This article was originally posted on forbes.com
All eyes are on the 5G market right now. This year mobile phones look set to get a whole lot faster. In fact, the take up of 5G will be so rapid that in the space of just five years, the market value of this industry will skyrocket to an estimated $26.1 billion. In the context of such accelerated projected growth, app marketers need to give serious consideration to how they will utilize the possibilities of 5G – and they need to do this now.
5G will mark a huge leap forward from 4G. The latter was launched way back in 2009 and is can no longer fully meet the needs of our fast-paced information societies. With connection speeds of 10 Gbps, 5G will be up to 100 times faster than its fourth-generation predecessor and will allow an immersive mobile experience that is difficult to envisage for the majority of consumers right now. Combining these speeds with near-zero latency, 5G will give mobile marketers an opportunity to engage with smartphone users in revolutionary ways.
It is critical that app marketers are ahead of the curve in responding to the mass rollout of 5G. Already, a whole host of devices – from Samsung to Xiaomi – are equipped to support 5G. This year promises to be the year 5G coverage begins to go global. Marketers need to be ready to embrace 5G because as it becomes more widespread, smartphone users will come to expect the seamless and interactive experiences that 5G will make possible.
Here are just some of the things to consider as 5G takes off:
The most obvious area in which 5G will have an impact is app advertising. Irritating buffering will be consigned to history. Things that were previously impossible because of low data loading speeds will become commonplace. Recent projections show 5G will spark a surge in spending on video advertising as companies seek to capitalize on faster streaming. Marketers will be able to personalize video ads according to users’ needs and preferences, such as changing the direction or action of the video depending on the viewer’s response.
Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality
Consumers have already had a taste of the exciting experiences that have been made possible by extended reality (XR). 5G will intensify these immersive adventures. Shopping will be one area in which consumers’ enjoyment will be enhanced through the use of VR that is facilitated by 5G. In fashion outlets, people will use the store’s app to “try on” clothing without ever even entering a changing room. People will be guided through shops using an augmented smartphone display. The shopping experience will be transformed as brands that mobilize this technology connect with their customers on an even more intimate level.
Geo-targeting is nothing new for app marketers. Delivering recommendations and content to users at relevant times according to their location is vital for successful engagement. 5G will improve advertisers ability to pinpoint the location of users and will allow them to target them more effectively. The retail industry will be one of the first to reap the benefits of ever more precise geo-targeting. When shoppers enter a department store, a coupon, discount code, or marketing material could be delivered straight to their smartphone. Shoppers could even use an app to scan items as they go for a cashless and contactless experience. This technology has already been trialled in Amazon Go smart stores.
5G looks set to increase app monetization opportunities as users download more apps and spend more time on them. One of the biggest problems 5G will solve for app developers is abandoned downloads because of slow installation times. Users are also more likely to delete apps if they have trouble using them owing to a clogged interface from slow-loading ads. 5G will galvanize app performance, allowing them to run much faster and opening up new monetization opportunities. We will see more interactive ads that will not hinder the user’s overall experience using the app.
Video advertising, extended reality, geo-targeting, and monetization are just a handful of the exciting areas in which 5G will reshape the industry. For app marketers, now is the time to start preparing for the mainstream arrival of 5G. Marketers need to consider how to adapt their strategies to the unfolding 5G opportunities. What would they be doing now if they were already working with fast download speeds and super-low latency? How would they incorporate XR and make it part of the user’s app experience? What would marketers do with the kind of quantities of consumer data 5G will allow them to gather? These are the questions app marketers need to ask themselves now – the 5G future is fast approaching and it will change the mobile landscape.