The mobile marketing world is rapidly adapting to the mobile world, which has changed beyond all recognition. The adaptation of the smartphone and new consumer habits have been key players in the way the mobile marketing environment has changed over the past few years.
Together with Jon Mew, IAB UK’s director of mobile and operations, we looked back and thought about five things he feels have had an enormous impact on mobile advertising over the past few years. Here are his top five:
The little guys
The level playing field for smaller businesses has been hugely influenced by digital and mobile trends, a great example being app developers. These smaller guys have been developing apps and games in their garages, lofts and student houses. Games created in this way, such as Angry Birds, Talking Tom, Candy Crush, Temple Run and Instagram were made for mobile and downloaded 100s of millions of times by consumers.
Social connectivity is a continuing trend on mobile devices. Data shows that 40% of all smartphone users use social networks once a day on any of their mobile devices. Social networks like Twitter and Facebook have boosted mobile use and the acceptance of smartphones and tablets in our daily life. The growth of social networking hasn’t come to a stop yet; new ideas and interesting ways of targeting consumers are being developed as we speak.
After the launch of iAd, mobile advertising very quickly got sexier. Swipeable and interactive rich media units became the norm for brand campaigns. In 2012, just over a fifth of all mobile display budgets were spent on rich media and the number is still growing. It is most likely that it is the perception of creativity on mobile which holds the market back at this moment, but thanks to richer ads, things have changed a lot.
The least discussed subject is Search. Two thirds of mobile ad revenue is spent on search every day, making it a huge subject for the industry. New functionality like click to call, maps and directions have helped to make search even more useful to consumers and brands alike. Big players like Google have showcased the importance of search and the development of a platform like Android for mobile devices.
The launch of mobile Adspend by IAB had a major impact on the market. I remember when we collated the first number (for the full year 2008) and mobile registered a modest £37.6m. We did, at least in passing, wonder if the figure was so low it might put people off. But if you want a grown up market, I think you need to be able to benchmark it. The figure for the full year of 2013 passed the £1bn threshold, a figure few people would have expected five years ago.