86% of the marketing and media representatives participating in the survey agreed that the pandemic improved their mobile marketing capabilities.
The research, conducted in association with WARC, examined mobile marketing strategies and its capabilities under the categories of budgeting, privacy concerns and upcoming technology upgrades across the MENA region.
As smartphone technology becomes more and more sophisticated, the line between mobile and the online media has increasingly blurred. The report highlighted that habits and brand strategies have evolved during the pandemic period, but conventional wisdom still prevails. This because 65% of MENA marketing professionals are still focusing on brand awareness when marketing via mobile. Messaging has adjusted thematically to the circumstances, with brands demonstrating a better understanding towards their users.
Two in three MENA marketers say they have adapted a mobile-first approach with their marketing strategy. Where increased focus on agility and effectiveness has been a key lesson for marketers in the last year, 86% of respondents agree that the pandemic has improved mobile marketing capabilities.
Warrick Billingham, Head of Revenue EMEA & LATAM at AdColony, who also chairs the MMA research committee explained how the overall mobile market is booming and showing no signs of slowing down. "Mobile advertising is now the key success driver for advertisers. The value drivers for mobile advertising have been proliferated through the pandemic. With people relying on their smart phones and other connected devices to stay connected, we have seen a significant upswing in mobile engagement levels, with increased session times. Consumers also demonstrated an increased willingness to conduct transactions on mobile phones, with a spike in App downloads and an acceleration of the growth of online shopping. Social media and Mobile Gaming have also emerged as clear winners, with time spent and discovery spiking,” Billingham explained.
Marketers are expecting a growth in their mobile budgets by 77%, indicating more confidence in both market conditions. Social is by far the most used marketing channel on mobile as 87% of respondents are using social in their mobile marketing strategy. Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Twitter are the platforms most used for display marketing. M-commerce and mobile gaming has also evolved as one of the most important industry changes during COVID-19.
Facebook is the most used social media platform for display advertising in MENA. According to the report, just under half 47% of respondents have used Facebook for display advertising, while 40% have used Youtube for the same purpose. Whereas, Instagram and Youtube are the most used platforms for partnerships, sponsorships and influencer collaborations. Instagram is considered a key platform for influencers and grew by 32% between 2019 and 2020, globally.
AI and machine learning, the fourth most used technology today, is predicted to become the most important in coming tenure of five years, alongside mobile wallet. Whilst AI will be even bigger in the future, it is already earning a larger role in marketing.