NorbellaLabs: The Future of Mobile

July 13, 2016

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By Bob Deininger, Media Director

This blog is part three in the NorbellaLabs: The Future of Digital Advertising series which discusses emerging trends and transformation in the advertising industry. Each post will investigate a channel and offer predictions about where that channel is heading. NorbellaLabs is a practice within Norbella which aims to promote and encourage the discussion, rapid testing, and adoption of new media innovation.

When more of the world’s population of 7 billion have access to mobile phones (6 billion) than toilets (4.5 billion), you know that mobile phone usage has hit an inflection point. The growth of mobile advertising was a hot prediction for 2016. Consumers continue to use their phones for far more than talking and texting and marketers need to accommodate them on their terms. Mobile life makes life as we know it easier. The brands that can figure out how to get our attention and more importantly simplify and enhance our experience are going to reap the benefits of investing advertising dollars here in the future. We have seen mobile go from an emerging trend to causing a fundamental change in the relationship between brands and consumers. So what should marketers be thinking about as they continue to evaluate their budgets and strategies?

Mobile Video


Mobile video commands our attention and is a rapidly growing ad format due to video opportunities within social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Despite a smaller screen mobile video content is highly effective and many advertisers are creating video ads specifically for mobile feeds with the goal to be a “thumb-stopper”. A “thumb stopper” is an ad that gets users to stop scrolling and view the ad even without sound or animation. Mobile video also has become a platform to allow consumers to research and explore products. This is an effective and convenient way for consumers to feel educated before making a purchase.

Mobile Payments


As marketers continue to focus on the customer experience we have seen growth in the total value of mobile payment transactions in 2016. Two factors are driving future growth of mobile payments: 1. mobile wallets are becoming a standard feature on newer smartphones, and 2. more retailers accept proximity payments from systems like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay. While current payment patterns are deeply ingrained, marketers like Starbucks are making strides to provide greater “use cases” for mobile payments by connecting the retail buying experience to mobile wallets with offers, coupons, rewards, and loyalty programs.

In-Store Beacons


As we see online and mobile payments continue to grow the retail experience still fulfills the urge for consumers to interact with a product. In-Store beacons present additional opportunities for both marketers and consumers. Marketers always want to reach consumers closest to the point of purchase. In-store beacons allow marketers to provide location-based advertising while within the in-store environment, impact how consumers interact with brands and create a more engaging in-store experience. Companies such as Swirl, Gimbal, and GPShopper are installing Bluetooth-enabled devices called “beacons” in thousands of retail stores. These beacons communicate with apps installed on shopper’s smartphones to send them ads, coupons or information that improve the shopping experience. Retailers get data to better understand how consumers are shopping in their stores and an in-store advertising network. Consumers get targeted advertising based on their shopping behaviors and coupons to save them money.

2016 had us excited about the world of potential for mobile marketing and so far it’s living up to our predicted expectations. Mobile marketing methods allow brands to do more One-to-one marketing while considering consumer behavior and providing more valuable advertising.