In 2019, there are three big buckets to watch for around the evolution of mobile marketing:

  • Blockchain
  • Machine Learning
  • Location-Based Marketing

We’ll go one-by-one.

1.) Blockchain

Blockchain feels like one of the ultimate 2019 buzzwords, admittedly. You’ve probably heard of it, but if you haven’t, it’s a long-tail digital ledger in which an entire sequence of transactions is recorded both chronologically and publicly. In short: it fosters transparency where transparency doesn’t always exist, i.e. the financial sector. As a result, blockchain has emerged as a tool against data breaches. Blockchain requires a lot of power to run, which is a current drawback to it, but we’re increasingly seeing blockchain development and mobile development being done concurrently. (“Agile.”)

We’ve even got blockchain phones coming down the pike. This is all very big news for mobile marketing, even if it doesn’t get to scale in 2019. Why? Mobile marketing functions best when it is getting rich data from users, but breaches in big brand name companies (Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc.) have lessened user trust. If blockchain can emerge as a force on mobile and allows for transparency around data, that’s huge for what mobile marketers can gather about users — and then act on.

2.) Machine Learning

This is another concept that’s been kicked around for 1-2 years and might be entering buzzword territory in some industries. What it means for mobile product owners: they can (a) get valuable, real-time data to boost user experience and (b) automate more of their mobile marketing.

Some have even called it “the future of mobile marketing” because mobile marketing at its core is about data. Machine learning is about processing data more effectively and getting patterns from it that can inform decision-making. An average mobile marketer uses about 5% of their data to make decisions. What if you had help from ML programs to predict the future based on the existing sets you have? That’d be a game-changer.

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3.) Location-Based Marketing:

This has been a trend for a few years now, largely because established brick-and-mortar brands logically turned to it as a way to get in-app users into the physical locations. Location-based marketing is growing at roughly 18% CAGR per year, which makes sense as it’s an increasing priority for CMOs. The total spend on location-based marketing by 2022 is probably around $38 billion.

There’s some ingenuity in this world, too: near the end of 2018, Burger King ran a geo-driven campaign where they sent users to within 600 feet of a McDonalds, unlocked a 1-cent Whopper deal, and then rerouted them to the nearest Burger King. And Amazon, a brand that’s usually ahead of its competitors, just added location-based services to Alexa. All in all, the geolocation/location-based marketing game is just getting bigger. Make sure it’s on your strategy slides for 2019.

What are your key focuses for your 2019 mobile strategy?