Mobile marketing seems to be showing no signs of slowing down, and neither should mobile marketers. In fact, 2017 is going to be big as far as mobile is concerned and why not?

According to Statista, the number of smartphone users in the United States is estimated to reach 222.9 million in 2017, while the number of smartphone users worldwide will exceed 2 billion by the end of this year.

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The consumer-mobile relationship has also deepened as more people are using their smartphones to search the Web and shop online. The latest research by StatCounter shows that mobile and tablet devices accounted for 51.3% of Internet usage worldwide in October last year.

In short, the potential for mobile marketing is going to be virtually limitless in future. This means marketers who haven’t focused on the mobile-first approach will need to revise their digital marketing strategies.

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This post highlights what is to come this year in the world of mobile technology.

Location-Based Mobile Advertising

Location-based mobile advertising allows you to send a customized marketing message to your consumers in accordance with their location. It is the most personal form of mobile advertising intended to increase conversion rates. This technology witnessed tremendous growth last year and the trend is likely to continue in 2017. According to eMarketer, for the first time, the total digital advertisement spending will surpass the TV ad spending in 2017.

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Sometimes, digital marketing companies are so caught up with the next big thing that they forget about the simple, yet effective marketing tools. Location-based video advertising is one such marketing tool. Marketers can use mobile location data to understand and connect with their consumers, based on the places they visit in real time. Google and Facebook already offer location-based digital ads. Other leading social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat are also likely to follow suit.

Augmented or Virtual Reality

Imagine a scenario where you are able to see if a certain pair of sunglasses looks good on you or see how a particular dress looks on you without physically trying them on.  I am not talking about a sci-fi movie. Thanks to augmented reality, these scenarios are already possible.

Pokémon Go is the latest example of successful use of augmented or virtual reality technology. According to ’The State of AR in 2016’ infographic created by Bold Content Video, the number of AR users is expected to grow by 35% in next five years. 

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For online fashion companies, augmented reality presents a variety of opportunities to connect with their consumers. Several brands including Modiface, Tesco, Ray-Ban, and Cover Girl are a few examples of companies who are already using augmented reality successfully. In 2017, expect increased use of augmented reality location analytics as well as virtual sampling by marketers. This combination will create the next big wave in the digital marketing world.

Mobile-Only Social Media Platforms

With nearly 48 percent of Americans interacting with companies or institutions via their mobiles on at least one social media network in 2016, marketers should focus their attention on mobile-only social media platforms. As these platforms scale the new heights in popularity, you need to make sure that your company or brand has a prominent presence on these platforms.

Periscope, Snapchat, and Instagram are a few examples of such social media platforms. Avoid posting the same message on all media platforms. Instead, craft your posts using in-the-moment pictures and videos suitable for the structure of a particular platform.

Chatbots

Though most people still consider Chatbots a fad, this perception is changing rapidly, particularly in mobile marketing. Chatbots are becoming an increasingly effective marketing tool as an increasing number of brands are using them to communicate with customers. Fast food giants such as Taco Bell and Dominos are already using them for taking online orders.

But, where do they fit in mobile marketing?

Several brands have started using Chatbots through messaging apps called Messaging-app Chatbots to drive engagement, particularly among consumers. Facebook launched Chatbot development platform for its Messenger App last year. Since then, over 11,000 bots have been added to Facebook Messenger.

Apart from sending simple text messages, Chatbots can now send videos, audio clips, GIFs, and other files to consumers. The biggest advantage of using Chatbots is they can be online and functional 24/7. They can also communicate with multiple users at the same time, saving time, money and effort. Considering these advantages, you can’t afford to ignore Chatbots.

Conclusion

With the number of global smartphone users growing rapidly, mobile marketing is also going to experience tremendous growth in coming years. But as the number of potential customers is rising, so does the competition. Digital marketers are increasingly relying on the latest technology and research to come up with new marketing ideas. Hopefully, the above four trends will help organize your mobile marketing strategy for 2017.

About the Author: Pratik Dholakiya is the Co-Founder of E2M, a full service digital marketing agency and MoveoApps, a mobile app development company. As a passionate marketer, he shares his thoughts and knowledge on publications like Search Engine Land, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, The Next Web and the Huffington Post to name a few. He has been named one of the top content marketing influencers by Onalytica three years in a row.