In 2012, Business Insider stated there were 835 million smartphone users and 5.6 billion feature phone users. eMarketer reported that adults spend more media time on mobile than newspapers and magazines combined, which means by 2015, global Internet usage will double. Although these statistics are staggering, what’s most important for businesses to know is U.S. mobile and social media revenue- including consumer and business access, content, advertising and marketing – increased 30.2% to $45.38 billion in 2011.
What’s evidently become twofold then is that mobile advertising is just as influential as desktop advertising when it comes to impacting purchasing decisions. Digitalizing the consumer and allowing them to merge online and offline environments is the store of the future, but also significantly increases brand exposure. A European survey on consumers carried out by Tradedoubler found that 42% of smartphone owners use their device to compare prices in-store, while 13% claim to have switched stores after finding a better offer elsewhere. In a marketplace where consumers expect businesses to have these options available, it’s best to ask yourself if you’re equipped with the following:
Mobile Sites vs. Mobile Apps
A long withstanding question that has heavy financial repercussions if not executed effectively is whether an organization should build a mobile site or app – sometimes both. As for advertisers, we question whether to advertise on mobile sites, apps, or both. Since there has been no defined trend in which consumers will prefer in coming years, it’s difficult to predict where mobile is going.
What’s certain is the influx of different device types, operating systems, and screen sizes available, the decisions can be daunting. Since the intricacies are staggering, less than a third of U.S marketers think optimizing the mobile marketing experience is important to their customers. However, research has suggested by 2014, half of Americans’ web browsing will be done on a mobile device. This means if your company or organization depends on their web presence in any way, it’s important to start thinking about mobile now. In recent years we’ve seen a spike with the onslaught of app stores including Blackberry App World, Android Market, Windows Marketplace for Mobile, and the Apple App Store, which makes it appear the app boom isn’t going anywhere soon. How the consumer will access the ad will not matter, but whether apps or web will be the chosen mobile solution, chances are, the platforms will co-exist.
With the explosion of Internet video consumption, it is assumed the mobile video will also be largely adopted in the coming years. While video isn’t climactic to date because of broadband and technology inadequacies as barriers, many predictive stats suggest video’s increased importance. An infograph created by DaCast in April 2012 stated 25 million mobile owners stream 4 hours of video per month, with 31.8% of those users being between 25-34. Moreover, teenagers spend on average 4 hours watching videos from their laptop/computers whereas spending 7 hours on their mobile devices with videos. What’s even more mind blowing is by 2014, mobile video subscriptions worldwide are expected to reach $16 billion and by 2017, $30 billion. With video taking an increasingly important role in the mobile market, companies should keep their eyes open for opportunities to try out new advertising options.
Importance of SMS
90% of the U.S. population owns a cell phone and 98% of those phones are SMS-enabled out of the box says CTIA’s semi-annual wireless industry survey. With the ease of texting, being that there’s no downloads or installations needed, as well as the advent of unlimited messaging plans, texting has become the mobile communication option, beating our e-mail and phone conversations.
According to comScore, texting is the top cellular device feature for all U.S. consumers and that trend is still increasing. Although SMS doesn’t get the hype that flashy apps do, it works because it provides marketers what their seeking – a one-on-one dialogue with a customer. However, what’s important to note is that the average click-through-rate (CTR) for text messaging is 14.06%, while the average conversion rate is 8.22%. E-mail on the other hand brings in an average of 6.64% and an average conversion rate of about 1.73%.
Since SMS is an opt-in marketing method, the response rates texting campaigns receive are attractive. Though, what companies need to realize is that approximately 90% of all text messages are read within three minutes of their delivery and over 99% of text messages are read by the recipient.
The Rise of Mobile Positions
As we push towards 2013, the mobile app space will further mature and publishers will look for new ways to monetize beyond the single ad networks they’ve been traditionally accustomed to. The gaming giant ‘ngmoco’ adopted ad serving, ad operations and sophisticated reporting platforms to power advertising on their mobile games and apps. Meanwhile, companies like The Economist and BET have already established in-house ad operation teams specifically focused on mobile. This trend will only continue to grow into the future as companies look to grow their mobile inventories and diversify their streams of revenue.