Mobile marketing: 5 of the major trends of 2021

As part of our Best of 2021 series, the reporters at The Drum took a look at some of the biggest stories of the year. Here we revisit our Mobile Marketing Deep Dive.

Despite a year in which audiences were less mobile than ever before, mobile marketing itself continued to grow and evolve. Here we take a look at some of the highlights from our in-depth study of mobile marketing.

1. Social commerce is breaking through

After years of development and expectations, 2021 was the year social commerce stuck with consumers. Even when physical locations weren’t closed or operated with limited capacity, the shopping experience was tarnished by fears of a pandemic.

Social commerce channels on Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok and especially Instagram have matured, however, allowing retailers and brands to reach consumers where they are, rather than worrying about where they are not. Jellyfish’s Stephen Warrington noted in June.

As Kevin Chan, head of social practice at MediaCom said in October: “The rapid evolution of social commerce will continue until 2022. More and more users will become accustomed to more resourceful formats and there will be more and more users. there will be an abundance of shareable content that will capture their imaginations. “

2. Challenger networks bite the cellular network giants

In the competitive cellular network market, dominated in most markets by a handful of massive players, anti-establishment tactics have paid off for new entrants like GiffGaff and Mint Mobile. This is proof that consumers always respond well to hard-hitting messages and the possibility of siding with the underdog, provided of course the prices are below par as well, even in a utility sector like mobile coverage.

Aron North, Marketing Director at Mint Mobile, told us how he managed to break into the United States by taking advantage of both pricing and promotions. He was greatly helped in the latter case by his association with actor Ryan Reynolds, who owns both Mint and his agency Maximum Effort. “The fact that an owner is also the owner of your agency and that your owner’s business partner runs the agency has revolutionized the agency’s client relationship, as our overall strategic vision is aligned… it reverberates throughout the agency. agency and everyone is aligned with where we’re going, ”North said.

Likewise, GiffGaff Managing Director Ash Schofield has stressed the importance of his brand’s “strong sense of self” as it seeks to “disrupt” the UK mobile market.

3. 5G becomes a USP

At the same time, however, established cellular networks such as T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon have all made 5G the next big differentiator for mobile customers.

Technology is increasingly at the heart of AT & T’s brand communications, senior vice president Jennifer Van Buskirk told The Drum. Competitors are finding ways to tie this previously boring development to everyday use cases, says Kristin McHugh, senior vice president of marketing activation at Verizon: “We know the best education is tangible use cases. which show what Verizon 5G can do. We show how to implement and bring technology to life, and market it to the right audiences through world-class partnerships.

4. Influencers have more power with platforms

With the emergence of TikTok as a major social force over the past two years, the competition for influencers and talented creators across platforms has intensified. This is why platforms such as Clubhouse and Triller (who have tried to supplant TikTok by courting Donald Trump’s opinion) have tried to alienate popular creators, including Charli D’Amelio, from their rivals by paying them off. advance.

While these efforts definitely failed, the biggest platforms have started paying creators to ensure their loyalty and exclusivity. This means that influencers – or at least some of them – now hold more power than ever before over the companies that host their content. Chris Sutcliffe wrote about Instagram’s plans in this area in June.

5. TikTok has become a viable advertising channel

The goose that laid the golden eggs of Bytedance was the greatest tech story of the entire pandemic. But in 2021, the platform began encouraging small and medium-sized businesses to advertise to its millions of users, following the same path that turned Facebook from a Palo Alto tech company to an imperial powerhouse. of Silicon Valley. Lisa Friedrich, head of small businesses at TikTok, told The Drum how the platform in the spring developed a track from organic social content to paid content for SMEs. Expect further developments in this space.

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