As a speaker at the recent Mobile Media Summit in San Francisco, I met up with many like-minded mobile executives who all agreed that mobile advertising will continue its tremendous growth in 2013 and beyond. The current forecast is for worldwide mobile advertising revenue to reach $11.4 billion in 2013, with expectations taking it to a level of $24.5 billion in 2016, per tech research firm Gartner.
In meeting the promise of those figures, brands and agencies will need to evolve just how they utilize mobile as an advertising vehicle. They will need to look at different mobile advertising models compared to traditional desktop advertising in order to get in front of their audience at the right place at the right time.
Here are several current examples of different mobile advertising models:
A further promise, and very interesting challenge, is the opportunity to integrate mobile within traditional channels such as TV, print, and in-store. Many brands are still looking at mobile as its own separate channel and/or line item; but truth be told, for those seeking success, brands need to have a mobile-first approach. Starbucks is a good example of a brand that has the right mentality. The coffee giant has implemented its own mobile-first strategy that creates an ongoing relationship between the brand and consumer. Starbucks utilizes many different facets of mobile including SMS, mobile Web, applications, QR Codes, mobile payments, and mobile advertising. Although Starbucks utilizes other media channels as well, they clearly see the value in mobile.
Brands that are utilizing applications as part of their mobile marketing strategy are also capitalizing on one of the leading promises of mobile. With roughly 120 million smartphone devices and 40-50 million tablets in the U.S. alone, many brands are already looking at apps to increase awareness and brand loyalty. On average a user downloads roughly 50 applications throughout a two-year contract, but only uses about 10 of these applications on a regular basis.
To increase awareness and brand loyalty, these applications need to create motivation for the user to come back, otherwise the application just sits on the phone or is deleted. Not surprisingly, industries such as finance, travel, retail, and social, because they provide everyday utility to the consumer, have an advantage over other industries when it comes to the shelf life of an application.
As marketers move forward in mobile, they need to watch out for certain pitfalls that can not only obstruct business, but may permanently alienate customers. These major pitfalls include:
It’s important to develop a cross-platform strategy for mobile. Different devices have unique requirements. The key is to be sure the consumer experience is consistent across all devices.
Because of the growth of mobile advertising, the focus is largely centered on the advertising itself, and not the experience after clicking on the ad. Brands need to ensure that the experience after clicking on the ad is optimized for mobile.
Brands need to take advantage of specific mobile device features such as the camera, GPS, and, accelerometer. Utilizing these specific device features can enhance mobile advertising campaigns.
Just creating an iPhone application these days won’t cut it. Due to the growth of different operating systems (OS) such as Android and Windows, consumers now have numerous devices options.
As we head up the road into 2013, using mobile is no longer an “if” but a “when” question for most brands. Marketers with a better understanding of how to fit mobile into their marketing mix, coupled with wisdom to acknowledge and avoid its major pitfalls, are those most likely to be the leaders in making use of mobile’s full promise and value.