2012 was a massive year for mobile. China exceeded the 1 billion subscriber mark , with 1.11 billion mobile phone users out of a population of 1.354 billion, according to its Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Mobile phone users represent 80 percent of all phone users in China. Globally, Strategy Analytics reported that a whopping 1.6 billion mobile phones were shipped in 2012 , with Samsung and Nokia leading (shipping 396.5 million units and 335.6 million units each) and with Apple in third place, shipping 135.8 million units.
Marketing is still struggling to keep pace with these developments, although Gartner predicts that mobile advertising revenue will reach $11.4 billion in 2013, up from $9.6 billion in 2012 . Gartner also notes that different types of mobile advertising are evolving at a different pace and in different directions.
It seems as though marketing is going through its own set of changes in response. A deeper understanding of the role of mobile seems to be setting in, and new techniques like attribution modelling may help with that process. While in the past it was easier to track the effect of marketing efforts on the bottom line, these days consumers may be exposed to marketing material in a variety of forms, a print ad leading a consumer to activate a QR code which takes them to a website which lets them download a mobile game that might in turn influence their decision to purchase.
Rather than looking at the last click, or the consumer’s last action, attribution modelling takes a more holistic approach, tracking and assigning value to all the different steps that contribute to the purchase decision. This helps to more accurately track the consumer’s decision-making process, as well as revealing how traditional media works together with mobile, and how consumer sharing of certain assets plays its own role in the process. This is a step towards a better understanding overall, and should demonstrate the need to break down the silos between different media channels, and show the real value of an integrated approach.
As marketers, we are gaining a growing understanding of how consumers integrate new media into their consumption patterns, as well as how they utilise new platforms, particularly mobile ones, to consume even traditional media. These new analytics tools let us track how consumers interact with or are affected by media, and how they use their personal devices.
As consumers become more savvy, and more demanding, looking for more information in mobile formats that suit their lifestyles, marketers are doing their best to upgrade their understanding – minimising the likelihood of delivering unwanted information, and maximising the opportunity to create the level of brand engagement and consumer relationship-building that the new consumer demands.