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As mobile device usage continues to rapidly increase, it has become evident that mobile marketing is essential and contributes significantly to a business's success. It is constantly evolving based on trends, consumer behavior and in 2020’s case, a pandemic. Mobile marketing became more crucial than before due to the population being confined indoors and using their mobile devices to do almost everything, virtually.

Mobile marketing will continue to grow in 2021, but to determine how, we need to look back at the ways 2020 changed mobile marketing.

According to Digital Marketing Institute, 70% of mobile marketers believe the pandemic helped strengthen their promotional efforts. The more time people spend on their devices, the more opportunities mobile marketers have to reach their target audiences through mediums like mobile apps and streaming services.

SMS marketing increased substantially in 2020. Companies focused their email and text message marketing efforts into more concise messages, tailored to their consumers. Deliberate messaging allows for a personalized experience and helps strengthen mobile marketing techniques.

Shopping on mobile devices increased in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, as people could not and in some cases, still can not, shop in person. There was a demand for user-friendly mobile shopping experiences and the businesses that focused their marketing efforts on online shoppers, capitalized on the opportunity and stood out from the crowd.

Social media apps like Tik Tok and Instagram were downloaded much more in 2020 than in previous years, with Tik Tok adoption growing five times more than in 2019 according to Business of Apps. Because of Tik Tok’s interactive nature, mobile marketers collaborated with creators and companies, like Aflac, even set up their own account to raise brand awareness among different demographics.

So, what does all of this mean for 2021?

Mobile App Marketing

Trying to figure out in-app advertising has been a bumpy road for many mobile marketers, but utilizing ad banners and video ads have become more prevalent and this will continue in 2021. Not only has mobile app marketing become more accessible, it has become more specific as well. When users allow apps to use their location, mobile marketers are able to reach their target audiences more effectively. Social media apps have continued to transform as well into places for finding new products, so mobile marketers can take advantage of this change in 2021 by integrating their products and services into more photo and video content for these applications.

Artificial Intelligence Utilization

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will certainly continue to be utilized by mobile marketers in 2021. AI is important for mobile marketers to reach their target audiences with more personalized and distinct advertisements to each mobile user. Utilizing specific app insights helps mobile marketers better understand what their target audiences want at a more efficient pace than without AI. The need for AI will continue for years to come due to the rampant growth in mobile technology use in 2020, so staying informed about changing AI services is important for mobile marketers.

Voice Control

The rise in voice control in technology skyrocketed in 2020. The ease of telling your device to look up a song or product rather than typing it out proved to be extremely popular on devices like Alexa and Google Home. Music streaming apps like Spotify have utilized voice advertisements for users who do not pay for premium, but it is a relatively new concept for other industries. Voice advertisements could be on the rise, so mobile marketers need to consider utilizing this function in 2021 to stand out and get ahead of the trend.

Intentional Marketing

2020 was a challenging year for everybody. Mental health related app downloads were up more than normal with the lack of human interaction weighing on many people. Companies started to utilize their marketing efforts to check in with their customers through emails and text messages to let them know they understood their hardships. More intentional marketing practices will continue in 2021, because people appreciate the conscious and empathetic marketing efforts 2020 brought.

Mobile marketing is here to stay. As the population continues to rely on their mobile devices more and more for things like shopping, eating, gaming and entertainment, it is critical for marketers to boost their company’s presence on mobile devices and in apps. 2020 showed us that brands need to embrace mobile marketing to the fullest. By employing these trends in 2021 and beyond, your marketing efforts will generate a better return on investment.

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