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What To Expect From Mobile Advertising in 2020: From The Experts

A new year always brings new challenges and tremendous opportunities. With the end of 2019 approaching fast, 12 mobile marketing professionals in APAC share with us their views about the mobile industry in 2020. Don’t expect predictions or trends — only real perspectives from seasoned professionals sharing what is on their minds and what they would like to see happening in the year ahead.

From the broader application of AI, the need to be more connected to customers to deliver real value, to the desire for more innovation and disruption in the industry, we can expect to see quite a few important topics shaping the app marketers’ world next year.

Let’s hear from experts in Asia what is in their minds for 2020 when it comes to mobile advertising.

CHI DONGBIN, UA Team Lead, Flerogames

What's on your mind when it comes to mobile marketing in 2020?

As UA solutions become more and more sophisticated, we are thinking about how to improve the capabilities of our in-house marketing managers. We are very interested in how to efficiently measure performance and make decisions to achieve the appropriate strategy for each app and genre.

What concerns me is the trend in which strategy and execution are applied like a formula that can solve all problems without considering the product that they are marketing. With this kind of direction, there are concerns that, in the long run, in-house marketing managers will no longer be needed.

JEFF, Marketing Leader, China's leading mobile gaming company

What's on your mind when it comes to mobile marketing in 2020?

Machine learning is a big topic, and it can make most optimizers lose their jobs in the future.

JINA HAN, Manager, W Concept Korea

What's on your mind when it comes to mobile marketing in 2020?

As many businesses are regarding app as a major area of business nowadays, it now seems that app is more important than the mobile web. In 2019, we started to increase our investment in in-app marketing. For 2020, we are preparing to make further shifts to app marketing. What we are looking to do in 2020 is increasing retention and retargeting, advancing targeting, and producing competitive content.

Where are you betting your chips on?

We are planning to advance the app re-engagement further and use solutions to automate targeting. Also, we are planning to blend performance marketing and branding and finding appropriate media platforms for this strategy that can show different content to each target. At the same time, we are preparing to diversify creative content for the same reason. Furthermore, we are looking to invest more on SNS and YouTube channels to create “shoppable” content to support sales.

What are you looking forward to the most in 2020?

Previously, the majority of mobile app purchasers were in their 20’-30’s. Still, we are hearing and seeing that users above 40’s are increasing purchases on mobile as well, thus reassuring the movement toward the app environment. Although users in ‘40s are not our core target, we would like to widen our audience, with the support of the right media partners, to target and show appropriate products to these users.

What do you see changing in mobile marketing in 2020?

As content consumption continues to increase in video channels such as YouTube, there is much need for channel expansion and utilization. As in 2019, it will be important to see who can move content more quickly towards the trends that users might be interested in.

JOOYOUNG KIM, User Acquisition Manager

Where are you betting your chips on?

There are several points currently on my mind. Among them is the topic of enhancing the utilization of DSP media (with lower reliance on Facebook and Google and also deliver higher performance overall). Along with that, there is a need to increase marketing results by using the company’s internal user information (DMP) customers. I’m particularly interested in understanding how other companies are approaching this. Finally, one of the main focus for 2020 will be how to reach and acquire users with high ROAS or ROAS potential. I’m talking of paying users and loyal users.

What are you looking forward to the most in 2020?

I’m looking forward to increasing the efficiency of marketing performance analysis, in particular, linking marketing performance analysis results to business and development from a growth hacking perspective.

What do you see changing in mobile marketing in 2020?

I expect to see new ad fraud taking a different shape from what we see today. It seems like there is always a new fraud coming.

LINUS ANTLOV, Head of Performance Marketing & Marketing Analytics, HappyFresh

Where are you betting your chips on?

There are several topics that will deserve our attention in 2020. With both Facebook and Google moving more towards campaign budget optimization and machine-powered app campaigns, we see that AI and machine learning will become central themes for advertisers. Advertisers will have to adapt and learn how to support the machine learning process. As a result, we believe strong creatives and copywriting will also play a more prominent role in ads while machine learning defines which target audience reacts best to it.

Another big topic for 2020 will be retargeting. As more and more advertisers and brands turn to mobile, users are overloaded with new apps. To break through the noise and stay relevant, we believe in having a reliable retargeting partner who focuses on driving incremental ROAS. This will be a key effort to ensure customers are reminded of our app and continue to engage with it. Simply put, retargeting: if you don’t do it, your competitor will.

Traditionally, the marketing role is to ‘sell’ its brand’s promise. In this sense, we believe, in 2020, it becomes marketing’s duty to ensure the brand fulfills this promise to the customer. There is a need for marketers to look beyond traditional advertising, get more engaged with the customer experience, and involve other departments to ensure the brand delivers on its promise.

What are you looking forward to the most in 2020?

We are most excited to see mobile and desktop web being able to attribute sales to a mobile app, which is something we are working closely with AppsFlyer to understand. This would enable us to fully understand the impact our web has on our app conversions, and eventually fuel our mobile app growth.

What do you see changing in mobile marketing in 2020?

Advertising competition and scaling beyond the duopoly are two topics currently on our minds. As advertising costs increase on the duopoly (Facebook & Google) for mobile app marketing, advertisers will need to find other scalable programmatic partners to ensure their marketing ROI remains positive. We believe we will see more ad spend going into partners that are capable of doing both user acquisition and retargeting since they can guide the customer through its entire lifecycle.

MINCHEOL BAE, Sr. Manager, Birdview

What's on your mind when it comes to mobile marketing in 2020?

A smooth user loop. We’re noticing a rising interest in the usage of video assets. The major points of future discussion would be about branding and creatives related to branding.

A top focus for the coming year would be maximizing performance via video assets; thus, major topics would be the quality, resources, and efficiency of these video assets.

SALLY, Marketing Leader of Retargeting, China's tier 1 cross-border e-commerce platform

What is on your mind when it comes to mobile marketing in 2020?

With the decline of the Internet demographic dividend, remarketing is becoming increasingly important.

SAMUEL NAM, CEO, Remake

Where are you betting your chips on?

We’re betting all of our chips on creative optimization and automation. Computer vision techniques, and generative models to a certain extent, as seen in deep fakes that have matured enough for machine learning to be finally applied to ad design. Our team is preparing for this wave 1) technologically by building a new design automation service called CROLO 2) organizationally by realigning our design team to be totally data-driven.

What are you looking forward to the most in 2020?

I’m looking forward to more collaboration between Remerge and Remake. Let us ‘REvolutionize’.

What do you see changing in mobile marketing in 2020?

2019 felt a lot like 2018 replayed again. I’m hoping to see more innovation coming in 2020!

SEBIN IM, Director, Marketing, Devsisters Corp.

Where are you betting your chips on?

Recently, we are paying careful attention to the creative trend represented by Fake Ads.

What are you looking forward to the most in 2020?

We expect the combination of AI and AdTech to bloom, which will deliver both convenience and performance to advertisers, including Facebook’s Automated App Ads.

What do you see changing in mobile marketing in 2020?

We are also concerned about the change in advertising response rates due to the growing resistance to Fake Ad Creative by end-users.

SHOHEI OCHI, Corporate Planning Headquarters Web Strategy Dept., General Manager, Nano Universe Co., Ltd

What is on your mind when it comes to mobile marketing in 2020?

Japan’s mobile e-commerce market, which had shown the potential for a grand scale, is predicted to slowdown in growth. To be more precise, brands that relied on traffic from investing in SEM will be facing their limits.

There is a particular phenomenon in customer behavior to take note of – the boundary between the online/digital and the real/offline is almost gone. To be more precise, the user would first see the product online, come to the actual store, try out the product, consider and go back to online/digital and make the purchase.

With that said, we should aim to assist all of that customer journey within mobile apps and provide a product with originality and a stress-free buying experience. In other words, the usage of mobile apps will not be limited to e-commerce but will be a trend in 2020 for actual offline real store experiences.

SHUHEI OGITA, Executive Officer, Septeni America Inc.

What is on your mind when it comes to mobile marketing in 2020?

As next year brings the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, we expect to see changes both in the market and in the services offered. In Japan, the ”work style reformation” is being pushed by both government and the private sector. This focus on shortening working hours and achieving results will eventually lead to increased time spent on hobbies and leisure.

We expect this trend to lead to increased expenditure in the hobbies/entertainment sector when compared to 2019. Accordingly, there is a big market opportunity for this sector, and we believe that the scale of marketing needs will also expand in this vertical.

What are you looking forward to the most in 2020?

In the advertising and tech area, we look forward to a broader development in voice advertising, diversification of OOH, and integration of online and offline events.

On the other hand, we believe that advertisers should prepare to face increasingly diverse challenges in the future.

With that said, as a global agency, we will continue to support advertisers to maximize their return by responding to the changes and diversification of the market and striving to deliver flexible services that meet their needs beyond just media operation and creatives.

WEIHAO ANG, Mytona

Where are you betting your chips on?

For 2020, AI technology and advances in marketing will continue to be one of the most important developments in the industry. AI tools that can cover the entire marketing funnel will be a valuable tool, and automation will continue to progress when more players start to adopt the technology. Social media and content sharing platforms like Youtube will likely continue to dominate mobile marketing.

What are you looking forward to the most in 2020?

We are hoping to see more disruption in the mobile space. More innovative games, control mechanics, and continued development in the AR/VR space will greatly improve the industry as the pace of innovation in games has slowed down recently. With device manufacturers implementing different ways of interacting with devices, maybe we will see more games and services utilizing these new methods as a way of interacting with their products.

What do you see changing in mobile marketing in 2020?

We expect the bigger publishers to continue dominating over the mobile market through their strong presence and branding in the mobile space and lesser chances for smaller companies to break out and gain more prominence. The battle of technologies and constant product innovation of UA tools and platforms will bring more benefits to consumers like us. We also hope for more reliable traffic sources and technologies to emerge to improve competitiveness within the mobile marketing space.

Note: Some responses were edited for length and/or clarity. A special thank you to all the professionals featured for giving their time and expertise for this piece.

Marta Gaspar

Sr. Digital Content Manager

Based in Singapore

Responsible for APAC