How marketers should prepare for 5G

30-second summary:

  • Ericsson now forecasts that 5G will cover up to 65 percent of the global population by the end of 2025, and handle 45 percent of global mobile data traffic.
  • This will greatly impact how marketers use personalization – a tactic that modern consumers pretty much demand from companies.
  • 5G will also have a big impact on digital advertising. With a major drop in latency-time there will be higher quality ads on mobile devices, potential 4k video capabilities, offering a better experience for the consumer and more ad formats.
  • 4G was roughly twice the size of 3G – and it led to nearly $500 billion in new revenue creation. 5G is 10 times, an order of magnitude, the size of 4G. And this impacts multiple variables – power, density and latency.

As 2020 progresses, the hype around 5G builds. But beyond the hype is an extraordinary opportunity for marketers.

Mobile advancements are highly dependent on bandwidth. In a short period of time, we have come to take 4G capabilities for granted. But it’s worth noting that today’s in-app advertising, in-app purchases and streaming video games could not exist on 3G.

What does that mean in financial terms? In the 5 short years that 4G has been the norm, $468 billion of revenue has been created from app downloads, in-app advertising and purchasing. All because a bandwidth advancement allowed for an inter-activity model that was impossible before.

So, what’s ahead? 5G.

The 5G opportunity

Ericsson proclaimed in a recent Mobility Report, “No previous generation of mobile technology has had the potential to drive economic growth to the extent that 5G promises. It goes beyond connecting people to fully realizing the Internet of Things and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. On a global level, 5G network deployments are expected to ramp up during 2020, creating the foundation for massive adoption of 5G subscriptions.”

Ericsson now forecasts that 5G will cover up to 65 percent of the global population by the end of 2025, and handle 45 percent of global mobile data traffic.

In a 2020 predictions survey from Arm, the smartphone remains the top coveted item in most people’s minds for the second year-in-a-row, but that’s not to say that nothing has changed: many respondents are eager to upgrade to a device packing 5G connectivity.

In fact, 55% of the respondents said they will or are likely to buy a 5G enabled smartphone in 2020. And with the global 5G rollout gathering momentum (1,250+ commercial deployments according to the Ookla map), we’re likely to see ownership rates increase rapidly throughout the new year.

So what does this mean for marketers? Faster internet speeds will increase the number of users and significantly increase the amount of data coming from those users.

This will greatly impact how marketers use personalization – a tactic that modern consumers pretty much demand from companies. From custom call-to-actions, to personalized emails and location-based homepages, data-driven marketing personalization is the way to go to increase conversion rates.

5G will also have a big impact on digital advertising. With a major drop in latency-time there will be higher quality ads on mobile devices, potential 4k video capabilities, offering a better experience for the consumer and more ad formats.

5 things to do now

Clearly the time for companies to act is now and here are five things marketers should be doing now to prepare for 5G:

  1. Get your current data connected across customer touchpoints and focus on getting advanced attribution in place. This is critical to do now as 5G will likely introduce new customer journey paths. Marketers need to set a strong foundation now to take advantage of the new possibilities down the road.
  2. Start tracking mobile device IDs. 5G will introduce all kinds of new device IDs and the way that people interact with the devices will likely be through the mobile device ID. Even as new device IDs are introduced (smart watch, etc.) it will be similar to mobile device ID so learning how to deal with this now will help marketers prepare for the coming wave.
  3. Start researching more advanced media types. Interactive video, AR and VR will be turbo-charged on 5G opening up ways for smart marketers to get noticed by being first to adopt to new media. Now is the time to become familiar with these technologies and understand how and to what degree you should incorporate them into your strategy.
  4. Video is already a massive opportunity for marketers, and as performance improves with 5G and smart devices evolve to offer higher screen resolutions, there will be an even bigger reason to focus on video. Marketers should test the waters with videos of different lengths to see what appeals to their audience. With 5G, it will be easier to support the requirements of longer form and data-rich videos.
  5. Lastly, in 2023, the automotive industry will become the largest market opportunity for 5G IoT solutions. It will represent 53% of the overall 5G IoT endpoint opportunity in that year, according to Gartner. Think beyond mobile, email and web data and consider the value easily connecting to IoT data, customer support, PoS and chat logs can have on your customer experience strategy.

Prepare now for 5G

4G was roughly twice the size of 3G – and it led to nearly $500 billion in new revenue creation. 5G is 10 times, an order of magnitude, the size of 4G. And this impacts multiple variables – power, density and latency. No one can say for certain what the exact impact of 5G will be, but the potential is enormous. The question for marketers is – will you be ready?

As the Global Head of Marketing at Arm Treasure Data, Tom Treanor drives the marketing strategy and execution for Treasure Data’s CDP (Customer Data Platform) and IoT Data Analytics solutions. Previously he helped define the product roadmap for Alexa Internet’s SaaS marketing and analytics tools. Before that, he was the Director of Content Marketing, Social Media and SEO for Wrike, a leading project management and collaboration software solution. He has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, as well as a Master of Arts in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

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