Mobile Marketing

Marketing Challenges Brands Overcame in 2016

Mobile marketers are wrapping up 2016 by getting a head start on the new year. But understanding new types of data, emerging technologies, and the latest mobile trends will fall short without assessing the marketing challenges that forced brands to get specific, personalised, and relevant on mobile. 2016 brought a wave of change as mobile devices took center stage, ad tech blossomed, and consumer trends shifted towards wearables, VR, and AR. Brands will have a challenging time forming upcoming mobile campaigns without looking to what they’ve overcome in 2016, so we’ve looked over the most popular struggles mobile marketers faced this past year.


Marketers struggled with understanding customer data.

Understanding customer data was the greatest marketing challenge among Australian brands, as marketers have only just begun to understand data and leverage it accordingly. While 92% of brands are collecting data from their customers, many are stuck when it comes to utilising this data for better targeting. A study from IDG Connect and Avention revealed that 42% of marketers can’t pull insights from the data they’ve harvested, while 23% say they’re challenged by the quality of data they receive. What makes data critical to mobile advertising campaigns in 2017 will be the accuracy and quality of what’s submitted by consumers. “Sales and marketing are really looking at more than just purposing data,” said James Rogers, CMO, Avention. “[They] are looking at analytics, the insight that can be derived from the data, and how these insights can be delivered in a prescriptive way in the right time, in the right way, so that they can do a more effective job in executing their activities day to day.”  

Making data actionable at scale will progress in 2017 as more marketers tap into mobile advertising for better analytics and retargeting options. Now that brands are beginning to break down the data they have, they’ll be able to prioritise it higher this next year. 21% of decision makers responded to a Forbes Insights survey saying big data and analytics are the single most important way to gain an advantage, while 38% put it in top five. Heading into 2017, nearly eight in ten respondents said they’ve already begun to see the effects on revenues from better data implementation. These numbers are an enormous indicator that brands are currently losing revenue by not investing time in fully understanding the data they already have.

Location based advertising was under-utilised.

Advertising technologies that tap into location-based audiences and location retargeting will have a much firmer place in 2017. Brands that have held back from utilising location-driven technologies saw the competition surge ahead when implementing location-based advertising. Forbes Insights’ survey findings regarding location-based data and found that these insights were the most commonly used type- and in fact were the only type mentioned by the majority worldwide. This type of advertising coupled with retargeting efforts help brands hone in on exactly what works for their product or service, and capture potential and current customers by combining timing, convenience, and proximity to draw in more customers.


Marketers were stumped by the complexity of the customer journey on mobile.

This problem lies in brands remaining both resistant and unknowledgeable about the customer journey’s shift to mobile. Many marketers are still hoping the purchasing funnel that once followed the standard, “Awareness > Interest > Desire > Action” applies to mobile as well, but they miss the mark. It once revolved around availability and shipping minimums, but mobile has transformed the customer journey, away from simple steps and towards what moreso resembles a complex game board, riddled with unique and instantaneous customer decisions. 2016 revealed a profound shift from consumers depending on friends, family, and the media informing them of new products, to a socially expedited and convenience-driven process fueled by searchable information. The mobile ecosystem may be relatively new, but the amount of data it has created firmly stamps its place as the decision-making device of 2017, thus, is of paramount importance to marketing campaigns and initiatives.

Previous marketing challenges like customer acquisition is no longer the main game. Consumers’ aptitude for mobile, combined with rising expectations, will cause brand awareness to take center stage in 2017. Users have already learned to find anything and everything they want on mobile, but for the ones who can’t, it’s your brand that’s at fault. Each brand’s purchasing journey must compliment the customer, who is more often than not weaving in and out of the funnel using mobile, comparing prices, saving carts, comparing shipping, researching reviews, returning to search similar products, and checking customer service options. Brands that already understand the customer journey on mobile will pull together more effective location-based campaigns, cross-screening initiatives, and social audience profiles. Based on what we’ve seen from the past year, cross-channel capabilities will be fast-tracked in 2017, while programmatic ads will be more creative and go mainstream among competitors. If your brand needs help running a mobile ad campaign in 2017, click here.

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