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Mobile advertising skyrockets says IAB: marketers expand their mobile budgets by 142 percent in just two years

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.”

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