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Times are such that chances are you are reading this blog on your smartphone and will be using the same device for functions like social networking, communication, shopping, travel bookings and the list keep growing by the minute. Not even a decade old, smartphones have changed our lifestyle and habits and are indispensable in many ways. They have come to dominate all aspects of our lives and turned into our touch point to access the virtual world of internet and the real world around us. With this heightened consumption and dependence on digital devices, it’s no surprise that mobile advertising has witnessed exponential growth resulting in the rise of advertising technology.

What is mobile ad tech?

The mobile landscape is a complex web, and content providers and advertisers need the right tools to connect with their audience. Mobile advertising technology or mobile ad tech uses a range of analytics and digital tools to perform this crucial function. Simply put, it is a form of advertising via mobile devices and uses technology to reach out to the mobile phone users. No business worth its salt can afford to ignore the significance and growing relevance of the mobile advertising technology. Marketers are embracing this channel to hook a new generation of young and digitally savvy consumers.

Behind-the-scenes of the mobile ad tech industry

Mobile advertising is driving most ad spending growth worldwide and it has mushroomed to a whopping $1200 million mark in 2017. As the world’s third-largest smartphone market, India provides myriad opportunities to digital marketers. Indian mobile internet ad spending stood at approximately $ 460 million in 2017 and is predicted to reach $1.73 billion by 2021. Little wonder that marketers and global app developers are flocking to grab as much as they can of this very market.

The global market is clearly dominated by tech behemoths Facebook and Google that run an unchallenged duopoly. The two digital giants enjoy a 75 per cent share of global digital media accounting for over $900 million in mobile ad spends. With Google search ads, YouTube ads, and Facebook ads, they claim the lion’s share of the market. The remaining 25 per cent of the market is shared by a host of major and minor digital platforms that are trying to breakthrough with original marketing tools and technical innovations.

Trend waves in mobile ad tech

As mobile becomes the preferred medium of consumption, companies are recognizing the need to spend more on digital marketing, with mobile becoming central to the advertising strategy. The growing demand for smartphones, affordable 4G handsets and falling data prices are further pushing mobile ad spends in India and the world over. With the clear shift from the desktop to the mobile device in digital advertising, the following trends have emerged:

  • In-app advertising

In-app advertising is arguably the main growth engine of worldwide mobile ad spending. With an 85 per cent share of mobile ad spending, the shift to in-app advertising is a truly global phenomenon. It offers distinct advantages such as a higher click-through rate than web advertising and better targeting of the target audience. By using in-app advertising, marketers can steer clear of generalized ads and instead focus on the sending the right message to the right audience.

  • Advertising on mobile games

According to a NASSCOM report, 40 to 50 million people play games on their mobile devices and a whopping 86 per cent of the total internet users play at least one game every day. Mobile games are a highly lucrative platform to reach consumers as gaming apps make up 43 per cent of time spent on all apps. Gaming is not just restricted to teenagers but cuts across a wide audience of all ages and demographics. Given this scenario, mobile gaming presents endless opportunities to digital marketers.

  • New user interfaces

Even as Google and Facebook continue their dominance, tech giants and startups can still claim a share of the market and redefine mobile advertising technology. The trick is to develop new internet services and apps for influential young users that command the attention of marketers. New user interfaces provide a host of opportunities as consumers continue to adopt new personal assistant apps, such as Alexa or Siri and devices like Amazon Echo. These innovations are likely to make a dent in the share of services for search, messaging and social networking that currently dominate the user journey.

  • Re-targeting

Re-targeting is yet another magic wand that digital companies are using to reach out to a larger audience. It identifies users who wished to make an online transaction but abandoned it mid-way. Companies specializing in re-targeting show the user relevant and personalized ads and then guide them to return and complete the transaction. They are assisting mobile marketers across diverse categories towards increasing their respective user retention.

The future beckons

Going forward, the amount of marketing money being spent on digital media will only increase, while Google and Facebook’s likely share of that growing pile of cash will also get bigger. To compete with the duopoly, other players have two options – create premium content that appeals to advertisers or use new innovative technologies. Star Squared PR is one of the leading PR agencies in Mumbai that focusses on the mobile ad tech segment.

The coming years are brimming with excitement and challenges for the mobile advertising industry. Existing and emerging technologies will continue to grow while making room for new players who are willing to break the clutter with new mobile advertising innovations. As a majority of businesses are in sync with the mobile revolution and have been investing in advertising on mobile devices, the best of mobile advertising is yet to unfold.