Mobile Advertising Trends: Leveraging Smartphones for Growth

On average, individuals dedicate roughly 195 minutes to their mobile devices each day. Especially for younger users, a smartphone is the first thing they pick up in the morning and the last thing they touch before going to bed. Some younger users even wake up during the night to see what’s going on using their smartphone. As a result, mobile advertising is a formidable force in the marketing arsenal for contemporary businesses. If you understand the role of a smartphone for business growth, as well as an advertising campaign, you are ready to delve into more complex issues. But the question arises, which pivotal mobile advertising trends should be on your radar? And why do they matter?

mobile advertising trends
Image courtesy of Cellular News

Top mobile advertising trends for 2024

Do you realize how digital advertising has changed the entire advertising game? Probably not fully, unless you pay enough attention to this issue. For instance, despite the attention paid to the massive $7 million charged for a 30-second commercial during last night’s Super Bowl, the only benefit these commercials have is reach. They offer a massive reach not only during the game but in the lead-up to the game and post-mortem afterward. But digital advertising still wins, and the data supports that. For instance, the average conversion rate for digital advertising is 9.9%, while traditional only delivers a 1.7% conversion rate.

That’s because the cost to reach each eyeball is much lower for digital advertising and the targeting possible using digital platforms means you waste less of your advertising reaching users who aren’t part of your target market. As part of the digital advertising market, mobile advertising trends show an increasing amount firms devoted to it. For 2024, the estimated ad spend for mobile is over $200 billion and is expected to increase by a little over 11% year over year.  If you’re not familiar with the mobile advertising trends or don’t know which ones to focus on given your limited resources, here’s a great way to start building your mobile advertising strategy since it’s never too late to start and with these trends, you will be up to date with current events.

#1 Contextual targeting

Contextual targeting is an advertising strategy uniquely adapted for mobile environments. Contextual targeting involves displaying ads that align with the specific content of a web page or application. This approach shifts the focus from personal user data and the increasingly obsolete third-party cookies to the actual subject matter being consumed by the user.

In an age where privacy concerns are paramount and the use of third-party cookies to monitor user activity across different sites is declining, contextual targeting comes to the forefront as a solution. This method prioritizes user privacy and personal data preferences while still delivering relevant advertising content.

Contextual targeting benefits both the consumer, through ad relevance without compromising privacy, and advertisers, by connecting their products to interested audiences based on content interaction rather than personal data profiles.

#2 Specialized advertising for mobile devices

Businesses increasingly adopt mobile advertising trends to specifically reach out to users on their mobile devices. The intent when users choose a mobile device differs from their actions on larger screens. Smartphones aren’t just smaller versions of a larger device. For one thing, users are often driven to make an immediate purchase, so mobile advertising catches users when they’re ready to make a purchase as opposed to desktop devices, where users may search options prior to making a purchase. Thus, advertising on mobile devices isn’t the same as advertising on search engines. Here are some things you might focus on for your mobile ads:

  • disseminated coupons based on location
  • browsing and discovering new products
  • show up when users are on the go with nearby options with push notifications
  • social media ads since most users access their social media via a smartphone

These mobile advertising trends incorporate insights into how users interact with and navigate their devices, ensuring that the ads blend seamlessly with the user experience. Effective mobile ads are enticing and engaging without being overly aggressive or overly promotional. A key element of mobile advertising, however, is linking the experience across platforms so that users can choose the device that’s best suited for their needs and change devices to finish the task.

For those marketing certain types of apps and services, it’s essential to consider these user experience aspects while selecting adaptable ad formats such as in-page push or social bar. To drive better conversion rates for your campaigns, consider leveraging the social bar templates provided by Adsterra. Recognized as one of the most sophisticated solutions currently available, Adsterra offers an impressive array of over 20 creative template options designed to resonate with various customer behaviors.

Don’t forget that all smartphones have their own limitations. What does this tell us? That they need to be cleaned and maintained periodically. A good and fast option is to use a phone cleaner. With the phone clean app for iPhone, you can quickly find temporary data, duplicate pictures, and other junk. This phone app does in a minute what would take a person at least 10 minutes.

#3 TikTok

Starting at the beginning is always a good bet, and as of now, it’s clear that any previous speculation around the US government mandating a sale of the company to Oracle (an admittedly unconventional potential buyer) has fizzled out. Throughout the pandemic, TikTok experienced a rollercoaster of events. The app faced a ban in India in June 2020, and in a surprising twist, CEO Kevin Mayer stepped down shortly thereafter, only 100 days into his tenure. On the flip side, TikTok launched a $200 million creator fund in the United States, debuted new parental controls, and celebrated a milestone of 2 billion downloads across app stores.

Come 2021, TikTok served as a primary media source for tens of millions during the Olympic games, and by September, it proudly touted over 1 billion active users. Notably, its user-generated hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt skyrocketed to over 7 billion views and significantly amplified sales for numerous brands. Riding the innovation wave, TikTok tested out a tipping feature for creators in October and, wrapping up the year, it introduced Live Studio in beta – a streaming software that allows users to broadcast from their computers, extending even to gaming content.

#4 Gamification

In mobile marketing, gamification can take various forms to captivate users. One approach is incentivizing advertisement interactions by offering rewards like points, in-game currency, or benefits specific to the application or game being promoted.

Alternatively, gamification can transform advertisements into interactive experiences. This is achieved by incorporating objectives or activities that must be completed to earn incentives. Or, ads themselves offer entertaining, playable content for users within a certain timeframe.

#5 Location-based marketing

Geotargeted advertising represents a subsection of mobile marketing that empowers companies to engage with prospective patrons by utilizing real-time location data.

To exemplify, consider you’re navigating a bustling retail avenue, your smartphone endowed with a shopping application that synergizes with 5G technology to pinpoint your exact location instantaneously. While ambling near a fashion outlet, the app discerns your proximity, prompting it to issue a curated alert or advertisement about an exclusive in-store special offer or markdown straight to your mobile device.

#6 Augmented reality shopping

augmented reality
Image courtesy of Poplar Studio

Augmented Reality (AR) is quickly transforming mobile user experiences, with its market value soaring from $1 billion in 2022 to an estimated $9 billion by 2027. The rapid adoption is due to AR’s interactive capabilities significantly enhancing user engagement with content.

For businesses, mobile AR unlocks new potentials by offering immersive experiences for customers, like virtual product try-ons or interactive 3D tours. Beyond the improved experience, AR garners insightful data regarding customer interactions, providing a goldmine of information that can sharpen m-commerce marketing tactics.


Mobile devices have become the predominant gateway to the web, capturing over 50% of internet traffic. In just a span from 2015, there has been a surge of more than a quarter in users who opt to surf the web via mobile.

Despite the dominance of in-app activity, it’s not the sole avenue for engaging a mobile audience. Diverse strategies exist for targeting users via their mobile devices, such as optimized mobile websites, blogs, and more. Each of these channels carries distinct advantages and opportunities. But each direction has its own advertising trends, and you will either apply them or be left out of this ship.

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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.