Mobile usage among consumers is expected to continue to grow at this breakneck pace. Smartphone users worldwide will surpass the 2 billion mark over the next year, per eMarketer.
Further, consumers are growing more comfortable purchasing via the mobile channel, while Facebook IQ found that the frequency of mobile purchases increased 35% between January through May of this year.
The value that mobile brings to advertisers is clear. However, with the holiday season fast approaching, it remains to be seen if the full potential of mobile will be reached during this period of peak spending for advertisers and consumers alike.
Given that consumers are undisputedly mobile-first, it may seem like a no-brainer for advertisers to devote larger portions of their dollars to that medium. So why doesn’t the advertising industry’s current investment in mobile match the value it brings to the table?
This is happening for a number of reasons.
While more consumers use mobile devices, advertisers still face several issues when it comes to committing fully to mobile. For marketers, desktop trumps mobile in terms of measurement and attribution.
In other words, it’s more difficult to connect an ad buy on mobile to an actual conversion than it is on desktop, and without being able to prove a mobile ad buy’s value, it’s difficult for marketers to route more advertising dollars through mobile.
The answer to connecting the two lies in deep linking technology. At a high level, a deep link directs a user past the home page of a website or app to specific content within it -- for example, linking directly to a product page.
Within the context of mobile commerce, deep linking allows advertisers to not only streamline the customer buying experience on mobile devices, but also provides the attribution brands so desperately need to bring more advertising dollars through the mobile channel.
As the technology continues to mature and evolve, advertisers are beginning to invest an increasing amount in mobile advertising— eMarketer predicts that from 2016 to 2019, mobile ad spending will reach $195.55 billion, accounting for just over 70 percent of all digital advertising as well as more than 25 percent of total media ad spend worldwide.
Moving the needle this holiday season
The gap between the value mobile advertising brings and the spend devoted to it is slowly beginning to close, and we’ll see this trend reflected during holiday campaigns in a number of ways.
More mobile devices are sold during the holiday season than any other time of the year—last year Apple alone sold a record 74.5 million iPhone, per Bloomberg, during Q4. What’s the first thing people do when they get a new device? Download apps.
The mobile app-install ad offers the most measureable ROI of any major mobile ad format, and also commands high prices on major mobile platforms like Facebook and Google. Combined with the influx of app downloads expected through the holidays and well into the first quarter, the one thing we can expect to see this holiday season is a rise in the number of app install mobile campaigns.
BI Intelligence estimates that U.S. mobile app-install ad revenue will top $4.6 billion in 2015 and will grow to $6.8 billion by the end of 2019.
With regard to ad formats, we expect to see more video on mobile web and app than we have in the past. Better devices, faster connection speeds and increased screen sizes are all driving factors, in addition to how viewers are consuming video content on mobile.
Additionally, programmatic continues grow as the preferred platform for targeted campaign deployment. Predicted to be a $20 billion industry by 2016, programmatic advertising refers to the automated buying of digital ad space and allows for unprecedented levels of personalization through dynamic creative, or the ability to change elements of an advertisement such as the headline, message, visual, call-to-action, etc. according to specific audience attributes. In fact, eMarketer projects that mobile will account for over half of all programmatic spending by the end of 2015.
The main takeaway for marketers this holiday season is to view mobile as one aspect of a brand’s holistic advertising efforts.
Video and rich media mobile ads will definitely dominate but next year it could be virtual reality mobile ads. May sound extreme now, but that's where this business is heading -- http://vrjournal.com/adtech-new-york-showcases-virtual-realitys-move-into-mobile-advertising/