Three Trends Shaping Mobile Marketing in 2024

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When it comes to the mobile ecosystem, change is the one constant we can count on. During the pandemic, brands were nimble and adopted new mobile technologies and strategies to reach their customers digitally. In 2023, we saw brands evolve and become more strategic across the mobile customer lifecycle. Last year also brought forth new challenges and developments as generative AI burst onto the scene, and consumer behaviors shifted with a higher bar for brands as it relates to data privacy and expectations of personalization.

2024 is coming in like a lion with geopolitical tensions, continued economic headwinds, a divisive U.S. presidential election, new privacy laws, and the deprecation of third-party cookies. What does this mean for mobile marketers? Understandably, consumers want the fundamental benefits of value and exceptional mobile-first experiences, without giving up too much personal privacy. 

To help navigate these challenges and identify unique opportunities for the year ahead, here are three trends shaping mobile marketing in 2024. 

Businesses look to scale customer interactions with generative AI

As businesses adopt Generative AI (GenAI) to scale what is possible with customer interactions, it’s important a company’s entire team understands, monitors and improves how their efforts impact business goals. Without the right goals in place, AI can’t train towards the best result. And without teams committed to continuous experimentation and optimization across the customer lifecycle, AI may only make it faster to achieve mediocre results or alienate customers. 

Technical and non-technical teams are more empowered to adopt continuous experimentation and optimization. GenAI and predictive AI join low- and no-code tools to eliminate bottlenecks in content creation and bypass a lack of technical resources that have limited companies from capturing greater value across digital experiences and channels. And these capabilities can’t come fast enough as marketers are tasked with better understanding customers, continually testing and adapting the context, value and simplicity with which they ask for zero-party data. 

Brian Yamada, Chief Innovation and Data Officer at VMLY&R expects we’ll see more intentional integration of GenAI. He notes, “As GenAI continues to mature, I think we’ll see more purposeful integration as features in app experiences and our digital interactions more broadly. The first wave of GenAI integrations explored how the functionality might work, and this year were often rolled in as live experiments/BETAs. Our opportunities are to find and un- lock the experiences that drive customer value or business value and not just headlines in the AI arms race.”

Third-party cookies crumble and brands implement new strategies for collecting zero- and first-party data

Google is set to complete third-party cookie deprecation in the second half of 2024. Brands no longer have a packet of code that for years has allowed them to provide consumers with more personalized content while tracking their behaviors across unrelated websites. The loss of third-party cookies will change the digital marketing landscape as we know it. 41% of marketers believe their biggest challenge will be the inability to track the right data; 44% predict they will need to increase their spending by 5% – 25% to attain the same goals they set in 2021.  

Brands will not only have to thoughtfully implement their own strategies for collecting zero- and first-party data but also connect their marketing stack to gain more efficiencies across omnichannel customer experiences and future paid advertising efforts. Brands are rising to the challenge by focusing on creating mutually beneficial value exchanges with their customers to gain access and consent to use their data.

Forever21, for example, collects first-party data through customer preferences and app interactions, which allows it to curate personalized experiences without the need for cookies.

Shifting privacy regulations push brands to embrace privacy as part of the customer experience

Forrester predicts marketers will become privacy champions in 2024. Consumers no longer tolerate being tracked across unrelated apps and websites. Yet, this year, more will share all types of information with brands they love for the right value exchange. It’s time brands embrace data privacy as an essential part of the customer experience. Some want ever-increasing personalization, while others don’t want to share anything.  

Eric Caron, senior director of digital experiences for Caribou Coffee suggests, “The privacy-minded customer will cross the chasm from the Early Adopter to Early Majority group. As a result of this enlightenment, along with customer weariness of compliance popups on websites, app designers and marketers will have to rethink their entire user experience. Striking the right balance between easy sign-up, simple management, and valuable data will be the key differentiator between apps that customers adore and those they delete.”

Respecting preferences and contextually, progressively and thoughtfully growing customer understanding, are keys to succeeding in this mobile-first era. 

For more on what 2024 has in store and predictions for 2024, checkout Airship’s e-book with insights from 26 business leaders. 

Daniel Nguyen
Daniel Nguyen is Vice President and General Manager of Customer Success at mobile app experience company Airship. In his role, he helps brands like Alaska Airlines, SXSW and Ace Hardware optimize the entire mobile app customer journey – from the point of discovery to loyalty – driving greater value for everyone involved. Daniel is skilled in building innovative customer success deployments, processes and teams to drive exceptional service. He’s held numerous leadership positions throughout his career in retail, travel, hospitality, marketing technology and business startups.

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