Mobile user acquisition saw some major advancements in 2014. However, mobile user acquisition as an industry remains full of potential.
2015 represents an opportunity to advance the technology and metrics behind user acquisition. But the real question is what will be driving force behind these changes?
Here is our take on key trends to keep an eye out for in the coming months:
- Intellectual Property Mobile App Titles: Games like Kim Kardashian’s game, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, really set the stage for revenue potential on mobile with celebrity endorsements. Marvel has a slew of game titles featuring their iconic characters, Kate Upton is being leveraged to market Machine Zone’s Game of War, and even Tom Hanks saw success with his typewriter app Hanx Writer in 2014. In 2015, expect to see a massive crop of new apps that use celebrities to either endorse apps, promote apps, or star as main characters in the apps themselves.
- Asian Influence: 2014 was important for Chinese hardware makers like Xiaomi, realizing massive valuations and seeing rapid growth. 2014 also displayed how important the Asian app economy is. Asia is pumping out massive messaging platforms like Line, KakaoTalk, QQ, and others which are soon to rival Twitter in terms of active users. Utility apps like CleanMaster also have user bases near 300 million, which are being heavily monetized through app promotions. You will see more acquisitions of these user bases by larger Chinese companies or U.S. based social companies. You will also see more Asian headquartered companies make the transition from being domestic plays to penetrating Tier 1 markets like the U.S., Western Europe, and the Middle East.
- App store fragmentation is starting to appear with Yandex and Baidu creating substantial app stores. The cellular carriers are also getting more aggressive about promoting apps via their branded stores. Amazon continues to deliver aggressive promotions via their app store. Ultimately, from an app marketing perspective, this just means you have to be listed in more places to get 100% market coverage.
- User Acquisition will start to become true user acquisition. Currently, the campaigns and metrics measure acquiring one user on one device. You will see a shift in advertisers looking to acquire multiple devices from the same user to get to 100% top of mind no matter what device they are on. Metrics will have to also become more advanced to identify this single user across multiple devices. This is contrary to tech like IDFA and Google Ad ID, but the reality is that most people have more than one device now. Why not have the same app experience on each device?
- Digital dollars flow to traditional media. During the 2015 Super Bowl, we guarantee that you will see at least 3 mobile app ads. This is a large paradigm shift in that brands that started off in the digital realm are buying media across multiple channels to develop true brands in hopes of reaching new audiences and extending life cycles.
- Fortune 500 brands catch up to the trend and start doing paid user acquisition on a more regular basis. You will see brands like Macy’s, Lowes, Walgreens, CBS, NBC, NFL, MLB, HBO, WWE, and many others become more aggressive in finding new customers via mobile user acquisition campaigns. Sports, entertainment, and chain retail will lead the charge in laying the ground work in 2015.
- 4G LTE download rates will start to exceed many terrestrial broadband connections. For example, in NYC, T-Mobile now supports 100 mbs download speeds, further giving us a reason to cancel our contracts with the cable company and consolidate to one mobile bill per month. Gigabit could change this in some places like Austin, but the roll out of ultra-highspeed LTE will come to more cities first.
- Retargeting will become cross device: You will start to see more and more ads follow you from device to device in 2015, and this could be championed by titans like Facebook, AT&T, or Google. Retargeting itself will also start to take into account more advanced variables like weather, time of day, physical location, browsing patterns, other apps being actively used, etc. Big brother in advertising is rising.
Overall, 2015 brings a wealth of opportunities and challenges, but the main thing we can be certain of is that the rate of change within the mobile sector will be extremely fast.
Here’s to a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2015 for all!