Mobile Crowned King Of Digital Marketing

It has happened. Mobile has been talked up and up -- but today we have confirmation that not only is it digital's biggest channel, but also accounts for just over a half of every pound put into digital marketing.

Confirmation that smartphone marketing has been crowned digital's biggest channel comes today with annual figures from the annual Digital AdSpend Study from the IAB UK and PwC. Overall, they show a 15% rise in digital advertising to GBP13.44bn, with an extra GBP1.6bn being pumped into mobile phone marketing.

That is enough to push the smartphone in your pocket up from accounting for 45% of digital marketing in 2017 to just climb over the tipping point and hit 51% of all digital ad spend.

IAB UK makes the point that this now more effectively aligns ad spend with attention, given that two-thirds of the average Brit's time online each day is spent on a smartphone. 

Whenever mobile marketing is talked up, it's time to say how video is also a co-star in digital advertising. The latest figures show that at 44%, video now nearly equates to half the spend on digital display. Again, for the second year in a row, outstream video is ahead of the previous top channel, accounting for 57% of video advertising budgets. 

Just to get a mention in for recent research, IAB UK points out that research it conducted with YouGov shows that very nearly two in three marketers "get" that video must be specifically made for each platform and device it will be seen on, and so video isn't just a case of pumping out the same content. Careful attention must be paid to ensure the right formats are available to provide the end viewer with the best possible experience. 

Talking about the results, the IAB UK points out that in less than a decade, mobile spend has rocketed from GBP38m to 2018's level of GBP6.6bn -- a truly staggering increase. This is not entirely attributable, the organisation asserts, to the importance of video and mobile -- but is also because advertising now understands the internet better. Rather than using digital marketing as purely a short-term channel designed for direct response, savvy brands understand it is also instrumental in brand-building.

In fact, the IAB UK even points to the rise of Direct-2-Consumer (D2C) brands as leading this charge to use online channels to raise awareness and not to simply offer deals and promotions. 

So for all marketers that need that proof the next time they are pitching for budget that we are now in a mobile-first world, today's announcement is all they need.

For the first time, mobile marketing accounts for just over half of all the budget put into digital channels. With such high attention rates, it is pretty easy to imagine this is only going to rise.

We have seen smaller tipping points reached, but as far as ad dollars go, today's announcement is the big news that all in mobile marketing have been waiting for. 

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