It’s safe to say that life has changed dramatically since the introduction of the mobile phone. As a ’90s child, I remember my parents sternly telling me to be at a certain time and place if I wanted to be picked up. I had impressively memorized four phone numbers back then—our home phone, my mom and dad’s workplace and my best friend’s house.
Fast forward to 2015, where life without a mobile phone now seems impossible. What used to be a simple communication device has turned into a multi-tasking powerhouse, from letting us access our bank accounts to tracking our fitness, and all at our fingertips. It’s no wonder that Forrester is predicting global smartphone penetration to be above 50% by 2017. Now that smartphones are increasing screen size and functionality with every new release, we can expect major changes in the way we consume our media in the near future.
What does this mean for agencies? If you’re not in the mobile marketing game, you better get on it. Market research firms are reporting common trends that people of all ages are spending more and more time on mobile than on any other media platform. According to eMarketer, total digital media time spent has nearly doubled in the past three years due to the explosion of tablet and smartphone usage, though it has not cannibalized desktop usage yet. Mobile phones have evolved from a supplementary technology to being a main contender with televisions and desktops for content consumption.
Over the next five years, mobile is expected to steal ad-spending share from every other medium. When you compare industry performance for desktop display and mobile display campaigns, mobile click-through rates are often four to five times higher than desktop. In fact, Google’s ad revenue from mobile paid search ads will increase from 19% to 30% (source). As you evaluate what media outlets to suggest to clients in the future, it would be wise to include mobile campaigns into the mix.
And what does this mean for consumers? It means that due to new advertising inventory through mobile, companies and app developers are going to get creative with how they reach us. No longer do we sit in front of a television, waiting for the commercial to end. In a culture of instant gratification, we turn to our phones to offer sweet distraction. Don’t be surprised if every app that you open begins to push out ads as native content; after all, they’re only following our lead.
Photo Credit: Flickr’s Kārlis Dambrāns