Mobile ad spend is predicted to surpass $100 billion in 2016 and represents 51 percent of the digital market. Given that the average American spends an average of 4.7 hours on their phone a day, the ascendance of mobile advertising is no surprise. Advertisers want to reach consumers where they spend their time.

In 2016, as the mobile ecosystem continues to evolve, advertisers will also evolve the way the use big data in a number of interesting ways. Here are four key mobile advertising trends to keep an eye on in the year to come.

First party mobile location data strategy becomes a top priority for both brands and publishers

Brands and publishers are going to start caring more about how they manage and use their first party location data on users. This is not necessarily the data that comes via their mobile apps. Rather, advertisers will pay more attention to the data about users who see their mobile ads, or buy their products online. Focusing inward enables brands to buy their own media, and target specific users based on the data they have gathered. Even better, they can tie this data to their users online, which helps them become more efficient at marketing.

A dozen large retailers are already beginning to use first party mobile data. For example, brands like Procter & Gamble can now run campaigns inside the Safeway app to reach their customers shopping at Safeway, or buy display ads and target Safeway shoppers on other relevant apps. In 2016, we will see a big shift as brands begin taking ownership of their own first party mobile data.

Learn more about how we work with advertisers to manage their first party mobile data.


Financial institutions enter the adtech fray with real­ world transaction data for mobile attribution

Financial institutions, such as banks and credit card companies, are in a unique position to enter the ad-tech world, and they are already doing so. Why? Because they have access to a variety of historical purchase data and spend graphs on their users, which enables them to create audience segments based on that data, that brands can use for highly targeted mobile ad campaigns. They are also in a unique place to use this data to better measure attribution and close the marketing loop on a campaign.

For example, payment companies can create an audience segment around people that have purchased items in a certain category, such as sporting goods. Sporting goods retailers can then specifically target those users for their mobile ad campaigns. Chances are, the brand will see much higher success rates on targeting these interested users that have already shown interest in the category. We believe this trend will pick up steam over the next few years.

Related Article: What Mobile Payments Can Learn From “The Newsroom”


Mobile data transparency with consumers becomes the norm

Consumers understandably have privacy concerns about sharing their personal data, but the tide is starting to turn. People who regularly use multiple devices have realized that integrating those devices in a coherent, useful way requires more transparent data.

In addition, more smartphone users are seeing the benefits of sharing their personal data in order to receive custom, targeted advertising and offers (and keep irrelevant ads at bay). As this trend continues, mobile data transparency will become the norm.

However, that is not to say that consumers will share their data equally with anyone. Reputation and trust are key. Consumers do not want their data being used in ways they are unaware of or sold to third parties. If the information is being used by a trusted company that is accountable, such as a mobile carrier or a credit card company, consumers will be more willing to share. To cultivate trust, the companies using the data have to provide education and transparency, so users know exactly what their information is used for. Furthermore, brands have to offer the option to give consent, or opt­ out.


Ad relevancy and cross-­device tracking:­­ How mobile ads will become more and more targeted and relevant  

In 2016, targeting methodologies will improve, thanks to better access to data. To start, mobile advertisers will have more information about users across screens. In addition, devices are becoming increasingly personal. The Apple Watch, which people wear as they go about their day, collects data that a desktop and even a smartphone can’t capture.

The challenge here is that getting a user to act on an offer requires it to be highly relevant, and factor in the current time and location. Ads will also need to be more engaging and immersive, since they are so intimate, which will put more of a focus on creatives. Along with greater ad relevance, cross-­device tracking and targeting will become more seamless.

The fact is that there still isn’t a winning ad technology that allows brands and retailers to track and target their consumers across multiple channels and devices. Next year, brands will be able to use their first party data, along with third party targeting data, to get a better overall look into their users and behaviors across the different devices they use.


Learn how Placecast can help you manage your first party mobile location data, or help you run location-based mobile ads: