Once upon a time, as anyone who’s held media jobs in mobile advertising agencies for any length of time can testify, mobile advertising was pretty uncharted terrain. But, according to a new survey from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the technology research firm Ovum, any timidity borne of fear of the unknown has evaporated with a vengeance: the use of mobile devices is skyrocketing, and – perhaps unsurprisingly – so is the uptake of mobile advertising by marketers.
The rise and inexorable rise of mobile advertising
Marketers with annual mobile advertising budgets in excess of $300,000 more than quadrupled between 2011 and 2013, the survey reveals, rising from just 7 percent to 32 percent. Mobile ad budgets have grown overall by a staggering 142 percent over the same interval.
Nearly a fifth (19 percent) of US marketers surveyed in the study – all of whom already use mobile advertising — plan to expand their mobile budgets by at least 50 percent over the next two years. The findings strongly suggest that the bottom line – return on investment (ROI) – is seriously paying off on this format.
But mobile advertising agencies might be curious about what ad inventory is winning the day. The answer, by a huge margin, is landing pages or mobile sites, used by a thundering 70 percent of respondents as their most privileged method. Runner up status goes to static mobile display or banner ads, with just under half (49 percent) of those polled opting for this. Coming in third, despite their near-universal use as a digital tactic, were mobile search ads, which were favored by 44 percent of the respondents. The relatively low number probably reflects the fact that real estate for these kinds of ads is limited on mobile screens. Almost 30 percent of the marketers polled used branded mobile apps, while nearly a fifth (19 percent) preferred mobile video ads.
But despite the enormous surge in mobile advertising uptake, important challenges remain, with by far the biggest majority of respondents citing the fragmentation between different operating systems as a significant obstacle. Privacy concerns came in at a close second place. However, 87 percent believed that responsive design was the key to overcoming this fragmentation across mobile devices, while 77 percent rated HTML 5 as “important” or “very important.”