Mobile Marketing Trends for 2017

As we progress further into the year, a number of interesting mobile marketing trends for 2017 are proving yet again that mobile is the way of the future. According to a comScore US mobile app report, mobile usage accounts for 60% of time spent online, while desktop usage makes up the remaining 40%. The same study shows that 80% of internet searches are done on a smartphone, and 89% of the total time on mobile is spent on mobile apps.

Last year, we saw the rise of mobile wallets and location-based services, while other trends such as interactive push notification engagement and real-time omnichannel experiences also began to make their mark. Interestingly enough, a study done by Mapp showed that only 24% of Android apps asked permission to send push notifications, and just 17% apps sent push notifications or in-app messages. Video content emerged as the greatest trend to watch, with YouTube reporting a year to year mobile video consumption increase of 100%.

So, given the consistent development we have seen in the last year, what mobile marketing trends can we look forward to embracing in 2017?

Mobile Marketing Trends to Watch

With video still on the rise, and mobile usage at its peak, there is no doubt that trends such as push notification and omnichannel marketing will continue to grow this year. Some additional mobile marketing trends that will be worth watching include the following:


Image: Forbes

This year will see the rise of the chatbot – a virtual tool used to aid communication. Essentially computer programmes designed to simulate conversations via auditory or textual methods, chatbots mimic natural speech and language patterns to simulate conversation. Chatbots often double as virtual assistants on websites. In November 2016, Facebook’s vice president stated that thousands of their developers had created 34 000 chatbots especially for Messenger. The chatbots are designed to make for a better user experience on Facebook’s messaging system, which is now a mandatory feature for all Facebook users. Tech strategist Michael Wolf believes that chatbots are greatly shaping the future of the web, in particular the mobile messaging space.

Seamless User Experience

Image: Google Developers

The flow between desktop and mobile will become more seamless, as syncing and integration continue to improve. A good example of how brands are working towards this is Apple, who has expanded mobile features including Siri and Apple Pay to work seamlessly on both mobile and desktop. This in turn ensures that there is little to no interruption, making the user experience continuous and easy as possible. Responsive design goes hand in hand with seamless user experience. It’s also worth noting that Google has begun to get serious about responsive design, penalising websites that have not adapted to meet the demands of mobile usage as their mobile search results plan continues to shape our future.

Location Based Marketing

Image: iBeacon

As we saw from the Pokemon wave of last year, location based apps are huge right now. Location is especially useful for features such as push notifications. With wireless advancing globally all the time, in South Africa and abroad, more people than ever are connected at any given time. The growth of responsiveness has opened up the way for mobile e-commerce, allowing stores and businesses to serve nearby customers more effectively and simply than ever before. One of the companies who is putting this trend to use already is Apple, who recently released iBeacon – a bluetooth powered location system. From the official website, iBeacon “allows Mobile Apps (running on both iOS and Android devices) to listen for signals from beacons in the physical world and react accordingly.” This would allow you to be shown sale items at a shop you have entered, which, needless to say, could do wonders for user engagement.

Artificial Intelligence

Image: TechCrunch

Most will remember movies such as AI. The idea of smart machines has fascinated humans for many, many years. While we may not have reached a point where we need Will Smith to help us fight armies of free-thinking robots, machines have certainly evolved in recent years. The good news is that most machines of today are more intent on helping than harming. Programmes, apps and smartphones are learning how to determine customer preferences based on behaviour and purchases. Customers will then be shown relevant promotions and products when entering a store, using push notifications and tools such as chatbots. According to TechCrunch, “machine learning is an integral part and critical ingredient in building intelligent applications.” With that said however, you first need to create the foundation that machines need to be truly effective. TechCrunch continues, “The most important goals in building intelligent apps are to build applications or services that resonate with your customers, provide an easy way for your customer to use your service and continuously get better over time.”

Mobile Orientated Social Media


Image: Fortune

According to Statista, the global number of social media users is expected to reach 2.5 billion in 2018 – roughly a third of the Earth’s entire population. Mobile has played a strong role in the growth of social media. Projections from Statista indicate that by 2018, over 75% of Facebook users across the world will access the network through a mobile device. Mobile-only apps such as Instagram, Vine, Periscope and SnapChat are on the rise, taking advantage of the wide-spread mobile use and catering to the growing number of users who prefer mobile over desktop. Other social networks such as Pinterest and Facebook, as well as YouTube have created a flawless mobile experience for users, even if they can also be accessed from a desktop. A key take-home thought for mobile orientated social platforms is to focus on differentiating content between platforms. Networks that connect and engage with users by sharing content in real time and staying current will continue to thrive. Likewise, websites and businesses that use real time interaction smartly will benefit from the rise of mobile orientation.

What do these mobile marketing trends mean in the real world? Simply put, they offer insight into how consumers are using technology. Understanding the way that technology changes and adapts is key to knowing how to evolve your communications, strategies and platforms. Whether you aim to consider a push notification or marketing automation plan for the remainder of the year, or you are considering the best way to utilise location based marketing, our goal here at Grapevine is to help you continue to engage your customers in the best way possible.

To learn more about our unique approach or get further information on mobile marketing services and products, contact us today and let us know what we can do to reach your key audience.


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