can now make their products and services more interactive and intuitive with the mobile platform says Suraj Nambiar, “The popular format for mobile advertising currently is still video and rich media formats.”

 However, it will also be a year of innovation and interesting trends in mobile advertising that digital experts are pitching for in 2020.

“Industry has well-utilised chatbots, short videos, voice search amongst others for mobile ads over the years. In 2020, what marketers really need to understand is that leveraging people-based attribution (PBA) to obtain cross channel visibility of consumer behaviour, which will help them gain true insights of consumer’s online journey, regardless of device, platform or operating system. This will address the biggest challenge marketers face today; understanding the consumer,” says Makani.

Investment in Creative, Vertical interactive video and app-ads.txt adoption are trends to look out for according to Vishal Rupani, CEO and Co-Founder at mCanvas. He elaborates on what makes them so important, “The rush for programmatic has deprioritised the 'creative'. Ad fraud, brand safety, viewability, targeting and optimisation have taken precedence. As a consequence, users are ignoring ads as they no longer stand out and engage users. Brands have now realised the need to create a powerful creative -- just like in the good old days when it was only the creative that was the soul of the campaign. Phones have a large number of sensors and native features that can be etched into the ad creative. Combining the power of programmatic with a designed-for-mobile creative that integrates phone sensors will bring back the magic.”

Besides the integration of advanced tech in mobile ads, Rupani expects made-for-mobile video ads to grow at scale. He believes that Snapchat and Instagram have clearly identified the gains of vertical video on mobile and proved that it does in fact, work well. However, it still lacks the interactive component, but 2020 is expected to be the year of change

The app-ads.txt is the other trend he pins his hope on to fight the war on inventory fraud (spoofing) inside mobile apps. He explains, “While most Marketers are still not aware of this development, growing concerns around ad fraud will soon bring this to the top in their list of priorities. And this will be followed by App Publishers implementing the new protocol.” 

The biggest trend in mobile advertising is going to be how marketers interpret and use Data says Vaibhav Odhekar, Co-Founder and COO of POKKT. He predicts understanding Data analytics in making consumer and brand relationships stronger as one of the biggest upcoming norms in the space. "I think while the industry is aware of different mobile ad formats, and have experienced their potential, the industry has been abuzz with Data and its potential but there is a bigger lack of clarity about how to use that data for better customer understanding and user experience. Marketers have been analysing trends in mobile ads to better understand their customers and track the journey of an average individual to provide them with integrated and seamless communication using mobiles.” He adds.

 The biggest trend on mobile advertising for Rikki Agarwal, Co-Founder of Blink Digital, will be to capture people’s attention in less than 3 seconds. “We live in a world where people scroll infinitely. It’s imp to create assets where people pause through the clutter and pay attention to it. A great example of this is FB thumbstoppers.” Says Agarwal.

 Meanwhile Nambiar bets on OTT players and social apps like TikTok in the mobile advertising space this year.

Despite its evident popularity, the space does not come without its challenges, while issues like brand safety, ad frauds, viewability remain an industry question. There is a lot, believe experts, that advertisers themselves need to do to help push growth in the mobile space.

 Explains Nambiar,Players in mobile advertising will have to be more transparent and platforms should allow easy self-serving options if they have to grow.”

 According to Pereira, there’s an inherent fear or rather an apprehension when it comes to mobile advertising. He says, “It’s one of the few formats of advertising that takes into account more than 2 sensory perceptions of the audience. We’re talking about what you see, what you hear, what you touch and the least crowd favourite, what you say. The main challenge would be to listen to what people are talking about, minus the ‘stalking’.”

For a more comprehensive peek into the future trends of digital advertising, hear the experts from the industry hold insightful sessions at the 4th edition of the digital advertising conference and the unveiling of the Dentsu Aegis Network-exchange4media Digital Advertising report 2020. An event and a report that is most coveted for their expert analysis and detailed study of everything digital.

The theme of the report is ‘Indian Digital Ad Industry: Rs.50,000 Crore Opportunity by 2025’. This year the report unveiling will be held on Thursday, 23rd January 2020 at The Lalit in Delhi from 2.45 pm onwards.

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