Research from IAB has found that last year's mobile ad spend by organisations exceeded $5bn. Does this mean that brands are finally recognizing mobile as a valuable and worthwhile advertising channel? According to a press release from Gartner, the world's leading information technology research and advisory company, companies will generate over 50 percent of web sales via their social presence and mobile applications by as early as 2015.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITC) says there were just shy of 6bn global subscribers to mobile phones by the end of 2011 - roughly 87% of the global population. Of those 6bn users, over 20% are considered 'active mobile web users'. On that basis, doesn't $5bn seem a surprisingly low level of investment? $5bn is of course an awful lot of money to be spent on any medium of advertising. Given those statistics though, it would be fair to say that we're talking about the largest, fastest growing and most readily segmentable target audience in the world.
Mobile-Commerce is set to enjoy a 55% increase over the next five years according to IAB. The market is currently worth a relatively meagre £1.3bn per annum. Barclays Corporate suggests that the amount of money spent per annum on mobile and tablet devices in the next 10 years will exceed £20bn. Mobile purchasing is an immediate sales opportunity, that brands would be ill-advised to miss out on. Microsoft's UK MD, Ashley Highfield revealed an interesting comparison at last year's Mobile Engage Conference. On the web, he explained, the time gap between search and purchase is one month. However, on mobile the gap is one hour. That sounds like a pretty immediate sales opportunity, doesn't it?
Key Considerations for Brands' Mobile Ad-Spend:
- Ensure your content is both factual and informative. Your message will be irreparably diluted if you make obvious, careless mistakes.
- Unify your communications. 86% of consumers use an internet-enabled device while simultaneously watching television, for example.
- Improve your aim. Specific targeting is pivotal to ensuring your ad-spend isn't wasted.
- Push interesting, well thought out content. Brands must ensure that their creative is not just eye-catching, but easily accessible on various platforms.
- Stay Social! If social media has taught us anything, it is that brands are expected to engage with and speak to their customers. If you pester your target audience with sales pitch after sales pitch, they won't take long to find your unsubscribe option.
One thing is certain with mobile advertising. The barriers in terms of cost and connectivity will undoubtedly reduce in line with technological advancement. This will put further pressure on brands to ensure that content is both appealing and engaging, and this is good news for everyone. Everyone except marketing departments of course, who must work even harder to remain one step ahead of the competition. As these barriers continue to break down, mobile will unquestionably become the best and most cost-effective method for brands to communicate with their target audience(s).