Mobile marketing has exploded with the dawn of Smartphones and more importantly on the long run, tablets. When the iPhone launched in 2007 a huge space opened up for advertisers -a whole new market and audience, which are – despite of the cliché – a couple of clicks away.
The first element of present day mobile advertising we’ll look into involves both old and new technology. eMarketer estimates ad support for SMS and mobile messaging will reach the $12 billion milestone. This is simply because SMS is among the most widely-used communication methods on the globe, and it actually offers a marketing channel thast is more effective than e-mail and web-based displays. The average click through rate (CTR) for text messaging is 14.06%, while e-mail and internet displays lags behind with CTRs of 6.64% and 0.76%, respectively. Average conversation rates are 8.22% for text messaging, 1.73% for e-mail marketing and 4.43% for internet display.
Mobile marketing has rapidly evolved to become a multi-billion dollar industry, and one of the biggest topics marketers need to attend is the question of whether to advertise on mobile sites, apps, or both.
Mobile is evolving, and as Apple focuses on apps and Google focuses on the mobile web, marketers encounter a great deal of difficulties in effectively spreading message. Different operating systems, often limited (and different) screen sizes and an assortment of handsets makes it challenging to effectively optimize ads and campaigns for each device, while sticking to the relatively small budget usually allocated to mobile marketing. The rise of the tablet is expected to solve some of those issues with larger screen sizes and support for the heavier ads that mobile sites can hold, but in-app advertising is also a key element and prominent feature of mobile marketing strategies.
According to some stats picked by Mashable, on average 73.3% of the on-the-go audience’s apps – and here comes the good part: 76% of on-the-go mobile users would prefer free apps with ads than paid ones without any. Moreover, 18 percent of on-the-go mobile users made a purchase as a result of seeing an in-app ad in the last 30 days, and a total of 50 percent of users engaged with in-app ads in the last 30 days.
Now that we’ve some of the main elements of mobile marketing, we can also examine the perhaps most notable one – the location-based trend, and particularly some of its still evolving areas. Among these is geo-fencing, which is basically a virtual field surrounding a given location designed to trigger a mobile ad message to passing users’ devices. This tactic is used by companies including iPhone airport guide GateGuru which presents users ads promoting airport retailers and more recently AT&T’s ShopAlert.
In addition to the various tools and channels mobile marketing provides, the trends in this space also present an even more insightful glance into the industry. The largest independent mobile ad network, Millennial Media, recently released its SMART Lite report for Jan 2011.
Among Millennial’s findings are some notably interesting ones: mocial (“mobile-social”) was the number one publisher category by impressions in the month of January, and 13% of advertisers used rich media – a growing figure accelerating alongside handsets’ speedy evolution. Moving on to another aspect, 54% of campaigns on Millennial’s network have a broad reach, while only 46% are targeted. Of this 46%, 45 percent of campaigns target demographics, 41 percent focus on local users and 14 percent of campaigns are based on user behavior.
Increasingly sophisticated and powerful mobile devices seem to sweep through the market, and as the demand increases so will marketing budgets. Better services, websites and apps will further boost demand and usage, which will give marketers even more channels and spaces to advertise and promote through.