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We’re rapidly reaching the end of 2016, so it’s a good time to look back on the past 12 months and discuss the most important mobile trends.

With help from some industry experts, here’s a quick reminder of what happened in the world of mobile marketing.

Chatbots 

Carl Uminski, co-founder & COO at SOMO Agency

In terms of mobile, we’ve definitely seen the domination of messenger services leading to the onset of hype around chatbots. 

Tim Fidgeon, trainer of Econsultancy's Mobile Marketing course

The emergence of chatbots has undoubtedly been one of the biggest trends of this year, with the amount of startups working on bot-related activities leading to talk of “bots being the new apps”.

For more chat about bots:

AR and VR

Carl Uminski, SOMO Agency:

Mobile’s part in the VR story has been apparent. VR has come of age with high-end launches for Vive and Oculus, while mobile has democratised the VR and 360 experience through Cardboard, Daydream, and Gear VR.

Pokemon GO also resurrected AR and context-based elements for gaming, reviving a technology that has been dormant for many years. 

Improving UX

Steffan Aquarone, entrepreneur and author of Econsultancy’s guide on User Experience and Interaction Design for Mobile and Web.

Successful products are entering the market and winning faster than ever before.

It's partly down to the usual key ingredients - freedom from corporate restriction, incumbency and vested interests. But it's also because talented designers just seem to care more about the user experience, and are prepared to test their assumptions by talking to people rather than using PowerPoint presentations.

It took me a while to get this, but it's the single biggest thing I've noticed define success in 2016.

Josh Salvage, SEO manager at Jellyfish:

The biggest mobile marketing trends this year have been around improving mobile UX, with speed being one of the most crucial elements.

Google has heavily supported the Accelerated Mobile Pages project - which currently supports news and recipe websites in search results.

Mobile in-store

Carl Uminski, SOMO Agency:

Location-based marketing and video have been two big trends in mobile this year, location adding another layer of contextual relevance and allowing for dynamic content to be pushed to users for personalisation.

Video has taken off, with vertical video being driven by Snapchat and advertisers understanding the potential of short form, snackable video content to drive ROI on ad spend.

Head spinning strategies

Martin Harrison, head of strategy at Huge

Ad blocking, people hating mobile ads, the growth of video, having to make an app but having no real reason to make an app.

I think the technology is moving so fast that marketers’ heads are spinning.

I think we’re also reaching that point where having “mobile” in front of the word marketing is not helping anyone.

Nikki Gilliland

Published 15 December, 2016 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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