H-APP-Y NEW YEAR! Mobile Trends 2020

The mobile industry has been on fire for the last decade and shows no sign of being extinguished any time soon. And while these days your attention may be more focused on which holiday pajamas you’ll wear this year (reindeer or snowmen?) or which Netflix show to binge on New Year’s day  – you should start prepping for what’s in store by reading up on the latest mobile and consumer trends.  

No matter what business you’re in – whether it’s in mobile app development, mobile marketing, digital advertising, analytics, research or commerce in general – what’s happening in the mobile landscape affects us all.

Consider some recent stats:

With the end of 2019 looming right around the corner, let’s take a look at hot mobile trends predicted for 2020. These cover the gamut of the industry including mobile technology advances, consumer trends, media consumption and market preferences.

Mobile Trend #1: Make Room for AI & Voice Technology

There’s little debate that the use of already-popular AI and voice technology will only continue to grow. (Siri, anyone?) It’s predicted that 34% of marketers will have some version of a voice app by 2020. Usually, when the major players jump on the bandwagon, it’s because it’s one that merits attention. Google introduced its own Recorder app with the distinguishing advantage of being one of the few recording apps that offer accurate, real-time transcriptions through advanced AI technology. 

As users expect more and more personalization – and for apps to perform better with less effort – voice recognition capability is a key feature app owners and developers will need to take into consideration. 

In terms of app marketing, this means taking into account new optimization efforts – such as Voice Search optimization –  in addition to traditional Search Engine and App Store optimization tactics. Different strategies are involved for each of these, so app developers and app marketers will need to keep up with how to tackle these technological advances if they want to stay ahead.  

Mobile Trend #2: Winning Over Gen Z with Native Advertising

With so many catchy names for generations – Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, Gen ABCD? – it’s hard to keep up, and we find ourselves sliding into business-as-usual mode. But if you’re not already targeting Gen Z and speaking their language, you could be missing the boat if you don’t make them part of your 2020 agenda.

So, who is Gen Z? Simply put, they represent the 16 to 22-year-old population (born between 1995-2010). What language do they speak? Mobile. 

If you’re not convinced about their importance for your product, just consider that Gen Z influences $600 billion in US spend and represents 32% of the population. In fact, they’re predicted to be the most influential in terms of numbers and spending power, dethroning the mighty Millennials as the largest population.

To win over Gen Z, being mobile-first is important but not enough. They love Snapchat, Twitch, TikTok and shopping on Wish. With this target, it’s all about entertainment (NOT selling) – i.e., native advertising. The second they smell a hard-sell, you’re out. 

For mobile marketing, this means getting creative with their most-loved apps and social channels. Entertaining and engaging versus selling. Think unique content, video and social influencers. 

Mobile Trend #3: Google and Facebook Reign Supreme

Most experts agree that Google and Facebook spend will continue to dominate the market. But as saturation and costs rise, it also means that smaller-budget mobile advertisers will look to other channels to make an impression – even if that means lower returns. In other words, have newer trendsetting channels like TikTok on your radar!

Mobile Trend #4: It’s All About Automation

In 2020, as user acquisition continues to get more automated and algorithms do most of the work, results for app monetization versus user base growth will become more important. In case you’re not aware already, be on the lookout as Facebook rolls out automated optimization tools in 2020: Multiple Text Optimization and Dynamic Ad Creation.

While Google has been doing this for a while, the idea of a responsive ad feature is a new one for Facebook. With Multiple Text Optimization, Facebook can test and optimize ad copy for you, making A/B testing on its platform much easier and less labor intensive for marketers. 

Similarly, you’ll see more automation in terms of ad serving on Facebook, where they’ll be using their own algorithms to deliver more personalized ads. With the Dynamic Ad Creation feature, the platform serves individual users the most relevant ads based on the information you’ve shared about them and their on and off-platform actions. 

Yes, automation makes some things much easier. And the roles of marketing managers seem to be blurring together, morphing and evolving. But be aware that automation and the reliance on machine learning also means the rising importance of data analysis and monitoring by a savvy team that knows how to analyze the numbers and won’t drop the ball.

Mobile Trend #5: Personalized, Story-Telling Videos

Perhaps we can see this more as a “something that’s not going away” versus a new trend! Not only is video marketing not going away, but it’s becoming more vital than ever. 

If you’re using video in some form – in the app store, on your website – bravo! But keep in mind that not just any video will do. Research shows that 72% of consumers say they engage with marketing messages that are personalized to address their specific interests. Make sure that your video content is speaking to your consumer directly – telling a story they want to hear, providing information that is relevant to them – not just what you think they should know. 

Also, 2020 is predicted to see the emergence of long-form videos. Obviously, this is true for website content and not a trend across the board. Creating long videos may go against what you’ve heard about video marketing in the last few years, but we know that people love stories. Telling a compelling story and really connecting in 2-3 minutes is an extremely hard – if not almost impossible – feat. If done well, longer video content is a powerful marketing tool to implement.

Mobile Trends 2020 In a Nutshell

The above-mentioned trends don’t by any means cover all that we expect to see in the mobile industry in 2020. But they should give you an idea of where to focus your efforts:

  • Keep AI, machine learning and voice recognition technology on your radar
  • Embrace and engage with Gen Z in your outreach and acquisition efforts
  • Consider Google and Facebook but look at other budget-friendlier rising stars 
  • Take advantage of automation tools and know how to manage them efficiently
  • Use the right video tactics to capture and connect to your audience


There you have it! As the mobile industry gets more sophisticated and advanced, please contact us and let us know how we can help you make your mobile app a success. Happy 2020!

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