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Marketing the Dip

Mobile marketers prepare for the perfect storm that awaits them.

Things are about to get very “interesting” in mobile marketing. Between the continued fall-out from industry-wide moves towards privacy, the coming economic compression and navigating a post-Covid rebound, mobile marketers now face unique challenges.

It’s an industry given that the future of mobile marketing will be at least partially driven by concerns over privacy.  In the last two years mobile marketing has become more general than singular, more inscrutable than certain, and more dependent upon mixed methods of communication than it has ever been in the past. Navigating these uncertainties within the mobile landscape is only further complicated by a macroeconomic picture that is less than sanguine.

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A quick glance at the news surrounding tech firms is full of appropriately gloomy headlines. Advertising budgets are tightening and marketers are questioning their current plans. Unity, Tencent and ByteDance all announced layoffs. Even behemoths like Meta and Snap announced hiring freezes or layoffs in the last few months.

Muddying the picture is the post-COVID boost many in the tech space experienced. Some semblance of normal life has returned and there are legitimate concerns that some of the gains made by mobile apps during the pandemic will be lost as mobile usage patterns revert to the pre-pandemic norms.

It’s a kind of perfect storm for mobile marketers.

So, what should leaders in the space be doing when it comes to existing and even thriving during these troubled times?

Focus On What You Know about Dip

The first and perhaps most important strategy revolves around investing in your current user growth. For many mobile apps, the key to weathering the storm will be investing your energy (and resources) into the customer base you have now. In an environment filled with so many unknowns focusing in on what you do know is vital.  Re-targeting strategies will be key.

Performance marketing will also lead in this new environment.

In a down economy, performance is measurable and that is invaluable when budgets are tight.    Yet, elevating and optimizing technology around branding performance campaigns, particularly on iOS, allows brands to pay cost effective CPMs associated with typical branding campaigns but still experience conversions down funnel.

Brands can leverage personalized messages while leveraging data-driven performance marketing in the early stages of the customer journey. They get the uplift normally associated with branding campaigns while also leveraging performance components by engaging users higher up the funnel.

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Some Pandemic Habits Look Permanent  

Despite a likely reversion to certain pre-COVID means, gaming will, conversely, continue to grow.  A Newzoo report projected growth in the gaming space of 2.1 percent overall this year. This comes down to the nature of the mobile audience in the face of larger macroeconomic factors.

Data.ai found that American consumers spent one-third of their waking hours on mobile devices in 2021. Despite the recession (or maybe because of it), people will still devote large portions of their day to mobile devices.  Gaming will continue to be a prime beneficiary.  ​​

The coming months also present a unique opportunity for marketers to capture users as they move from online to mobile engagement. The number of gamers worldwide is estimated to reach 3.5 billion by 2025. Mobile will drive that growth generating an estimated $103.5 billion this year.

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A key driver in acquiring new customers will be app experiences.

Simply having a working app will not be enough to capture users as they migrate to mobile.

As leading Tech analyst, Benedict Evans, noted: “Today’s savvy consumers know what a best-in-class experience looks like. Brands will need to continue to adapt to meet the benchmarks set not just by their competitors, but especially by the mobile-first leaders.”

Take Advantage of the Moment  

Despite a tight labor market, employee churn will likely decrease.

Companies will have more opportunity to retain and grow their businesses as well as build institutional knowledge. High churn results in low knowledge. Rebuilding after an employee leaves creates a cycle of lost root institutional knowledge. Companies need to take advantage of this moment.

Every marketer worth their salt has succeeded because they’ve discovered something that gives them a slight edge. In a surging economy with a defined playbook, marketing can seem easy. In a down economy with challenging ancillary factors and stakes that are much higher, the need for innovation and sound strategy become that much more important.

Discovering an edge and taking advantage of it will make all the difference.

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