KEY POINTS

  • As consumers spend more time on their mobile devices, marketing campaigns are following suit. Mobile ad spend continues to lag mobile time spent, providing an opportunity for creative marketers.
  • Marketers should leverage different mobile tactics depending on the size and demographics of the audience they want to reach and the type of message they want to send. With all tactics, marketers need to respect the personal nature of the mobile device and pay attention to the potential for communication overload.
  • Mobile messaging — particularly SMS and email — has the broadest reach and highest adoption among mobile users. Messaging apps, relative newcomers but gaining fast in popularity, offer more innovative and engaging outreach options.
  • Emerging technology, such as dynamic creative optimization, is breathing new life into mobile browser-based ad campaigns, but marketers should keep an eye on consumer adoption of mobile ad blockers.
  • In-app advertising can generate high engagement rates, especially with video. Location-based apps and beacons offer additional data that can enhance targeting capabilities.

Introduction

Marketers seeking opportunities to reach the right consumers with the right message at the right time have a friend in mobile. Smartphone subscriptions worldwide will nearly double from 3.4 billion in 2015 to 6.4 billion in 2021, according to Ericsson, making mobile a broad-reaching and highly personalized channel to communicate with consumers. Smartphone and mobile network technology continue to evolve, allowing for faster data transfer and better content delivery.

As smartphone penetration and the amount of time consumers spend on mobile devices rise, advertising dollars are gradually following suit. Mobile accounted for 30% of ad revenue in Q2 2015, according to the IAB, up from 23% a year earlier, although there's still a significant gap between mobile ad revenue and mobile time spent. Consumers spent 24% of their digital time on mobile devices in 2014, according to eMarketer, while just 8% of digital ad spend went to mobile campaigns, according to the IAB. All signs indicate that gap will continue to narrow as marketers make mobile more integral to their overall campaigns.

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