11 mobile marketing trends to stay alive in 2017

Go Mobile Business Development Director Dmitry Miroshnichenko wrote a column about main mobile marketing trends of 2017.

Mobile orientation

For the first time world mobile traffic exceeded desktop with 51,3% against 48,7% in 2016. In Russia mobile devices generate more than 62% of Internet traffic. The audience reach of 5 the most popular websites outperformed the most popular TV-channels` one.

Mobile internet hit 25% of Runet economy and 0,6% of Russian GDP. It will keep growing in average by 53% annually until 2020.

Two of five online purchases were made with mobile devices last year, and in 2017 mobile commerce surge up to 50% of all internet transactions. One of the biggest advertising platforms Google now makes more ad dollars from mobile than from the desktop globally. The corporation got 59,9% of worldwide ad revenues from mobile marketing.  

The largest social net Facebook earned 84% ($6,82 billion) of the global revenue thanks to mobile advertising.

Total mobile marketing expenses was amounted $77 billion in 2016.

What is more in the end of the year Google started to test new search Mobile-first index. New algorithms eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages.


Did you hear a story about St. Petersburg citizen who targeted VK advertisement on a girl to ask her on a date? Actually any traffic-manager can easily show particular banners to a particular man just having spent  on settings a little more time than usually.

For example you can remind an old friend of a debt.

Main channels provide targeting particular name, age, small radius location, smartphone model and many others.

It can sound funny until you know how microtargeting helped Donald Trump to win USA presidential elections in USA. While Hillary Clinton  was considering abstract “women”, “afro americans” or “gays”,  republican candidate was cooperating with Cambridge Analytica company, which specialises on Big Data studies.

Specialists trace likes, shares and further Facebook and other internet sources information to understand the preferences of each American. Different messages were oriented on different small groups with similar interests and views. Company database includes information about 220 million electorates.

Narrow person can believe that microtargeting is a game for geeks or too serious measure to be used  by marketers overall, but specialists have tested it for couple of years. In 2017 when marketers are to invent new effective ways to attract users, they has already start using microtargeting more often than everybody expected.   

Messenger with a filling

Asian messengers like WeChat or Line have been doubling social nets functions and even offering users to do transactions for a long time. Western and Russian analogues estimated the advantages of this approach and started to add new options to messengers.

In 2016:

  • VKontakte started internet money transactions in its messenger;
  • Apple launched iMessage App Store – special store for apps, stickers and games to be bought and used in messenger;
  • Google filled its new Allo messenger with searching system;
  • Facebook released game platform for Messenger and also new advertisement with links to Messenger.

One more significant tendency of 2016 was an amount of chatbots. Telegram launched a platform for creating “smart” bots able to interact with outer services.

According to App Annie report about monetization of applications, messengers and social networks have the greatest engagement. In the near future we expect the emergence of more sophisticated robots, new opportunities for messengers and their integration with online shopping services.

Data diet

Most of the content just clogs the information space. 2016 considered as the beginning of monitoring of mobile content quality.

This trend started when Apple decided to delete more than a half of App Store applications. They removed 47 300 apps only in October. Now company is much more concerned about ASO than ever before, it also toughened naming rules. The measures were related with Apple Search Ads launch.

Google announced strengthening of control over fake installs, reviews and ratings in Google Play.

Facebook and YouTube launched a system which automatically removes all the content similar to the one that has already been recognized as extremist.

It was also reported that Facebook had developed news censorship software in attempt to return to Chinese market.

Other social nets let users filter their feed themselves. For example, Instagram released comment block option.

Endless fight against fraud continued during the whole year.  One of the most revolutionary solution was suggested by mobile analytics platform AppsFlyer. Service  define fraud on the  level of devices: it excludes smartphones and tablets which were compromised before. The main advantage of the platform is the opportunity not to notice fraud after it happened but to avoid it.

In 2017 we see how the information hygiene measures strengthen. Stores track the dynamics of application updates, cheat ratings and fake reviews. Social networks will continue to filter the content and provide users with additional opportunities for the information selection. Analytic Systems and traffic-platforms will strengthen the fight against fraud.

Ad formats optimisation

We live in the shock-content era: banner blindness has become a chronic disease. To large extent this phenomenon is typical for desktop information usage, but people got used to ignore mobile screens advertising too. The main paradox is that banners remain to be annoying even when the advertising message is not received.

Of course, agencies, clients and platforms do not abandon advertising. They just change the strategies and introduce new ad formats. What is more, functionality is becoming more customer-centric and advertising formats more convenient for users.

In 2017 platforms generate new formats more rapidly, agencies test and deploy them very quickly. Colleagues, who has done such tests, understand that high quality results can be got only after two weeks or months.

Now each of twenty platforms you use releases updates with a gap of few days. This endless ad formats optimization will lead to situation, when campaigns success depends on marketers ability to navigate in ever-changing digital area not only their professionalism.

Video advertising

Time spent in media and video apps increased by 212% compared to 2015. According to forecasts, this category will soon be more popular than even gaming apps. Mobile video network AdColony reports that the budgets for video advertising was growing during the whole year, and video proved to be the most effective format.

New mobile video formats are also oriented towards user`s time economy and campaigns effectiveness growth.

Russian business newspaper “Kommersant” reports that video ad increased by 24% during the first half of 2016, then the rise slowed down to 14%. The total budget spent on video in Runet reached 6.3 billion.

Virtual assistants

How often do you use your mobile assistant? Most likely you think that not so often. However, they already bring rather big income to companies. In 2016 their share of the  mobile shopping revenue was around $2 billion. In 2015 the global mobile giants intensively developed and taught their virtual assistants.


  • Google let developers use the platform for Google Assistant planning to grow the ecosystem of devices and services that works with assistant. Apple and Windows did the same having given the access to Siri and Cortana codes.
  • Google hired professional humorists to teach Google Assistant to joke.
  • Samsung bought virtual assistant Viv made by Siri developers. Система Viv is more open and complicated system than Siri.
  • Microsoft announced its mobile assistant Cortana to appear in household appliances like fridges or toasters.

In 2017 we usually hear about Internet of Things even more often than in 2016. Virtual Assistants able to understand difficult instructions and independently do complex tasks will come from smartphones to IoT-devices. Mobile assistants will be improved and learnt to interact with a variety of services. Some of them will switch to neural networks self-learning.

Top secret

Telegram came to its popularity because of atmosphere of privacy. In 2016 many other competitors decided to correspond to this trend and added chats encryption.

  • Telegram add gifs, stickers and quotes to secret chats.
  • Viber, WhatsApp and Facebook released chats with end-to-end encryption.
  • Facebook also launched self-destruct stories like Instagram Stories and Snapchat posts.
  • Instagram added disappearing photos and videos, which are automatically deleted after showing.

Necessity to protect themselves in the information space will be something as natural as the desire to have protection in the real world. In 2017 we expect the development of “secret” dialogue the industry and information privacy itself.

Mobile purchases

2016 was a year was mobile finances flourishing. Samsung Pay, Apple Pay and other systems have appeared recently, and already about 30% of POS terminals in the country can accept contactless payments.

Trend is supported not only by banks and technology companies but also by payment systems. Mastercard confirms the payment using a selfie and fingerprint instead of entering a password. In the first half of 2016 mobile e-commerce surpassed the number of desktop transactions with17% increase.

Payment system PayPal gathered data of Black Friday purchases. Third of all transactions ($1 billion) were made by mobile devices. More than half of total traffic was mobile.


In 2016 Affectiva created SDK for Unity that can recognize user’s real time emotions and enable games to adapt to the mood. Promptly it became obvious that such a program will be useful not only in gaming, but also in marketing and even medical research.

Mobile industry has reached the level when its inventions are widely used in other industries. In the ХХ century it was a military-industrial complex that enhance civil industries.  This visible dependence demonstrates not only the prospects of mobile business but denies its possible overvaluation.

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