Back in 2020, we blogged about the rise in mobile marketing. At that time, all signs pointed to the wisdom of advertisers embracing mobile. Two years down the line, we’re here to report that businesses worldwide appear to have gotten the memo: according to App Annie’s State of Mobile in 2022 report, the pandemic has changed the way we work and play—and projected mobile ad spend for the year ahead reflects that sea change.
Consumers Are Online
According to App Annie, consumers are spending more and more time online. 2021 broke records for time spent on mobile: as reported by prnewswire.com, people spent a jaw-dropping 4.8 hours a day on mobile in the top 10 mobile markets. Downloads reached 230 billion, a figure that represents a five percent leap year over year.
Users certainly had plenty of options from which to choose: publishers have released two million new apps and games for a cumulative total of twenty-one million! That’s a lot of apps, although certain trends are apparent. Apps like TikTok tend to dominate: the report reveals that seven of every 10 minutes spent online was devoted to some sort of social, photo, and/or video app. TikTok ranked the No. 1 most-downloaded app globally, followed by Instagram and Facebook.
Consumers Are Spending
Users aren’t just passively watching. They are spending. App Annie notes that time spent in shopping apps jumped 18 percent year over year, reaching 100 billion hours. Fast fashion, social shopping, and big box players were the winners here. According to Marketing Dive, “Consumer spending across app stores grew 19% in 2021, hitting $170 billion.”
Dating apps also flourished, in part because meeting people in person has gotten thornier thanks to Covid. According to Business Standard, people relied more on dating apps to navigate the social distancing imposed by the pandemic, a practice some users have said they’ll continue even after Covid is in our rearview mirror. The numbers certainly tell a compelling story: worldwide consumer spend on dating apps has barreled past $4.2 billion, a whopping 55 percent increase from 2019.
Mobile Ad Spend Is Growing
Brands are taking note and responding accordingly. Compared to 2020, advertisers are investing in mobile ads 23 percent more, an approach that can take many forms:
- Consider Snickers, which partnered with Spotify to reach out to users listening to music genres outside of their comfort zone. The “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” audio campaign used Spotify’s consumer data to target users branching out beyond their everyday listening. When a user streamed an atypical (for them) song, Snickers delivered an audio message—with a link to a branded “Hunger List.” The ads were customized to match the consumer’s favorite music genre.
- The Pond’s beauty brand, on the other hand, navigated a saturated market to promote a new line of acne face wash in Indonesia. They leaned into augmented reality to do so, using the front-facing cameras on users’ phones to scan faces and determine which areas were prone to acne. The unique campaign was, in fact, the first AR face-detecting ad. That’s a feather in Pond’s cap.
According to App Annie, mobile app spend is only going up, with “mobile ad spend on track to hit $350 billion in 2022.”
What Does This Mean for Advertisers?
What can we learn from the stats, not to mention the brands that have already thrown their hat into the mobile ring? We recommend that you:
- Consider the type of mobile advertising that makes sense for your brand. Each type of advertising—from videos to banner ads to pop-ups—has its own platform, design, and strengths. What type of mobile advertising will help you accomplish your goal?
- Which brings us to the next point: understand your goals. Do you want to boost sales? Promote brand awareness? Increase traffic to your site? Knowing your objectives will help you craft the most effective campaign.
- You also want to identify, and understand, your target audience. Knowing where they like to spend time online, and what type of messaging they respond to, will help make your outreach meaningful. Gen Z, for example, wants to interact with their favorite brands via online games or sponsored events. Boomers, on the other hand, tend to spend a lot of time on Facebook. To reach your target audience, you have to speak their language.
- Finally, don’t skimp on design. Use high-resolution and high-quality designs and graphics in your outreach. And the design should align with your message and your brand. This may seem like common sense, but it’s a big sticking point: users won’t linger if your advertising is amateurish or seems phoned in for the sake of having something—anything—online.
Contact True Interactive
The App Annie report underlines that mobile advertising is exploding. Not sure how to bring mobile into your advertising strategy? Contact us. We can help.