The results are in: mobile CPC rose 25% in Q4 2017 compared with the same time a year ago.

Budgets dedicated to mobile search also surpassed desktop search at the end of last year, earning 53%of total search share.

What both of these facts indicate is that mobile is on the rise now more than ever.

For PPC marketers, this means focusing even more resources on mobile advertising.

Additionally, it means fully optimizing digital marketing campaigns for reaching mobile audiences.

In order to create a truly mobile-first ad campaign, you need to be aware of the mobile advertising trends set to define 2018.

With an understanding of where the future of advertising on mobile devices is heading, you can better design, deploy, and optimize your digital advertising.

Let’s dive in and take a look at the top four mobile ad trends of 2018.

1. Mobile Advertising Won’t Topple the Duopoly, But Will Threaten It

Mobile advertising has set the stage to threaten the Google-Facebook duopoly in 2018.

The two behemoths took a few hits in 2017 that could allow for the rise of new mobile ad platforms:

mobile ad trends - Google

With Google and Facebook both showing chinks in their armor, it provides smaller (for now) players in the mobile ad game to rise to the occasion.

One of the major digital marketing platforms making such a move is Amazon.

Amazon marketing has seen a drastic increase in popularity and revenue in the past year as the go-to platform for advertisers.

To attest to this, their recent fourth quarter earning report showed a 60% increase in ad revenue compared to the year before.

This massive surge indicates that Amazon is the company to watch for mobile advertisers.

Other players set to take the stage in the mobile ad world as the duopoly continues to destabilize include:

2. Mobile Ads Will Drive In-Store Conversions for the Ultimate Omnichannel Experience

Online retail sales are growing about 10% every year.

And 78% of Millenials (18-29 years old) said they prefer browsing online to in stores.

However, a recent survey revealed that a majority of U.S. shoppers prefer to make their purchases in store.

mobil ad trends - digital shopping

Image source: https://retail.emarketer.com

This is especially true of big-ticket items, like automobiles and jewelry.

The best way for you to handle the gap between browsing and converting online is to offer customers an omnichannel experience.

By bridging the gap between the mobile and physical worlds, consumers are more likely to complete their sale.

A successful cross-channel marketing strategy combines compelling mobile advertising, a well-designed website, and an engaging in-store shopping experience.

Reach people on the web, build a retail mobile app, chat with them using a messenger chatbot, and establish yourself on other digital platforms.

Having a greater presence online means your brand has a better chance of driving in-store sales from every channel your audience prefers.

3. Direct Programmatic Mobile Marketing Will Replace RTB

Given the many brand safety concerns of 2017 on the major digital marketing platforms, you should be looking for a solution to real-time bidding, or RTB.

One of the most popular and growing options is direct programmatic advertising.

RTB makes you susceptible to appearing next to ill-advised content or even ad fraud.

Programmatic direct, meanwhile, is a faster-paced option.

Its appeal is that this faster pace then often leads to higher-quality ad placements and avoids the major problems associated with RTB.

This option is already proving itself popular amongst digital and mobile advertisers.

Recent estimates indicate that programmatic direct will represent 56% of total programmatic display spending this year.

Meanwhile, only 44% of display ads will be bought programmatically through RTB.

With programmatic advertising becoming the default option for advertising on mobile devices and across all digital platforms, it’s time you became savvy to a direct programmatic strategy.

4. Personalization is the Mobile Ad Trend You Can’t Ignore

Mobile advertising has made acquiring user data all the more accessible and feasible.

As a result, you will have a greater ability to personalize your ads in 2018 than ever before.

And personalization is key to success.

A recent survey revealed that 71%of consumers prefer a personalized advertising experience.

Additionally, people were twice as likely to click through a mobile ad if it was clearly relevant to them.

There are three main reasons why people crave personalization in mobile advertising:

  • Instills an increased perception of control over their digital experiences
  • Provides them with a greater sense of choice
  • Reduces content and information overload

Online fashion company, Gilt, provides a great example of cross-platform personalization in action.

mobile ad trends - Gilt

Image source: https://www.racked.com

Their “Your Personal Sale” page is a curated feature of flash sale items the company has compiled based on user behavior and browsing and purchasing history.

Gilt distributes this content both on their mobile app and website.

In doing so, they’re making the personalized experience even more accessible to its users.

By partnering with a first-party data owner, you can use their tools and information to reach your audience in the manner they prefer.

Additionally, ad tech firms are coming together in a consortium to provide companies with access to their data and encourage more opportunities for targeting and personalization.

It’s Time to Optimize Your Mobile Marketing Strategy

Consider the mobile ad trends above as you formulate your marketing strategy for 2018.

Keeping on top of the latest trends, techniques, and tools will allow you to maximize even more marketing opportunities and drive your brand’s growth forward this year.

With mobile CPC continuing its rise, advertising on mobile is where the future of marketing is heading.

It’s also where you can earn your greatest profits.