Mobile payments continue to be equally opportune and elusive. The potential benefits are huge, but I’m skeptical that mainstream consumers will alter their entrenched habits when they still don’t see cash or credit cards as a pain point.
The majority of mobile ad companies that don’t evolve their janky and interruptive banners will be displaced. A new era of mobile ads will be defined by intelligent formats that speak to the affinities of buying-empowered millennials (who are now almost 40 by the way).
This AI-centric battle is being waged by heavier contenders than any before it, including Apple (Siri), Amazon (Alexa), and Google (Assistant). They’re each basing battle plans on their current positioning and biggest assets, and the winner will sway the next era of local commerce.
A few recent moves have begun to triangulate how Uber might build out auxiliary revenue channels. It will be all about enhancing your ride, then, down the road, an ad model. And it won’t involve in-car signage or digital displays.
No matter how good the targeting, creative, and “right person, right place,” the vast majority of our time contains urgencies that render us immune to push-based mobile ads. It’s basically a question of how often we’re actually idle, and therefore impressionable to being rerouted from a deliberate course.
Apple’s relative inaction on VR/AR thus far could either indicate that the company is missing this next tech shift (which I’ve speculated), or that it’s playing the long game. The latter could involve a deliberately late entrance to VR and AR, just as it did with previous technologies.
Foursquare has gone from check-in darling to an under-recognized data powerhouse. But in that transition, it’s more successful than ever. And its primary emphasis has remained the entire time: real-world consumer behavior. Meanwhile, the ad industry’s hunger for location data grows.
Apple just entered augmented reality, without anyone really noticing. Though the iPhone 7 was met with a collective ‘meh,’ the real impact is below the surface, where the world’s biggest company collides with tech’s biggest opportunity.
Soon, graphical overlays to the physical world will amplify everything from retail shopping (store navigation and product info), to finding a restaurant (ratings & reviews) to buying a home (values & specs). Utility will lead; marketing departments and jargon police can follow.
The lesson from the phenomenon isn’t for local tech companies to try and build the next Pokémon Go — but rather to build a similarly justifiable value exchange for sharing location. Advertisers and ad networks should likewise work with apps that have that higher likelihood of user opt-in.