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Future-Proof Your Mobile Marketing: Insights from MAU 2024

Future-Proof Your Mobile Marketing: Insights from MAU 2024

As always, the mobile marketing landscape is constantly evolving to keep up with changing technology and consumer behavioral shifts. To help navigate these changes, events that bring together mobile app thought leaders like MAU Vegas 2024 have never been more vital. 

At Mobile Apps Unlocked this year, CRAFTSMAN+'s President, Nancy Roberts, joined the panel "Don't Get Left Behind: Future-Proof Your Mobile Acquisition Mix" to share her insights on adapting and thriving in a privacy-first, mobile-centric world.

Moderated by Lindsey Witmer Collins, CEO and Founder of WLCM ("Welcome") App Studio, mobile industry luminaries on the panel included: 

Here is a round-up of their insights on the trends shaping mobile marketing in the privacy-centric era.

The Importance of Top of Funnel Creative Strategies 

The panel opened with a spirited discussion on the critical importance of top-of-funnel strategies in today’s mobile marketplace. In a world where privacy regulations like SKAN and Privacy Sandbox limit traditional data-driven targeting, Nancy Roberts emphasized the need for compelling creatives that grab attention within the first few seconds. "Instagram has trained us to engage quickly or not at all" she said, underscoring the urgency for brands to make an immediate impact. This discussion highlighted the shift from deep-funnel targeting to a broader, more creative approach that captures the essence of brand messaging right from the start.

How Community and Trust Drives Performance

Sarah Neill of Mys Tyler shared insights into the power of community and authentic connections in today’s low-signal marketing environment. By fostering a genuine brand-consumer relationship from the outset, companies can create a strong foundation for user acquisition and retention. This approach not only enhances brand loyalty but also leverages organic advocacy, which is increasingly crucial in a landscape where paid reach is becoming more restricted.

Leveraging Data in a Constrained Environment

Echoing the sentiments on the importance of creativity, Taylor Marcus from Berkeley SkyDeck highlighted the ongoing relevance of data in optimizing marketing strategies. Despite the constraints imposed by privacy regulations, the use of available data to inform and refine creative content remains a potent tool for marketers. All panelists agreed that while the methods of data collection have changed, its value in enhancing user engagement and campaign effectiveness persists.

As an example, Sarah Neill discussed Mys Tyler’s use of “zero party data” or “data that somebody is giving you on purpose to influence the experience they're getting.” With zero party data, Mys Tyler has been able to build out personas and match users based on height, shape, size and color preference in lieu of first party data. 

While affiliate marketing has historically been viewed skeptically, it has also proven itself as a scalable, cost effective user acquisition strategy. Sarah Neill shared that during her time at Mint Mobile her team significantly reduced their Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) by leveraging affiliate strategies that rewarded users for successful referrals.

Alongside the trend towards affiliate marketing, there has also been a shift away from traditional macro influencers towards micro and nano influencers—e.g. creators with smaller, but highly engaged audience. These smaller influencers offer a level of authenticity and personal connection that is often absent in celebrity or major influencer engagements. Many users today — especially users of emerging demographics like Gen Z and Alpha — view micro influencer content as trustworthy recommendations from a friend (vs. endorsements).

The challenge, however, lies in scaling influencer marketing, as many micro influencers do not work through agencies. To meet this demand, many affiliate platforms today allow creators to submit themselves as publishers and generate their own affiliate links to drive traffic. By leveraging these platforms, brands can create genuine connections that resonate deeply with consumers, enhancing both brand loyalty and conversion rates.

The Potent Power of UGC

During the discussion, Nancy Roberts highlighted the shift towards authenticity in marketing, noting how consumers are increasingly seeking real, relatable information like user-generated content (UGC) over polished advertisements. "The raw, unfiltered nature of UGC allows brands to forge genuine connections that resonate on a personal level with their audience," she said. This authenticity is crucial as it helps brands stand out in a crowded market and fosters a loyal community around their offerings.

Taylor Marcus reinforced this by discussing the blurred lines between different forms of UGC, influencers, and affiliate marketing. She pointed out that, regardless of the format—whether a simple customer testimonial or a well-crafted influencer post—the essence of UGC lies in its ability to convey authenticity. "These real voices act as a powerful marketing force, driving brand trust and enhancing engagement through personal stories and experiences.”

What’s Next: Digital Out-of-Home Advertising

One of the most intriguing developments in the marketplace today is Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) advertising. As pointed out by Nancy Roberts, the integration of programmatic technology into DOOH has transformed what was once a static medium into a dynamic tool for marketers. "Digital out-of-home now combines the eye-catching appeal of traditional billboards with the precision and flexibility of digital advertising," Roberts said.

The panelists agreed that the future of DOOH looks bright, especially as urban spaces become more connected and digital screens become more prevalent. Also, its ability to update content in real-time, based on data such as traffic patterns or weather conditions, allows marketers to maintain relevance and engagement in a way that static billboards never could.

Reflections on MAU Vegas 2024

To wrap up, we’d like to thank our partners again for the fantastic experience our CRAFTSMAN+ team had at MAU Vegas 2024. The event was not just a platform for sharing insights but also a celebration of the vibrant community that drives the mobile marketing industry forward. From our Mobilekase dinner at Morimoto to Women in Leader(sip), every gathering we participated in was a testament to the innovative spirit and camaraderie that define our industry.

Interested in elevating your mobile marketing strategy with cutting-edge creatives? Connect with CRAFTSMAN+ and let’s create impactful connections in this mobile-first world together.