2020 App Economy Predictions: New Discovery Channels, The Importance Of Context/Personalization, And The Rise Of India – Forbes

Posted: February 9, 2020 at 2:50 am


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I love the beginning of a new year, as it is always a good time to take a few steps back and think about where things are headed in the fast-moving mobile app industry.Every year I consult with a handful of founders, CEOs and other experts on their predictions for the coming year, and Im pleased to share their insights.As I spoke with them, a few common themes emerged, including new app discovery channels (eg. OEM app stores), increased need for app content to live outside the app, greater personalization/contextualization of marketing messages, and more data-driven decision-making.The need to protect privacy enforced by stricter regulation is another key issue for 2020.And now, the juicy details!I hope you enjoy learning from these great minds as much as I did.

Mobile app industry experts: 2020 predictions

Brian Quinn, President & GM - US, AppsFlyer

What will be the hot topics/emerging trends in-app marketing next year?

2020 will see both Google & Facebook push advertisers to rely more on automation and algorithmic UA. These trends will continue to fuel an increasing need for secure, fraud-free, accurate data. Reliable attribution will become even more crucial for mobile marketers.

At the same time, increased regulations and a privacy-conscious audience will likely lead to reduced usage of targeting based on third-party data. Instead, we'll see a focus on first-party data, more experimentation with broader, contextual marketing, and potentially a rise of ephemeral messaging, such as Snapchat stories, rather than perfectly tailored ads.

Your one tip for app marketers for 2020?

App Marketers need to make sure they truly understand how to comply with CCPA, specifically how much data they are responsible for and how easily theyll be able to share with consumers what you know about them if they ask.

Sunil Kamath, Chief Business Officer, ShareChat

What will be the hot topics/emerging trends in app marketing this year, and what will lose momentum?

With more than 500 Mn Indian mobile internet users and growing, it is the best time for app developers to reach out to new audiences across English and regional language speaking users on the internet. While app developers continue to build strategies to work around growing user acquisition costs, reduce uninstall rates, increase in-app engagement, leverage social media, influencer marketing etc., below are 3 key trends that we will see dominate in 2020 in India:

Growth in regional-language users App Developers will build/source/co-create apps targeting the first-time internet users (90% are non-English base)

Micro-Influencer marketing 2019 has seen the emergence of micro-influencers across platforms like ShareChat, TikTok and others coming from tier-2/3/4 markets.

Voice Voice based search is growing manifold and app marketers will build tools to engage with premium-audiences using products like Google Home, Alexa on one-side and larger cross-section of audiences using voice based products across music apps like Gaana & Jio Saavn. Voice will also drive innovation for brands wanting to reach media-dark areas (e.g. mSamvaad campaign by GSK)

Two areas where we could see a downward trend are:

Mobile-web traffic led spends will reduce or hold as consumers spend more time within rich-media apps like social media, OTT, video content apps etc.

Celebrity led marketing With brands building performance led models to measure ROI, the high cost of celebrity promoted content/posts will limit the growth of this premium proposition and give rise to the emergence of millions of micro-influencers coming from the length and breadth of the country.

What is your take on the mobile device manufacturers' role in the app economy?

Along with telcos, OEMs have always played a very pivotal role in driving adoption of mobile internet and consumption of mobile apps. Lower cost of smartphones, high processing power and advanced camera technology have played a key role in the growing adoption of smartphones and mobile apps.

India is a highly price sensitive and competitive market for OEMs and this is driving innovation on all fronts including product design, new-feature launches, product marketing and device distribution to onboard first-time internet users.

We have already seen innovative propositions offered by OEMs to App Developers to drive new user acquisition or re-engagement solutions via FOTA, Pre-loads, Minus 1 screen etc.

OEMs have also broadened their reach to app developers via aggregation partners which drives scale for app developers to reach millions of users via such partnerships.

Your one tip for app marketers for 2020?

Once you have product market fit (PMF), identify the best performing acquisition channels/platforms, implement ad-fraud solutions and continue experimenting with new growth channels.

Mada Seghete, Co-founder & Head of Market Development, Branch

What will be the hot topics/emerging trends in-app marketing this year, and what will lose momentum?

In a mobile world where apps are king, users spend most of their time within just a handful of top apps. The reality about mobile apps is while marketers can use Web content to power and drive website discovery in both organic and paid channels, apps are walled gardens, making it extremely hard for consumers to discover, and that trend will continue in 2020.

2020 will see an increased focus on apps for traditional brands and a trend in using alternative means of user acquisition, such as converting social and Web visitors into app users through campaigns like email to users using web only with promotions to download the app, deep linked social content, referrals, and targeted and personalized Web-to-app banners.

What is your take on the mobile device manufacturers' role in the app economy?

I think device manufacturers have a real chance in 2020 to focus on app discovery and app content discovery at the device level. It's crazy to me that today users have to open apps to find apps - search in phones needs to start being app-based and show in-app content.

Your one tip for app marketers for 2020?

2020 will be the year on new emerging platforms and the rise of others. AR will be a thing, as will super apps who are gaining traction around the world. The one tip - test new channels, they are usually incredibly cheap until they take off and they might prove a great source of new users!

Paul H. Mller, CTO & Co-founder at Adjust

What will be the hot topics/emerging trends in-app marketing this year?

Context will be king and automation will do the heavy lifting.

With consumer demand for personalized content reaching an all-time high, 2020 will see new talent join the effort in the form of increased and highly-intelligent marketing automation. What marketers offer will be left to their creativity, but the who and when will be decisions driven by data. The outcome will be a better experience for consumers, who will receive context-based offers and advertising, and marketers, who will benefit from increased conversion and retention rates.

With the majority of users churning just days after first installing an app, identifying specific drop-off points is essential for marketers looking to boost retention rates. These can also help create hyper-specific retargeting campaigns, which acknowledge and reference where a user is in their customer journey.

This degree of contextualization currently requires a lot of manual work, both in terms of audience and campaign creation. But it will be made more viable with the help of marketing automation tools. The technology is becoming increasingly sophisticated, and as its use becomes more widespread, more businesses than ever will be empowered to unlock the insights hidden in their data.

Gadi Eliashiv, CEO and Co-founder, Singular

What will be the hot topics/emerging trends in-app marketing next year?

In 2020, data-driven marketing strategies will no longer be a "nice-to-have" for app marketers. Marketers who are able to take the abundance of marketing data made available to them and transform it into real-time and actionable insights will continue to come out on top.

As the importance of data-driven marketing strategies increase, it's important to keep in mind that marketers will need to ensure they're abiding by strict data privacy regulations that are being implemented around the world. GDPR was the hot topic of data security in 2019, and in 2020 we'll see more regulations put into place to protect the privacy of consumers.

Last but not least, advancements in cross-device attribution will pave the way for marketers to more accurately measure and analyze ROI, and in turn, well see changes in marketing strategies, including which channels and publishers marketers decide to invest in.

What is your take on the mobile device manufacturers' role in the app economy?

Improved hardware with cameras (auto-tagging objects), storage capabilities (cloud, local), new sensors (facial) will lay the framework to enable new ad/content formats (both short-form and long-form) and extend the depth of information accessible to advertisers. In parallel, this evolution will increase the need for additional security and privacy layers (facial recognition, location tracking, etc).

Your one tip for app marketers for 2020?

Todays fastest-growing apps are building marketing organizations that include engineers and data scientists in order to create an advantage over their competition. Treat marketing data as organizational information/institutional knowledge. Measuring for a point in time or channel by a channel only goes so far. Organizations need to think about how to measure the impact of each dollar in a consistent and structured manner over time and across all platforms/channels/teams, or risk repeating the same tactics/strategies by looking only at attribution outcomes.

Whew!Thats a lot to think about.I hope you found our panels comments as insightful as I did. One common theme that emerged which I find really exciting is the emergence of new platforms for app discovery and distribution, whether hardware driven (such as OEM app stores) or software driven, for example, todays super apps that function as portals to a universe of service-oriented apps.Or emerging channels of content (such as the incredibly popular TikTok) that can open up new contextual space for app recommendation.Savvy app marketers would do well to attack these new channels.Another key takeaway is that for app marketing strategies, predictive analytics based on user data is becoming more and more important.In a universe of almost infinite choice, its hard for people to find the services and experiences they are looking for.App marketers that connect the dots are the ones who will thrive in 2020.

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2020 App Economy Predictions: New Discovery Channels, The Importance Of Context/Personalization, And The Rise Of India - Forbes

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February 9th, 2020 at 2:50 am