In 2014, 2.1 billion mobile users downloaded more than 350 billion apps and spent roughly 76% more time on their device than the year previous. To accompany this, U.S. advertisers spent roughly 83% more on tablets and smartphones than they did in 2013 – totaling nearly $18 billion, and by 2018, BI Intelligence anticipates mobile ad spending to top nearly $42 billion.
While ad dollars have always followed eyeballs and this shift towards mobile was predicted by many, there is more to the growth of mobile than just consumer behavior. So , the next time a CMO or senior decision maker who doesn’t understand mobile asks about why we’ve seen such growth in the last year, I would point to three key reasons:
#1. Measurement is Improving
With more and more creative mobile advertising units available, relying on click-through rates as the primary measure of campaign effectiveness is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Instead, tracking and understanding the levels of engagement is the new “black.”
One of the most compelling aspects of mobile ads is their ability to be seen and easily interacted with. Rather than focus solely on CTR, brands are more interested in comprehending the level of interaction their ads have garnered. Although clicking is a strong indicator of interaction, ‘time spent’ is an even more valuable method of measurement, in part because it covers a wider array of interactions.
Time spent, as a measurement approach, can manifest in a multitude of ways. Whether a consumer uses an interactive map to locate a store, watches a pre-roll video or scans a variety of products in a rich media ad – time spent accounts for the duration of the interaction by measuring exposure, clicks and mouse location. As mobile advertising continues to offer more rich ad units that encourage two-way cooperation, advertisers require a comprehensive look at how ads are performing.
#2. The Reframing of the Possibilities of Video
Traditionally, there has been a high barrier to entry in the video advertising space. It’s expensive to film and produce, and buying premier online and television inventory costs a pretty penny. With the advancement of mobile video advertising, that all changed – by creating new channels and opportunities for both new video advertisers and veterans alike.
With mobile, video advertising possibilities are endless – due to the vast supply of inventory, targeting capabilities and wide variety of ad units. Unlike other media, such as television or premium online inventory, it’s possible to run a mobile video campaign with a smaller budget and still reach a targeted audience. As a result, the power of video is now available to a whole new group of advertisers, who may not otherwise have had the means to delve into the space. And for current video advertisers, mobile brings their content to a new channel, expanding the reach and engagement of the campaign.
In addition to being more affordable, mobile video provides advertisers with the rare ability to reach consumers on the go. This unique capability is only available with mobile, and opens up a plethora of new possibilities for advertisers. For instance, McDonalds can run a mobile video ad touting its delicious breakfast sandwiches, targeting commuters on a popular bus line between the hours of 7-9 AM. By catching users on the move, McDonalds is now able to tap into the emotive qualities of video to raise awareness at the right time, and hopefully, drive sales. As it stands, Nielsen reports that mobile video ads are nearly four times more effective in driving purchase intent, as compared to traditional television ads.
#3. More Contextual Data on Users
With mobile, brands have the ability to reach consumers any time, anywhere. As a result, advertisers have the unique opportunity to leverage location and contextual-based data to build out a more robust consumer profile. Thus, enabling them to better understand their audience and serve more relevant ads.
By utilizing location-based data, marketers are able to connect with consumers on a deeper emotional level by taking environmental conditions into account and determining the most applicable messaging.
Thanks to the power of mobile, advertisers have a deeper window into the soul of the consumer. In addition to pulling location-based data, advertisers can hone-in on contextual user data – what apps they use, what they search for, where they like to go, what sites they visit, what content they like to consume – to gain insight into their audience and grasp who they are. By doing so, brands have an unparalleled opportunity to tailor ads to the most compatible users, in an effort to enhance engagement, and hopefully, conversions.