The last few years have been particularly challenging for app marketers and developers. A pandemic that led to surging demands for mobile apps, followed by an increased focus on privacy and transparency, which limited the amount of data marketers had access to, and a negative trend in user sentiment has inhibited marketing spend and increased accountability for ROI.
Despite challenges, 2023 will be a time for greater ideas, more comprehensive solutions, and harnessing technological opportunities in mobile app marketing. In this article, we will discuss the future of mobile gaming and non-gaming app marketing and share some key predictions for the upcoming months.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to a rise in demand for escapism, entertainment, and mobile experiences. This resulted in unprecedented mobile growth between 2020 and 2022. In just 2021, new app installs grew to 143.6 billion and user spending grew a much larger 19.7% year-over-year to reach $133 billion.
This inflated growth in demand for digital consumption led to developers spending 40% more on UA (User Acquisition) in 2021 compared to 2020. But more recently, the economic slowdown, rising inflation, and a return to real-life following the pandemic are reshaping the mobile market for 2023. Today, mobile marketers must operate with tighter budgets, be more selective in their activities, and prioritize those that will have the greatest effect on their bottom lines.
As users return to real-life interactions and experiences and spend less time in apps in 2023, the cost of UA will rise. As a result, developers will shift their focus on retention and engagement as loyal users will be hugely important to drive sustainable growth to survive. Also, ad spend combined with organic approaches will become an increasingly important acquisition method in the wake of smaller marketing budgets.
While obtaining new users is still going to be important in 2023, prioritizing long-term engagement and retention, fostering user loyalty to prevent churn, and combatting the effects of less user data (see above) will be more important. Using personalization to enrich the user experience and strong creatives will be more important than ever before.
An important fact, acquiring a new user is 5-25x more expensive than retaining an existing one while increasing retention by 5% can increase profits from 25-95%.
Therefore, offering an addictive user experience (UX) is becoming a top priority for developers in 2023 to secure their existing user base. It doesn’t make sense to neglect the very users you’ve spent countless dollars acquiring.
Read more about Creative Personalization.
In 2023, marketers should primarily focus on removing pain points in their user journeys that cause users to churn. By leveraging engagement technology, first-party data, and understanding communication channel preferences, marketers can optimize and improve the mobile experience. All of which will have a substantial impact on your user lifetime value (LTV).
Read more about Targeting High LTV Users.
With the implementation of IDFA, developing user personas is gaining popularity in creative planning for both non-gaming apps and mobile games. Creating user personas allows marketers to target audiences more efficiently without relying on other private data points. User personas can also help broaden your audience and offer current users a more personalized experience. To boost your app’s marketing without relying on demographic data to create strong user personas.
2023 is the year of user privacy. With the increasing demand for privacy and transparency from users, Apple’s ATT (App Tracking Transparency), and Google’s upcoming depreciation of cookies and its Privacy Sandbox there will be much less use for deterministic data points in 2023.
Instead, app marketers will have to rely more on bottom-up measurement technologies like SKAdNetwork 4.0 and top-down measurements like incrementality and MMM. As a result, creating a new measurement methodology must be at the top of your priority list for 2023.
Discover more about Mobile Ad Mediation.
To deliver performance marketing efficiently without individual user data, marketers will need to bring privacy and measurement together. This can be achieved by funneling their data sources into a single source to assess campaign performance as a whole. Mobile marketing teams can operate in a new system where measurement and privacy can coexist by shifting focus to long-term engagement and understanding the balance between measurement limitations and the added value for your end users.
Organic store search will become even more important than it has been in past years with ad targeting no longer as good as it used to be due to recent privacy changes made by Apple and Google. This means that more ad spend will be devoted to app store search ads.
Mobile games continue to revolutionize our digital lives. The mobile games market is still the most profitable sector of the games industry at $92.2 billion in 2022 (Newzoo). The survey also notes which territories saw annual revenue increases in 2022, noting that 49% of all consumer spending on games in 2022 is coming from China and the U.S.
Mobile games will represent over half of the gaming industry revenues forecasted to hit $470 billion in 2030 (GlobalData). This stat demonstrates the continued dominance of mobile gaming as compared to other app categories.
Global spending in mobile apps will reach $270 billion by 2025 (SensorTower).. The report also highlights that 71% of Google Play’s revenue is estimated to come from mobile games by 2025.
These statistics collectively demonstrate that the mobile gaming market will continue its amazing growth in 2023 and the years to come. Marketers should take advantage of this opportunity and create strategies that will win users in this massive market that is forecasted to reach 3.7 billion mobile players worldwide by 2023.
Learn more about Mobile Gaming Trends You Need to Know.
Apps have become an important part of our lives, and many mobile owners are using their devices for non-gaming purposes. Popular non-gaming app categories for iPhone users are entertainment, shopping, social networking, travel, and finance (SensorTower). SensorTower also highlights popular app categories for Google Play, which are entertainment, shopping, tools, finance, and communication.
Statista notes that Google LLC was the top non-gaming iPhone app publisher worldwide, with approximately 52 million app downloads by iPhone users, and the top non-gaming app publisher on Google Play worldwide, with approximately 225 million app downloads by Android users.
Microsoft Corporation ranked second to Google Play with 16.5 million iPhone app downloads through the Apple App Store and roughly 58 million Android app downloads through Google Play over the same time period.
Due to recent global economic changes, personalization and retaining high LTV (lifetime value) users will be a go-to strategy in 2023. Prioritizing engaged users is the best approach to improving customer experience and extracting more value from ad spend versus spending more on acquiring new users. The most important and primary aspect of this approach is retargeting.
Mobile app retargeting and re-engagement are core activities for companies that need to stimulate their high LTV users. The default thinking for this field is mainly focused on retargeting churned users. However, when your users are constantly exposed to numerous temptations and opportunities from direct competitors, retargeting also plays a crucial role in keeping your most valued users engaged with your app versus spending their time and money elsewhere.
You should expect a growing number of marketers to shift a good amount of their marketing budget to retargeting in the upcoming year to see better campaign performance.
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Mobile gaming is not mostly a guy’s thing anymore. In 2022, women accounted for 48% of gamers in the United States and 35% of all players in Asia. And now, with more women designing and developing mobile games we will see this trend continue.
The gender gap for non-gaming apps is also closing.. Shopping apps in the U.S. for example are 69% women dominated, and 60% in the U.K.
In the last 10 years, the app stores have seen everything from hard-core, mid-core, and casual games take off, but the far casual side of the spectrum is now dominating the app charts. Hyper-casual games have seen unparalleled growth, and are only getting stronger. Why? In an age of digital advertising, with a mobile device in nearly everyone’s hands, these games present advertisers with an incredibly effective delivery system… a game where screen time is immediate and addictive.
Hyper-casual games were born in the arcades several decades before. From Space-Travel to Pong, these games were loved by the masses because they were easy to play, but more importantly tempting to replay, and replay, and so it goes…
Modern mobile hyper-casual games have the same qualities but have expanded the definition with incredible variety and appeal. As the name suggests, these games are easy to play by using simple mechanics with no need for instructions or tutorials. The idea is to instantly tap and play, each time getting a little better than the next, which makes them highly addictive.
Casual and hyper-casual games have very diverse audiences and will continue to offer good value for money for advertisers. Casual and hyper-casual will continue to experience tremendous growth.
Read more about Hyper-Casual Games.
AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) continue to transform the mobile app ecosystem. Today’s technologies help improve user experiences and offer more personalized messages to customers.. Every year, the technology of AI and ML evolves rapidly.
AI will also continue to impact programmatic advertising, further improving the customer journey. Considering recent industry changes like the rise of the 1st party data, SKAN 4.0 adoption, GAID deprecation, and more, 2023 will demand innovative and creative solutions from AI and ML.
The mobile app advertising industry is more exciting than ever. Recent challenges have pushed the technological envelope giving birth to new, innovative ideas and solutions. If you take advantage of recent advancements, there are major opportunities to be had.
Bigabid’s devotion to the constant evolution and refinement of our technologies pushes us to create faster and smarter AI and ML. Fortunately, that devotion returns good business, which in turn, drives our technology to push the envelope even further. It’s a positive feedback loop that we enjoy being part of. Get in touch to push the envelope with us.