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10 Mobile Marketing Trends for 2020: Current Predictions You Should Be Thinking About

Category: B2B News

Customers spending more time on their smartphones are fueling the latest round of mobile marketing trends. And because customers and marketers flock to different channels, these channels get saturated as time goes by. It’s hard to get attention and even harder to get more engagement. Competition gets steeper and harder.

As a result, companies are pushing essential tasks and processes to digital mobile marketing solutions. They need all the help they can get to keep themselves relevant in every customer touchpoint out there.

In this article, we’ll discuss different mobile marketing trends and how you can leverage them for your company. Also, we will include real and hypothetical examples to make these more concrete.

latest on mobile marketing

Even though mobile phone sales in the US are expected to drop by 19% this year, smartphone usage is still likely to continue to rise. Recently, researchers found that about 57% of internet traffic in the US comes from smartphones and tablets. This figure is expected to further increase in the coming years. Thus, experts predict that mobile marketers are going to find more ways to make products and services visible on mobile phones. These include an increase in techniques to get engagement as well.

drop in mobile phone sales in the US

Moreover, consumers have a strong preference for sites to be mobile-optimized. More than half of customers abandon pages when they take a long time to load.

Experts are also predicting new changes in social media marketing on mobile. This is considering that 95% of Facebook users get on the platform using their mobile devices. Moreover, 89% of B2B companies and 98% of B2C companies are on Facebook already. They have followed suite already. The same goes for Twitter—85% of users access the platform through their phones. As the market becomes more saturated, more techniques to cut through the noise and competition are expected to be developed in the next few years.

1. More Mobile Use

The recent mobile marketing statistics that we gathered show that consumers are on their phones more and more. The average consumer spends 5 hours on their smartphones. Also, Americans spend about 58 minutes on average on Facebook every day. More importantly, for mobile marketers, consumers are more likely to purchase from companies with mobile sites and apps. Almost everything and everyone is on mobile now. It makes no sense for firms not to be optimized for mobile media consumption.

Thus, marketers should be mindful of having all online touchpoints optimized for mobile. Also, they need to find more ways to increase mobile engagement that’s outside social media use. This means other apps and such that we’ll discuss more in the next sections.

Moreover, successful mobile marketers use top-ranked mobile marketing platforms with automation. These enable them to outsource important business processes like customer segmentation, reporting, and behavioral email automation.

2019 US Mobile Usage


of people prefer to receive texts from businesses over calls


of internet users are on mobile phones


of product research done on mobile phones


of total transactions are on mobile phones

Source: Chattanooga Trend, MILL for Business

Designed by

Key takeaways:

  • Customers are on mobile more and more, especially on social media. Experts think that this behavior will likely increase in the future.
  • Other businesses go on mobile as well to reach customers. Also, more techniques are going to be developed to increase views and engagement in the future.
  • Marketers should think of optimizing all online touchpoints for mobile today. Furthermore, customers don’t like to wait for slow-loading pages and apps.

2. Blockchain Phones

Dapps is the new buzzword today. It stands for distributed-apps. They look and act like the apps we use. However, they run on peer-to-peer networks instead of big private servers. Tech insiders believe that dapps will be ubiquitous in the future. This and other decentralized services, they say, will disrupt the market. Also, if this will be true, it will likewise disrupt the mobile marketing and advertising industry.

However, we are just early into this technology today. Innovators are still looking into the possibility of using blockchain phones widely. They promise more security and letting the public own their data and other assets. Moreover, the increase in security and uber-privatization of information will make it hard for marketers to reach their target audience. Also, new security threats will arise.

This is just one of the mobile marketing future trends that are taking shape today. Also, it is one that is most likely to disrupt not only one but many industries, from banking and retail to advertising and IT.

Key takeaways:

  • Today, many companies are innovating on blockchain phones. Because applications and other assets are distributed, marketers will likely find it harder to get ahold of information to target preferred audiences better.
  • As information and applications are decentralized across trusted nodes in the network, it will take time for marketers to create ingenious technologies and ways to reach audiences with marketing messages.
  • Lastly, this technology is still near its infancy. It is too early to tell whether this new trend will catch on among the masses in the future. What we can be sure of is that many tech-savvy people will be early adopters.

3. Mobile Ad Spending Rising

Global ad spend is seen to rise by 4.3% and reach $616 billion this year. Mobile ad spend is projected to account for $165 billion by the year’s end. This makes it one of the largest ad market channels today. As more and more people spend more time on mobile, this is understandable. Also, the figure will likely grow further, keeping mobile as one of the biggest ad channels out there for the next few years.

Thus, experts predict that this channel will get saturated. They expect prices to increase as demand increases as well. This means that it will become harder to get on your target sites, apps, and other platforms. Also, one has to treat mobile SEO differently. Why? Researchers found that 79% of keywords from the one to twentieth positions have different rankings on mobile and desktop. Therefore, lumping mobile up with desktop is a bad strategy.

Below, you’ll find that US populations have strong preferences when it comes to receiving advertising. Thus, these and other demands should be respected if marketers want to be successful.

Mobile Advertising in the US (2019)


of people prefer to receive text ads than direct calls from advertisers


of people want text conversations with businesses, not only information


is the average SMS campaign conversion rate

Source: Chattanooga Trend

Designed by

Key takeaways:

  • Mobile is one of the largest ad markets there is in the world. Also, it looks like to stay that way in the foreseeable future.
  • Also, mobile SEO is different from desktop SEO. High-performing keywords are ranked differently between the two platforms.
  • Experts predict that mobile ad spend will continue to rise. Furthermore, this saturates the market, and advertisers may jockey up for better placements against each other more.

4. Targeted Local Marketing

Experts predict that by 2021, location-targeted mobile ad spending will reach $32.4 billion. Also, platforms have been offering mobile preferred ads, just like Google. Again, this is good as mobile SEO and advertising should be treated as something special. It shouldn’t be lumped up with other advertising channels or platforms. However, pair this with location targeting, and you get a powerful tool to reach your target demographics.

Many marketers feel the same way. That is why you need to be locally-mindful when it comes to your ad placement and your SEO. This is especially true if you have one or many physical locations in the country. Moreover, SEO trends suggest that going local is not just a viable option but a must in today’s market.

Additionally, consumers search for local commercial information using voice searches. In this case, 71% use voice search for their shopping list, while 62% use it to make a purchase. Thus, keen marketers optimize their web touchpoints for voice search. Furthermore, the rise of smart speakers from top brands will likely increase voice search usage in the US and worldwide.

US Smart Speaker Users By Brand

Key takeaways:

  • Location-targeted mobile ad spending will likely continue to rise in the next few years as consumers clock in more online time on mobile.
  • Ad platforms offer location-based targeting and mobile-preferred ad placement. Thus, marketers should take advantage of the strategy to make their campaign more precise.
  • Going local is not just a viable strategy but is also a must in today’s environment. Also, this is especially applicable to businesses with one or several physical locations. They want to be visible and easily accessible to their target audience.

5. Social Commerce

Retailers and marketers utilize the power of social media to increase sales and evaluate their target market. Social media platforms provide excellent tools to do just this. Think analytics and social commerce options. Also, more and more brands have adopted social commerce. In 2017, only 17% of retailers adopted social commerce. This figure rose to 33% in 2018. It is expected to further increase in the future as more brands, and even individuals are looking to sell wares and services online.

Thus, if you are a marketer who has yet to explore social commerce, now is the time. Also, as more marketers get in on it, the competition will get steeper. So, people need to be smarter about how they market on social media.  Therefore, marketers will be pressured to find more ways to convince people on social media to buy from them.

Furthermore, many will be pressured to look for social media management platforms too to automate marketing processes. Lastly, many would want their tool or technology stacks to be integrated with eCommerce platforms or have eCommerce abilities. Global eCommerce growth is tremendous. We should watch out for social commerce to take it to new heights.

Mobile eCommerce Growth (2016-2021)

Estimated and Predicted Sales in Trillions USD

US Dollars (in trillions)







Source: eMarketer

Designed by

Key takeaways:

  • Retailers are marketers who recognize the value of social media in driving sales today. Last year, 18% of retailers adopted social commerce.
  • To track performance and efficiency, marketers use digital tools. Also, we expect that more people will adopt social media management tools with e-commerce integrations or capabilities soon.
  • Furthermore, individuals are also doing social commerce. So, marketers should keep in mind that they don’t only have brands for competitors; they can also have individual or small group operations to be mindful of as well.

6. Video Content Marketing

The video marketing market size globally is at $34 billion this year. Experts predict that it will increase to $52 billion in 2023. Many already claim that this technology fetches them faster and more significant ROI.

Also, according to recent video marketing data we compiled, people are likely to consume video content more than other types. Thus, by 2021, experts feel that videos will account for 80% of all internet traffic. Additionally, consumers watch videos on social media, and many are on social media using mobile.

In 2018, mobile video advertising spending reached $30 billion. Experts expect this number to rise in the coming years as well — our penchant for watching videos for entertainment and education fuels this growth. Also, video marketing is evolving in terms of content. Product presentations even take a movie-like approach. In the future, we expect it to be more interactive.

US smartphone video users

Key takeaways:

  • Video marketing is trending, and it is not going away in the foreseeable future.
  • People like to consume videos more than other online media. Thus, in 2021, videos will account for 80% of internet traffic, according to experts.
  • Video marketing will evolve in the future in terms of content. We predict that more and more interactive video formats on online platforms will come about.

7. More AR & VR

Whenever new highly-experiential technologies come about, marketers get antsy to jump on them. They want to leverage these to engage their target audience. Such is the case when virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) entered the picture.

Today, there are many mobile VR headsets in the market. Many brands create mobile VR experiences to endear them to their audiences. One example of this is KFC and its “The Hard Way” VR game. The game walks users through a training simulation on how the world-famous chicken is being made. On the AR side, you get IKEA with its IKEA Place, an AR app that you can use to try out furniture and shop. You choose furniture and point the app to a place you want your new piece would be. The app simulates it being there so you could take a look at whether it fits the overall style or fits in your preferred space. Also, you can turn and move the furniture if you wish.

Experts predict that more and more of these experiences will be created for us by brands in the future. They’re fun and convenient. Also, they are pretty much engaging.

Key takeaways:

  • Brands have taken advantage of VR and AR technology for digital marketing in general. AR is used mostly in mobile marketing for virtual fitting rooms and the likes.
  • These technologies offer a high-experiential value. Thus, marketers, when they can, choose to have this in their portfolio. AR & VR help them endear their brands to their customers.
  • We expect more brands to create their own AR and VR experiences in the future. This may not be a requirement to stay ahead in the game. However, if you are in retail, design, the automotive industry, and similar ones that have high-utility for such technologies, you should give it a try.

8. Omnichannel on Mobile

Omnichannel is the rage nowadays. Customers want brands to be more flexible when it comes to the channels they use to communicate. Also, customers prefer that brands can identify them even though they have switched channels. Moreover, they want brand representatives to know the contexts of their queries and conversations even though they switched from one channel to the next; or are being faced by different representatives.

Mobile is where omnichannel marketing happens the most. It is the best channel for seamless experiences when moving from social platforms to eCommerce sites and a company’s website. Thus, marketers need not just digital tools to reach and cater to their customers on mobile. They require solutions that have mobile apps, too, to give them more room for flexibility. Thus, they need mobile marketing solutions to be mobile-optimized and have native mobile apps. This might be one of the mobile app marketing trends today. It just flies under the radar for many.

Key features for mobile marketing platforms include in-app/in-game advertising, two-way messaging, volume messaging, custom deals, social notes, lead scoring, and multiple device tracking, among others.

Omnichannel Leads to Better Overall Performance

Key takeaways:

  • Customers prefer to reach brands using all channels available to them. Also, they want the context of brand-related conversations to be carried over when they switch to different channels. This, plus fast and reliable customer service is in high demand today.
  • Marketers have been using digital tools to cater to this demand. However, they prefer solutions with native mobile apps themselves. These apps allow them more flexibility and to attend to work while they are on the go.
  • Omnichannel is not just in demand in the B2C industry, like retail. It is also in demand in various B2B industries where SMS is a significant channel being used.

9. 5G Opens More Possibilities

5G is touted to be one of the most important mobile marketing trends in the coming years. The 5G technology promises more bandwidth, allowing for 4k streaming video and high-def VR experiences. Furthermore, it is expected to reduce latency in the network by a factor of 10 to less than 10 milliseconds.

What does this mean for brands? Well, they can provide richer experiences powered by a more powerful engine. Many phones in the market today are 5G-ready already. Experts predict that we’ll see more in the market by this year’s end. If (or when) the majority of customers get on 5G, their standards for a good brand experience will change. Thus, marketers need to up the ante when it comes to creating digital customer experiences.

This means that there will be some disruption when 5G gets adopted by most people. Early adopters will likely find success. However, those that lag will struggle to get their systems and processes up to date for the entrance of 5G.

Key takeaways:

  • 5G-ready phones are likely to dominate the market in the coming years. Also, with this new technology, digital experiences are going to change. People will experience faster, smoother, and more powerful interactions from apps, other media, and websites.
  • The 5G technology will allow brands to offer high-definition virtual reality experiences, faster AR experiences, and smoother 4k video streaming.
  • Early adopters will likely gain the upper hand when the time comes that most people are on 5G. Laggards will probably have a hard time keeping up with the trend if they are not conscious about it now.

10. More Payment Options

Customers want convenience. This is in every channel for the brand experience, from retail to online touchpoints. However, one thing that irks customers is not having the option to pay for what they want to buy in the way they want. Well, this is understandable. Many of us had that experience of not bringing cash to some restaurant and end up having to walk to the nearest ATM because they don’t accept credit or other payment types. We all know the pain.

This is somewhat universal across customer-bases. What we mean by this is that when someone has a digital wallet, let’s say an Apple one, they want to pay using that platform. Others with PayPal want the platform to be recognized and supported by brands. Others who are on Google Pay want the same thing. The demand from customers shifts the landscape for brands.

However, brands, too for some time, have put out branded-currency. These are in-store credits and a medium of exchange exclusive to a merchant or a set of them. In this way, they already have “captured” credits. These credits cannot be used for other brands. Also, companies can roll out promotions and discounts to entice customers to get in-store credits. We expect more companies to follow suit in the future.

More Payment Options

Key takeaways:

  • Customers want to be able to pay for products and services using different payment platforms at their disposal. Brands are pressured to support such payment options.
  • We expect that more and more digital payment options will be available in the future. Many of them will be specialized. However, we expect customer pressure to make them available for them in physical and online avenues.
  • Many brands have been putting out their own in-store credits with discounts as a come on.

How do you deal with disruptive trends?

Many trends are just niche-specific. Although some get to become broader trends that disrupt different industries, think about the internet and social media. The very early adopters were not that many. However, these technologies managed to find their way into businesses and everyone’s pockets. The ones that get to leverage them first grabbed the opportunity to change the very business landscape that everybody was in. Now, they became the formidable giants of the digital age.

But, not all of us have the ability or the foresight to see such things happening before they do. However, we can take a cue from them to be vigilant about new trends appearing, including new personalities that look to make a significant impact. There is not one recipe in dealing with trends. But monitoring movements in and out of your industry is a good place to start. You can’t catch the wave if you don’t see it.

After checking out what’s trending, you may now proceed to weigh how each one affects your business. Also, you should include if the effect would be positive or negative (or list down the pros and cons). From this, you can start dealing with the ones that have the most significant impacts by keeping your business processes up to date.

Of course, as market and industry forces interact, the possible weight and effects may change. Therefore, you should never treat what you wrote down as something concrete. It is fluid, and it can change.

Thus, adaptability is a highly-valued skill when it comes to future-forward thinking. Moreover, you may find our free strategic marketing thinking tools to be of use, especially the SWOT matrix and Critical Success Factors worksheet.

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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