8 Key Mobile Marketing Trends You Need to Know in 2020

7 min read

The past decade will be remembered for the rapid growth in mobile device popularity. More than half of global Internet traffic in 2019 came from mobile devices, and brands need to adapt their marketing strategies accordingly.

Below are 8 of our favourite mobile marketing trends and practical recommendations for 2020.

8 Key Mobile Marketing Trends GMS

Note that we did not include the personalised content and communications in our selection, as this mobile marketing trend has remained relevant for many years now. We previously covered it in our recent article, and it is, obviously, continuously discussed in specialised media. The presentation on the topic by Cristina Constandache, Rakuten Viber’s Chief Revenue Officer, was one of the highlights of the Kyiv Mobile Marketing Forum 2019.

1. Detailed analysis of your customer’s journey

It’s no secret that analytics is an integral element of mobile marketing. In 2020, its application in understanding the differences in customer behaviour depending on the channel is becoming increasingly relevant.

Since modern users often own several (on average — up to 7) devices, only a combined analysis of all these channels allows you to see the real picture. Products like Branch and AppsFlyer allow for people-based attribution (attribution based on specific users), fixing every point of contact with the client, regardless of device, platform, or operating system. It is an excellent tool that helps marketers clearly understand when and through which channel it’s worth broadcasting marketing messages.

2. Omnichannel

A logical development of the previous entry. Customers want brands to employ the widest array of communication channels possible. Also, consumers prefer that companies be able to identify them, even if the requests were addressed through a couple of different channels, and they want brand representatives to be aware of the full history of user queries addressed via all these channels.

According to Omnisend’s “Marketing Automation Statistics 2019” report, brands employing 3 or more channels to communicate with their audience reached a customer retention rate of 66%, while the companies operating through a single channel only achieved 34.8%. Also, according to Omnisend, companies showed a 250% higher purchase rate when using 3 or more channels.

Mobile devices are now the main omnichannel marketing medium. They allow you to seamlessly move from social media to online stores or interact with individual brands. Thus, marketers need both digital tools for communication coupled with customer service provided via mobile channels, and their own mobile applications, to give customer interaction more flexibility, allowing users to comfortably switch from conversation to purchase, and the other way around: to allow the customer to ask the brand representative any question about a product right away.

3. Native advertising

The next mobile marketing trend, which will keep gaining momentum in 2020, is the widespread use of native advertising, which usually assumes the form of sponsored/branded content, recommendations, and blog posts, as well as instant messenger sticker packs. This type of content continues to prove its effectiveness, as it is perceived as unobtrusive and even useful for the target audience.

Also known as content marketing, native advertising helps to strengthen consumer loyalty, creating additional value for customers looking for specific information without disrupting their experience (including applications). Native ads usually don’t demand the viewers make an immediate purchase decision. As a result, the user has an opportunity to become more familiar with the brand, thus making him more likely to convert later when re-encountering an ad containing a more direct call to action.

4. Mobile-first content

As mentioned in the introduction, in 2019 smartphones were used for a significant portion of purchases, content views, gaming, and other sorts of entertainment. Naturally, brands are now doing everything possible so that their services, sites, and advertising are optimised for mobile devices.

For instance, most videos are now intentionally shot vertically, which is perfect for mobile views. Therefore, smartphone users are more likely to find them attractive.

The stories format, which was a breakthrough for Snapchat, is being actively adopted by other social media such as Facebook and Instagram. While available on PC, these are optimised for mobile phones. Noticing this, advertisers began producing ads in the stories format.

Games are another promising channel for mobile advertising. The total audience for mobile games in 2019 amounted to 1.36 billion users, which opens up great opportunities for using full-screen ads, adapted for mobile devices: interstitial ads. This is a pretty familiar type of advertising, when a message appears on the user’s screen at launch or while working with the application (for example, during page transitions/loadscreens). Also, viewing ads is a popular free alternative to in-game purchases in mobile gaming.

5. Programmatic advertising

Programmatic advertising — a combination of big data processing, the work of technical experts and automation, uses artificial intelligence to purchase more targeted advertising automatically. This deeply (yet not wholly) automated process works faster and more efficiently than traditional advertising (it is worth noting that its effectiveness still depends on the competence of the human specialists involved), allowing you to optimise costs and increase conversion.

Programmatic advertising costs will account for the lion’s share of total digital advertising spending in 2020 in countries with advanced e-commerce.

The tangible difference between traditional and programmatic advertising is that the latter works in real-time. Also, this tool is not limited to digital space: it can be used to sell and purchase various types of media, including outdoor and media advertising.

It is expected that programmatic advertising will evolve in parallel with further introduction of technologies like blockchain, 5G, and many others.

6. Video as an effective form of advertising

Video advertising is a dynamic, attractive, and popular form of marketing content. According to eMarketer, in the United States the video advertising spend for social networks will reach 13.44 bn US dollars, while the total cost of programmatic video advertising will get to 27.23 bn US dollars in 2020.

Here are some of the best practices that will make your content more effective:

  • Create shorter videos. As the modern user has access to an almost unlimited amount of content, but his time is limited, he will only pay attention to ads that can captivate him from the very first second. A successful video is short, attractive, concise and straightforward.
  • Add a purchase option to your media. A button that pops up during playback shortens the customer’s journey, providing the opportunity to buy goods straight away when viewing an image or video; while the user is most interested.
  • Personalise the ads — use targeted videos instead of boring emails and phone calls.
  • Streaming is a great way to add exclusivity to your content. Present products, conduct interviews with the developers and users, engage the audience in a dialogue.
  • Add transcriptions to the video. Publishing a transcription on a site is very useful for increasing your ranking. Content can even be turned into an independent blog post if it is properly edited.

Whenever new technologies promising a unique consumer experience appear, marketers just can’t wait to try adopting them as customer engagement tools. Virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are no exception.

There are many VR headsets available on the market today and brands are keen to use virtual reality in the form of mobile applications. One example is McDonald’s Sweden and its VR experience, Happy Goggles, which allowed the customer to craft a VR Headset out of the Happy Meal box and go for an entertaining ski ride.

Augmented reality allows customers to visualise and “test” the product before buying. For goods and services that usually depend on real-life experience for a successful sale — for example, clothing, cosmetics, furniture, and other products that they buy based on personal preferences — this can play a decisive role. Imagine that you can try on a new suit, lipstick, or imagine a new couch in your living room, all without putting down the phone or tablet, without stepping out of your house. IKEA Place and Houzz’s innovative interior design service bring this concept to life with home design applications that allow users to see how new furniture and designer products will look in their current space before making a purchasing decision.

Experts predict that in the future, brands will increasingly resort to AR and VR because they inform and entertain at the same time. In addition, they offer a much more attractive experience.

8. Your mission works for you

Facebook experts recommend paying attention to Mission-driven marketing — one of the forms of social marketing. In this scenario, the main argument in favour of your product is a certain ultimate goal or set of values ​​that unite the brand and the audience.

This may be a social project, a struggle for a clean environment, or fair trade; the main thing is that the mission meets the values ​​that the brand adheres to (both internal and publicly declared). Be vigilant: if your mission or stated goal clearly does not correspond to the values ​​you demonstrate, clients will feel insincerity, which is fraught with risks.

Common values allow you to organically form a brand community that will actively promote your product and content both in personal communication and on social networks.


Mobile devices are becoming more powerful, and their audience is becoming larger. The ability to access all the information in the world with just a smartphone alone raises a non-trivial task for marketers: to produce content that can instantly capture the attention of the client while creating all the conditions for the most comfortable and organic customer journey.

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