Jude O'Connor
Jan 16, 2018

AdColony's 2018 mobile predictions

Jude O’Connor, VP brand & agency performance at AdColony, says 2018 will be the year that brands come to appreciate the true potential value of their apps.

AdColony's 2018 mobile predictions

In 2018, brands will continue to invest in their apps as a way to connect with consumers, build more brand loyalty, and ultimately build more customer loyalty. Gaming companies have done this successfully for years because their entire business is their app. But I think brands are going to start seeing apps not just as an extension of their brand, or as a marketing play, but as a core component of their overarching business strategy. 

Smartphones are now such a fundamental, primary element of the everyday lives of consumers. Businesses must follow suit, make mobile their priority, and create mobile experiences that are qualitative and seamless.

In many ways, 2018 will be a “monkey-see, monkey-do” kind of year. Fortune 500 brands have always kept a close eye on their biggest competitors, but when it comes to mobile, they have even more of a hawk-eye watch. When a major department store brand comes out with an incredible app—a flawless UI, loyalty rewards, sales notifications, etc.—then runs a highly effective user acquisition campaign and gets a critical mass of users, you know that every one of their competitors is sitting up, taking notice, and within a short period of time will likely follow suit.

Quick service restaurants

The same is true for quick service restaurants (QSR) right now. In 2017, major fast food companies and delivery restaurants witnessed the success of in-app ordering and food delivery from the likes of GrubHub and Seamless. Now the incumbents, the legacy brands, will have to adapt to consumers’ expectations of how QSRs should digitally serve their customers. 

We’re going to see all the major QSR brands starting to offer higher levels of convenience through in-app ordering, location-based recommendations, and other eCommerce integrations such as mobile payments and order history.

On the performance side, we’re definitely going to see brands offering more value to consumers in the form of convenience. While there are so many interesting ways you can generate engagement through fun, entertaining experiences in your branding campaigns—thereby catalysing awareness and brand recall—for direct response, the focus is going to continue to be on added value.

Today’s mobile consumer values convenience almost more than anything. Brands that can make people’s lives easier are going to continue to see high returns on their performance ad spend.

Multi-touch attribution

The industry has been slowly working toward the creation and adoption of a multi-touch attribution standard. I would love to see that movement accelerate in 2018. We’ve been using a highly flawed last-touch attribution system for so long, and it’s time for that to change.

The only way to do that, however, is to get away from using cookies as the primary identifier. While there are talks of that, it hasn’t taken shape yet. If I had one wish for the coming year, though, that would be it. Everyone in the industry—publishers, advertisers, and everyone in between—would benefit from a widespread multi-touch attribution metric.

Jude O’Connor is VP of brand & agency performance at AdColony




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