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6 2024 Mobile Marketing Predictions

It’s January, which means it’s time to dust off the tarot cards and shine up the crystal ball to predict what’s to come this year. We previously covered what changes we had seen in mobile marketing in 2023, but now we’re going to look ahead at what’s coming.

In this case, we can do you one better than a crystal ball—we have a plethora of incredible partners who can help forecast trends we expect to see in the world of marketing.

I reached out to our partners on mobile marketing predictions for 2024 and received many enlightening predictions from the likes of Ragnarok, AppsFlyer, Movable Ink, and Modular Marketing. Let’s get into it.

1. SMS and Mobile Channels Will Take a Front Seat

Steven Aldrich, Co-Founder and CEO at Ragnarok

Historically, marketing teams have internally built a separate muscle for the mobile channel, typically in the form of a Lifecycle Marketing Manager or a growth product role. As we’ve seen our clients start to drive equal to higher value from their SMS and mobile program compared to email, over the last three years, I predict we’ll see a shift in the foundational focus of marketing leaders and managers—mobile channels will not just be table stakes, but rather the primary means of communicating with their customers. This shift will mean adjusting the content and brand strategy that leans into the limits of strict character count to create digestible experiences.

I predict the savviest marketers will find ways to stretch out an engagement longer as they toe the line between volume of messages and channels necessary to drive desired outcomes and customer tolerance.

2. Increased Mobile Ad Spend

Shani Rosenfelder, Director of Global Content Strategy & Market Insights at AppsFlyer

Continued economic uncertainty will almost certainly impact mobile app marketers’ ability to drive scale in 2024. But, the good news is that there is room for optimism, as many economic parameters like GDP growth, inflation, and market performance were in a far better place in 2023 than they were in 2022.

Beyond that, AppsFlyer data showed that 2023 saw an impressive 9% year-over-year increase in iOS non-organic installs (NOI)—an app download that happened as the result of marketing activity—after a 15% drop in 2022 compared to 2021, when the impact of iOS 14.5 was still heavily apparent. In 2024, it’s likely we’ll see continued growth, especially with the major enhancements brought about by SKAN 4.0.

3. Focus on Testing

Shani Rosenfelder, Director of Global Content Strategy & Market Insights at AppsFlyer

On the Android front, Privacy Sandbox—which allows for testing and betas—will finally make its long-awaited debut in 2024, and marketers are feeling optimistic. According to a recent survey AppsFlyer held among 150 marketers, 53% said that they will be spending more budget due to Sandbox, while only 12% plan to decrease their budget.

A pie chart showing 53% of marketers spending more budget.

Privacy Sandbox will lead to an increase in marketing spend. Source: AppsFlyer.

At AppsFlyer, we expect Privacy Sandbox to have a profound impact on NOIs. Just as Apple Privacy Changes (ATT) impacted NOIs due to the loss of signal on iOS (CPIs increase, budgets shifts from iOS to Android, shifts from some media sources to others), Privacy Sandbox will also impact NOIs as the industry adapts to the new paradigm. That’s why it’s critical for marketers to educate themselves about this framework and prepare their systems now.

As we’ve learned from the rollout of iOS 14.5, these types of significant changes require time for marketers to prepare, figure out, and ultimately drive positive business outcomes, so it’s vital to get ahead of the curve in the first quarter of 2024 to ensure success.

However, because operating system attribution (both SKAN and Sandbox) is still limited and incomplete, the ability to fill in the data gaps through modeling and unify multiple data streams into a single actionable reality for marketers will be paramount as well.

4. Increase in Mobile Adoption and Sophistication

Richard Trautwein, Product Marketing Specialist at Movable Ink

Mobile marketing will remain a powerful channel as consumers continue to increase their smartphone use. Mobile drives 60% of global eCommerce sales, meaning that if brands don’t optimize their marketing strategies to accommodate it, they risk falling behind.

In 2023, the majority of mobile marketing relied on either generic, batch-and-blast messages with little to no personalization, or basic triggers such as abandon cart notifications. Whether mobile marketing has been overlooked due to technology limitations or strategic misalignment, it’s likely that we’ll see more brands attempt to course correct and invest further in their mobile marketing execution for 2024.

5. Privacy-First Marketing Will Span into Mobile Retail

Julio Lopez, Senior Director of Strategy (Retail) at Movable Ink

With growing concerns about data privacy and the implementation of stricter data protection regulations worldwide, there will be a shift towards transparent and privacy-focused marketing strategies. As a result, marketers will need to be more cautious about how they collect and use customer data, and personalization efforts in mobile apps and email marketing will rely more on opt-in data and less on third-party data sources.

As this becomes the norm, consumers will seek tangible value in exchange for data sharing, such as hyper-personalization and an improved UX. Retailers will take a page from more regulated industries like financial services as they navigate uncharted waters.

6. Consolidated Tech Stacks to Include SMS

Kolby Yarnell, CEO of Modular Marketing

The adoption and integration of SMS into lifecycle journeys has never been easier or more impactful, thanks to new tools and features in the consolidated stack.

Consider, for instance, Iterable’s SMS opt-in feature, which makes number acquisition more efficient than ever. Coupled with this are AI-powered tools like Channel Optimization and Copy Assist, which are already helping lifecycle and CRM teams achieve new levels of sophistication and effectiveness.

For every brand that is heavily investing in SMS today (and being handsomely rewarded), 2024 is going to see even more success on SMS with ever more creative tactics. However, the real tipping point for SMS will be provided by brands that have long played it cautious with SMS but will finally join the party in earnest.

By this time next year, the exciting future of Rich Communication Services (RCS) will start to come into view. RCS promises to offer a more dynamic and interactive platform for marketers and consumers that will eventually reshape lifecycle marketing. So while SMS continues to gain momentum in 2024, it is also paving the way for the next revolution in mobile communication.

The Future of Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is no longer a “nice-to-have” channel. As of April 2023, there are more smartphones in the world than people—so it’s important marketers consider mobile marketing a top priority. Looking at the predictions listed above, a theme I’m seeing emerge is just an overall advancement of how mobile channels are treated by brands and continued commitment to invest more in the space.

Now that marketers have the ability to test Android applications and create betas for small sample audiences, we’ll see more brands get on board with creating mobile apps, which open the door to embedded messaging in apps, mobile push notifications and in-app messages. And, with these additional channels, we’ll see an increase in the amount of customer data that can be collected—which, in turn, will lead to more personalized overall marketing communications.

Email marketing—the tried and true—has been around a lot longer, so it feels like mobile marketing has been trying to play catch-up. In 2024, however, we’ll see the two converge in terms of how they’re being used by marketers. Mobile marketing is going to continue to evolve in 2024, so be sure your brand isn’t left behind.

If you’re interested in learning more about Iterable’s mobile marketing offerings, talk to your CSM. If you’re thinking about making the switch to Iterable, schedule a demo today.

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