The Mobile Marketing Phenomenon

By BKV in Mobile on November 6th, 2012

If you own a smartphone or tablet (over half of you own at least one or the other), then no doubt you’ve been served up an ad for an online travel agency, an ad touting either of the Presidential candidates, or perhaps one featuring America’s favorite talking gecko telling you how to save on car insurance. This phenomenon we all know as mobile marketing has exploded onto the advertising scene in recent years and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, according to eMarketer, advertisers will spend $2.6 billion on mobile advertising in the U.S. this year.  While that pales in comparison to other media like TV, print and online, it is an 80% increase over 2011 and is expected to reach $12 billion by 2016. Yet even with the rapid growth in mobile advertising, mobile ad dollars have been slow to catch up with the even more rapid growth in ownership of, and time spent with, mobile devices by consumers. Mobile still only accounts for 1.6% of total advertising spending. A recent eMarketer report shows of the 699 minutes a day the average U.S. adult spends using media, mobile accounts for an 11.7% share of that time, up from 8% a year ago. This is more time than is spent with print and nearly as much time as is spent with radio, both of which garner a much higher share of advertising spending. As ownership of mobile devices continues to rise, mobile’s share of time spent with media will also continue on this upward trend. Pew Research Center estimates that 44% of U.S. adults now own a smartphone (up from 35% in 2011) and 22% own a tablet (up from 11% in 2011). iPad is still the most popular tablet (52% of tablets owned), but Android-based tablets have almost pulled even at 48%. While tablets are still relatively new (the first iPad was only released in 2010) and ownership of tablets lags behind that of smartphones, will the recent release of the iPad Mini help bridge this gap?  Smartphones are often used “on the go” because their size makes them easy to carry around in your hands, pockets or purses; while tablets are often used in a stationary setting (tablet usage is high while watching Primetime TV). The smaller size of the iPad Mini and other smaller tablets (Google Nexus 7, Amazon Kindle Fire HD, etc.) may help increase the “on the go” usage of tablets. Here are some other eye-catching stats about mobile devices:
  • 61% of total U.S. moms own a smartphone (eMarketer)
  • Roughly 15% of mobile device users click on mobile ads, compared to less than 1% of browser-based display ads (Pew)
  • 49% of mobile device users say they are simultaneously watching TV and interacting with a mobile internet device every day (eMarketer)
  • 1 in 5 mobile phone owners use mobile banking (eMarketer)
  • Tablet users spent 30% more time on a site on average and were 20% more engaged than desktop and smart phone users (Roger Barnette, IgnitionOne)
  • By 2015, more than half of U.S. internet users will use a tablet (eMarketer)
Are you shifting your marketing budgets to take advantage of the growing mobile audience?  Let us know in the comments below!