Breakthroughs in mobile marketing in 2014
by Attila Weisz, Audience Segment Manager at Gemius
Event of the year
WhatsApp’s acquisition by Facebook. Following the acquisition of Instagram back in 2012, Facebook acquired 100 per cent of WhatsApp for USD 22 billion (USD 4.59 billion in cash, and the rest in stocks) in a long process starting in February and finishing in October, 2014. This came only after having received regulatory approval in Europe.
WhatsApp has more than 600 million monthly users as of Oct, 2014. The roughly 70 employees of WhatsApp will continue to be based in Mountain View, California, and the company remains autonomous, and operates independently – Facebook’s mobile messenger app (Messenger) and WhatsApp will remain separate. The acquisition further builds Facebook’s dominance on mobile platform, and strengthens its business model: already 66 pre cent of Facebook’s total ad revenue comes from mobile (83 per cent of the total 1.35 billion Facebook users are active on mobile), and Instagram, or let alone WhatsApp are not making real money yet.
Success of the year
The mobile advertising market in Western Europe. Ad expenditure on mobile internet jumped by 118 per cent on average in one single year in 2014: 6.8 per cent of total market ad spending goes into mobile internet in Western Europe (with the UK leading at 13 per cent, and Spain, Italy standing at 5 per cent of total ad spending)
Average ad spending per mobile internet user in Western Europe grew by 80 per cent from EUR 17 to EUR 31 from 2013 to 2014 (from EUR 53 to EUR 84 in the US). 2014 is definitely a breakthrough for mobile marketing both in Western Europe and the USA: the infrastructure, advertisers, agencies are now prepared to leverage mobile platform properly, opening ways to a stable growth for the next 3-4 years.
Disappointment of the year
The thousands of unknown, yet enthusiastic mobile application wannabe companies are failing like it’s 1999. The recipe is the same to all these flops. Manage to raise fund with an idea – spend some months developing the product – submit to app stores with strong PR – fail to hit market – quickly lose visibility – relaunch after some additional development and months – add functions – ran out of funding – close business.
Over 90 per cent of all mobile start-up fail, and failure comes after 20 months on average – according to CB Insights/January, 2014. The fundamental reason for failures: NO MARKET NEED.
Personality of the year
Jan Koum (born Kiev, Ukraine), founder and CEO of WhatsApp. After applying unsuccessfully for a job posted at Facebook, and then buying an iPhone back in Jan, 2009, Koum established WhatsApp Inc. in Feb, 2009. Five years later, he entered the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans at position 62, with an estimated worth of more than seven and half billion dollars after selling WhatsApp to Facebook. He was the highest-ranked newcomer to the list in 2014.
Trends of the year (2014)
- Mobile apps increased their dominance over mobile browsers: apps’ share increased from 80 percent to 86 per cent in 2014 according to Flurry (US data).
- Google and Facebook takes 67 per cent (49 per cent+18 per cent) of all US mobile ad spend, though 65 per cent of time spent on mobile is actually spent with other apps in 2014, according to Flurry.
- According to Nielsen, 26.8 apps are used on average in a month by consumers in 2014.
- Programmatic buying is now almost standard in the mobile advertising space.
- Google-Apple duopoly hit a new high at global shipping rate of 96.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2014; Android grew its share to 84.7 per cent market share, while iOS fell to 11.7 per cent, Windows Phone slipped to 2.5 per cent, and BlackBerry tanked to 0.5 per cent.
- Microsoft stopped using the Nokia and Windows Phone brands as well as the Windows Phone logo in promotions and commercials, it will be replaced with just Windows.
- Blackberry comes back from dead: shifting from hardware to more of a software model (up 60 per cent on stock value in one year).
- After experiments, advertisers start building mobile engagement link regularly into their campaigns (e.g. display ad link, social tag, voucher, TVC, QR, search).
Predictions for 2015
- Every website must be mobile-ready, because everything’s shifting mobile (one billion people worldwide will use mobile as their only form of Internet access in 2015).
- Pretargeting is the new real-time: pretargeting and pretargeted ads use big data to predict a buyer's preferences with relevant and smart messages while they're in the buying phase, not afterwards.
- Micro-targeting: understand your users better than ever.
- Advanced analytics: in 2015 smart media companies adopt data-driven strategies that move beyond just accessing ‘big data’ to actually integrating data into everyday marketing decisions, product development and campaign planning; more advanced analytics are needed than what is available – the value is in the answers, not in the data.
- Mobile ad expenditure rise by at least 80 per cent in all of the core Western European countries tracked by eMarketer, as advertisers race to capture the attention of consumers on mobile phones and tablets
- Most mobile device owners in France were not easily tempted by new products or practices. For example, 44 per cent of respondents said they hadn’t downloaded any applications in recent months. More crucially—for retailers and etailers, at least—65 per cent said they weren’t prepared to use their phones to make payments.
- Mobile ad ecosystem will better know who wants control, who wants ads, and who doesn’t care.
- For mobile marketers, it’s still easy to be on top of the trends in 2015: as long as you are willing to think in new directions and grab hold of the future trends, the sky is the limit for mobile campaigns.
Other areas that will strengthen:
- mobile banking (2/3 of German web users already bank on mobile) and mobile payments,
- health apps,
- email on mobile (already a mobile-first channel),
- the Internet of Things, including wearables.