Is mobile the next big thing? I guess that depends upon your perspective.
When our CJRW clients ask me what’s new and hot in digital advertising, I tell them that mobile ads are what marketers are now adding to their media mix. They then scratch their heads and say, “Haven’t we been running mobile ads for a while now?” I just smile and say, “Yep!”
The fact is that we have been recommending mobile advertising for our clients since 2007. We followed all of the trends and growth projections for mobile and decided to test the impact of mobile ads by placing a small portion of our Arkansas Parks and Tourism spring/summer 2007 digital media budget into mobile banner ads on the Accuweather.com mobile site. The mobile ads ended up generating a click rate of 2.28 percent compared to 0.49 percent for desktop banner ads. From there, we started to work more and more of the Arkansas budget into mobile ads with all of our digital partners. We also started to move all of our clients toward mobile ads. By 2009, we started to work mobile video ads into our media mixes and saw the same strong results as we did when we added mobile banners ads to our media mixes.
The growth of both time spent with mobile devices and mobile advertising is astounding. Per the eMarketer data detailed below, consumers spent 24 minutes each day with mobile devices in 2010. Now, in 2014, they estimate that consumers spend two hours and 51 minutes each day with mobile devices. That is an increase of over 700 percent in four years.
While smartphones have had a strong penetration among consumers for a few years now (65 to 75 percent depending upon the source), tablet penetration is beginning to grow extremely fast. The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project data, detailed below, reflects that U.S. tablet penetration has grown by a remarkable 14 fold, from three percent to 42 percent, since 2010.
eMarketer also projects that mobile advertising will grow the fastest of any medium, with growth of 83 percent projected for 2014 and 46 percent for 2015.
As American consumers continue to spend more and more time with mobile devices, we will continue to recommend shifting more and more of our clients’ advertising dollars into various forms of mobile advertising. We’re also already out there looking for the next big thing beyond mobile.