January is definitely the time for lists. 10 Tips for a New Year Shape Up, 19 Places to See in 2017, and buzzworthy colors for the year are just a few I’ve seen so far. One that really caught my eye was Mobile Marketing Trends to Watch in 2017. Among items listed were messaging app bots, live and 360 video experiences and virtual reality. The two trends that really caught my eye were location-based push advertising and instant apps – two things I know very well. I also know these are not merely trends but the wave of the marketing future.

Location-based push advertising: Our smartphones have become our second brains. They are our personal assistants in every measure including practically reading our minds. A good assistant is always one step ahead. That’s basically how location-based push advertising works.

Let’s say you’re visiting car dealerships on a sunny Saturday afternoon. You’re ready to trade up to your next set of hot wheels (or Prius). Either way, you will need a few things once you get a new car. What if a targeted ad based on your proximity to the dealership popped up asking if you need a pre-approval credit check? You would think “wow, this is perfect timing.” Perfect timing is the name of the game. As the article states, mobile is becoming an extension of a retailer’s storefront. Do you sell credit services or auto insurance? This is a pretty viable marketing channel for you.

Beacons and other location-based technologies are improving the customer experience and providing enhanced shopping options. The day is coming that as you walk or drive past your favorite brands, offers will appear that will provide personalized incentives to spend your dollars with them. In a snap, the consumer gets the perfect messages, right in the moment they are making purchasing decisions.

Picture this. You’re walking through a mall with a cell phone store, and you get an offer for the latest iPhone. You are in a hurry but save the offer to your mobile wallet. Later, you get a reminder about the offer and think, “oh yeah, that’s a great offer!” It’s a great way to make a suggestion and even better to provide an offer they can save to their mobile wallet to use when relevant. It’s also the perfect way a brand can become your new BFF.

Instant Apps: Did you know over 77% of apps are deleted within 3 days? Seriously? Your brand finally decides to bite the bullet and invest in an app. You spend a big lump sum, spend time with graphics and design, test and roll out. Then it’s deleted in 3 days? You didn’t drive any incremental sales but you spent a boatload of cash on a maybe marketing channel. That’s hard to justify.

Although it seems like everyone has an app and they clearly account for the majority of all mobile usage with an 85% usage rate, usage remains concentrated on a few favorites. I can’t tell you the number of random, useless apps I have downloaded and deleted in the last few years. I’ll bet you can relate. That’s what makes instant apps, or apps-light as I like to call them, so intriguing. Instant apps launch immediately when clicked, with no need to download from an app store. Brands can now create one-time, single-use apps that consumers can use easily and effectively.

It’s like getting all of the rewards without the hassle. The basic idea is simple: when you click on a link, if that link has an associated Instant App at the URL you get a tiny version of that app instead of the website. BOOM.

Say you’re headed to the museum downtown. You don’t have any spare change to pay the meter, but you can pay with an app. You don’t need the app all the time just in the rare moments you need to pay for parking downtown. Maybe you need to make a onetime purchase from a store. Instead of downloading the app, you can use their instant app to make the purchase.

It’s a year and a good time to ditch old habits that just don’t make sense anymore and look in to fresh options. Whether that includes ditching Big Macs, crossing off a few items on your bucket list or just trying a new color, change is good. I’m especially enthusiastic about the change in the direction of marketing tactics. This new digital marketing age is very focused on the customer experience and provides in-moment perks that spur loyalty and action. It tells customers that you’re there for them when needed just like a great friend. This marketing gets it, and it’s a trend I can really get behind in 2017.

Oh, by the way, the color of the year is going to be Rose Quartz. Be ready!

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