72% of small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) will increase or maintain their spend on mobile phones advertising over the next 12 months and those businesses planning to grow their mobile advertising budgets look set to increase them by as much as 30% in the next year.
Almost $2.5 billion was spent on mobile advertising in the US this year – over one third of the global total. This now puts the US well ahead of Japan, previously the biggest market for mobile advertising. According to eMarketer, the US spend sits at $2.4 billion for 2012, up an incredible $1.17 billion on the 2011 figure, and the company predicts those numbers are set to reach double figures by 2014.
With such phenomenal growth, small to midsize businesses look set to put more of their marketing budgets on mobile as the battle for the retail dollar hots up. This means anyone thinking of entering the SMB arena would be wise to bring some mobile advertising know-how to the table, and anyone hoping to work for an ad agency might do well to look at those companies with a mobile specialism.
Research commissioned by Pontiflex and conducted by Borrell Associates has shown that as the war between the SMBs gets serious, spend on mobile ads looks set to skyrocket as organisations in the sector prepare to go head to head to grab the lion’s share of the retail spend, which represents a healthy 47% of searches using smartphone devices.
Analysis and Evaluation – Key to an SMB Ad Campaign
As well as concentrating on mobile advertising, organisations in the sector are also looking to increasingly sophisticated technology to map the effectiveness of their campaigns. In fact, 77% of those companies surveyed stated they felt that the ability to analyse and track results of mobile campaigns was important; while three-quarters said they felt real-time optimization was key to their advertising strategy. This is borne out by the fact that almost half of respondents, some 49%, said they would invest more in mobile if the ROI was higher.
Another survey by digital intelligence specialists comScore found that for the month of July, four out of five smartphone users (almost 86 million people) visited retail content using their device. Amazon topped the rankings with around 50 million visits, while multi-platform retailers such as Apple, WalMart, Target and Best Buy accrued just over 50 million hits between them and where market leaders ‘lead’, so others will follow.
“With nearly 86 million Americans now shopping on their smartphones, this pronounced shift in consumer behavior is simply too large for retailers to ignore, with the future of their business depending on how well they adapt to the new environment,” said Mark Donovan, comScore SVP of mobile.
“But adapting isn’t always easy, especially when considering the complexity of the mobile environment, which requires optimizing the experience across multiple platforms and for both mobile websites and apps. The retailers who best understand how consumers are engaging in mobile shopping behaviors and design their strategies accordingly will be best positioned to capitalize on these shifting market dynamics.”
Targeted Spend Keeps Costs Down
As the big players plough more and more money into their mobile advertising campaigns, so smaller businesses are seeing the advantages of increasing their mobile ad spend, but as Donovan implies, for smaller businesses with finite budgets, cost comes into play.
The flexibility offered by mobile phones advertising gives SMBs the chance to plan targeted campaigns, with 75% of respondents to the Pontifex poll stating that the ability to create localized activity was important, with more emphasis placed on sign ups than on clicks or impressions.
It certainly seems that while smaller businesses were originally slower to engage with the mobile advertising revolution, they are now making their voices heard. They want the flexible services that meet their needs, a good ROI and to pay the way that makes sense for them.