2016 was a big year for mobile marketing, but 2017 will be even bigger.
A few tech trends looming on the horizon are going to make an impact on the work of all mobile marketers—whether they know it or not.
Predictive analytics, chatbots, and intelligent marketing automation are going to dominate the coming year in mobile marketing, according to research from Leanplum (my company).
We'll discuss each in detail to explain how mobile marketers will be affected and what they can do to stay ahead.
What Is It?
Predictive analytics is an emerging discipline that incorporates analytics with machine-learning technology. By collecting behavioral data from mobile app users, predictive analytics platforms can make educated guesses as to what a person might do next.
For example, a dating app could use someone's search history to find matches they're more likely to accept. That's exactly what Tinder does, according to Jeffrey Morris, its director of product management and revenue. The company uses predictive analytics to derive individual user preferences from trends and patterns, enabling the app to deliver successful matches.
Why Is It Important?
Analytics is already a large part of the mobile marketer's job, and predictive analytics will rightly earn its place in the mobile toolkit. Essentially, this technology makes traditional analytics actionable at scale.
Instead of poring over data to manually create campaigns, marketers will increasingly rely on machine-learning to automatically spot patterns in user behavior. The result: marketing campaigns will be able to behave intelligently at scale, delivering content that's personalized to users' tastes.
What Is It?
Like a small-scale version of Apple's Siri or Amazon's Alexa, chatbots are conversational AI programs that serve a specific function within an app. They're often used for customer service. For example, chatbots can direct users to the appropriate page and question of an FAQ instead of making users navigate to the page on their own.
Some chatbots go beyond traditional customer service roles to become true personal assistants. Slack offers a powerful example.
Slackbot, the chatbot that greets all new users when they first sign in to Slack, continues to offer helpful tips long after the onboarding process is complete. The bot automatically lists channels that you don't read often, in case you want to leave them; it pings you when you set a reminder; it even tells you the wi-fi password. The bot is a general-purpose assistant that improves Slack's in-app experience.