5 Mobile Marketing Trends for 2021


In 2020, mobile marketing took a tremendous leap forward due to COVID-19. We were introduced to ‘social distancing’. This resulted in a surge of mobile shopping, mobile socializing, mobile entertainment… mobile everything.

As we look to 2021, what can we expect in mobile marketing?

Before we get to our list of trends for 2021, we wanted to discuss one skill set which stood out in 2020, and that’s AGILITY.

As a matter of fact, the demand for agility will not decrease in 2021. We’re optimistic about the recently announced COVID-19 vaccines. Regardless, marketing organizations have seen the value of agility and there is no turning back.

The annual marketing plan might still exist, but marketers and their partners will be expected to re-invent based on unexpected (or expected) happenings, and in real-time. This means that the best marketers will be the ones who are comfortable improvising tactics to take advantage of changing industry, market, or societal dynamics.

So… we analyzed the trends we’re seeing globally and consulted with some of the smartest people we know to bring you our list of five mobile marketing trends for 2021:

1. Make way for Reels (by Instagram)

Last year, we predicted that TikTok would be one of the trends for 2020, and we were right. We’re still excited by the growth and opportunities available with TikTok. That said, we recommend checking the latest video offering from Instagram. Not surprisingly, it has a lot in common with TikTok.

Reels enables users to record and edit 15 – 30 second video clips and set them to music. Users can then share them via the Explore Feed, Stories, or the new Reels tab appearing on users’ profiles.

Reels does not yet offer advertising opportunities at the time of writing though they just launched Shopping in Reels. That said, the short video format is a great way to create and share video content, highlight products, and engage with new users and existing followers.

Given the tremendous success of Facebook and Instagram, we wouldn’t recommend betting against Reels.

2. Shoppable… everything

via Shutterstock

One of the trends we’ve seen grow in 2020 which we believe will continue in 2021 is Shoppable Ads. According to research from the IAB, shoppable ad media, which includes live streaming, social commerce, virtual consultations, and shoppable ad formats, will be the fastest-growing ad category as both retailers and brands seek out consumers who are increasingly shopping online.

Facebook’s properties have been at the forefront of the move to commerce. The company launched Instagram Shop last summer. In addition, WhatsApp announced the roll-out of in-app shopping. And don’t forget TikTok, which is partnering with Shopify on shoppable video ads, and Snap, which will be broadcasting shoppable shows.

3. Conversational Commerce

Chatbots were on the rise about three years ago. Unfortunately, the unnatural natural language processing language made the experience less than satisfying.

Fast-forward a few years, and the technology has been re-invented into today’s conversational commerce or c-commerce. C-commerce enables marketers to use messaging apps to offer shoppable products or services within the chat environment.

In Asia, L’Oréal held a 12-hour virtual beauty festival on Facebook Live powered by Jumper’s conversational commerce solution. This c-commerce event generated one month’s worth of online sales within 24 hours. L’Oréal reached 2.6 million customers, resulting in 17,000 chats and a 4x post-engagement rate.

How do you encourage consumers to check your new movie library and sign up for your streaming service? Norway’s TV2 Sumo asked: “Which movie should you watch?” in their conversational campaign. Powered by Cavai’s conversational ad platform, this campaign resulted in a 2% engagement rate with 28% of those who started completing the conversation and a 1.93% overall campaign conversion rate.

4. Predictive Marketing Technologies

As Steve Jobs famously said: “It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

And this quote leads to one of the more interesting trends we’re forecasting for 2021: predictive marketing technologies. According to marketing innovation consultancy TD Reply’s industry marketing playbook, marketers can combine intent data with quality and targeted business data, coupled with predictive analytics and emotional recognition. This enables offering prospects the products and services that they really want. For example, Immersion uses neuroscience to help marketers predict outcomes.

It’s still early for a lot of these technologies, but we believe that predictive marketing technologies will impact marketing in 2021 and beyond.

5. Augmented Reality

Retailers and marketers are seeking experiential solutions because of COVID-19. Add in maturing mobile technologies and more hardware alternatives to make augmented reality a trend to watch in 2021.

Apple founder Steve Jobs made the product launch a major event, particularly for iPhones. This summer, smartphone manufacturer OnePlus turned to augmented reality powered by Blippar to launch their OnePlus Nord as part of the live stream of the launch.

Working with Snapchat, Gucci created an AR shoe try-on lens. This campaign overlays a digital version of the shoe on the smartphone user’s feet and then presents a ‘shop now’ button for immediate purchase.

Kellogg’s partnered with Blippar to create interactive content for kids. All the kids have to do is to scan a code appearing on selected cereal boxes. This unlocks an immersive experience for the kids, highlighting the value of AR.

The range of these examples showcases the tremendous potential for AR in 2021.

How are you going to make an impact with your 2021 marketing campaigns? Reach out to Creative Clicks and let our entrepreneurial team of marketing experts add some energy to your marketing.

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