Five questions about where mobile is headed in 2015

Mike Reynolds, the IAB’s senior mobile executive, gazes into the future and asks five questions about what lies ahead for mobile next year.

IAB's Mike Reynolds

Will I STILL have to pinch and zoom in 2015?

It amazes me that we’re still at a point where I can visit one of my favourite brands on a smartphone and be horrified by the experience that I’m presented with. It makes me wonder if some marketing directors think their mobile offering meets consumers' expectations. The fact is it doesn’t!

In one of our latest pieces of research, 69 per cent of people said visiting a non-optimised site was a frustrating experience. Perhaps more worryingly for brands was that 73 per cent of the sample said they did not turn to an alternative device when faced with a non-mobile friendly site. In a world driven by conversions, this means your brand could be making it easy for your customers to turn to a competitor, and stay there.

Thankfully some advertisers are taking mobile seriously. In our most recent mobile audit we revealed that 90 per cent of automotive brands had optimised their site for mobile. Advertisers that are behind the optimisation curve should be taking a leaf out of these champion brands' books.

Is 2015 ‘the year of cross-screen’?

We’re at a point now where mobile accounts for 31 per cent of all money spent on digital display advertising in the UK. This is testament to the fact that mobile delivers results, both from a branding and direct response perspective. When you couple this with the proliferation of smartphone and tablet devices in the UK it presents a huge opportunity for businesses across all sectors.

The challenge that mobile has traditionally faced is that it has, for the most part, been planned in isolation. However, as the market continues to develop, we are seeing the emergence of cross-screen campaigns. This is being driven by the consumer appetite to consume content on any number of devices and screen sizes.

The emergence of sophisticated, probabilistic methods of targeting has made cross-screen campaigns a far stronger proposition for advertisers and agencies. Essentially, it simplifies the buying process, which can only mean more pounds being spent in digital advertising.

Does mobile programmatic mean I won’t get invited out for lunch in 2015?

When you look at digital spend going through programmatic marketplaces, it’s fair to say that an old-school media lunch could be hard to come by in 2015. This year, for the first time, we measured what percentage of digital display advertising was being traded programmatically. For digital as a whole, 28 per cent of the online display market was sold programmatically in 2013. Perhaps more interestingly, when you look at mobile as a subset of digital, that figures rises to 37 per cent.

The growth of programmatic doesn’t look to be slowing down either. In the same study, predictions for programmatically traded, digital display inventory are as high as 70 per cent by 2017.

Will brands leverage the location opportunity in 2015?

Location is arguably what sets mobile apart from other forms of media, and is something which advertisers should be excited about. The issue with location has always been scale, and this may be true when location is used in isolation. What I think we’ll see in 2015 is location being employed as part of advertisers' wider marketing strategies, to enrich and enhance their advertising efforts.

Is my dog going to be connected in 2015?

The internet of things (IoT) has been an industry buzzword in 2014. One prediction I’ve seen for the growth of IoT is that there will be 50 billion connected devices in the world by 2020. That’s a pretty staggering statistic and one that brands should be taking note of.

The problem that IoT faces at the moment is that everything sits in isolation; the challenge going forward will be bringing everything together. One thing’s for sure, mobile will be at the centre of that integration.

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