Consumers are open and happy with the idea of mobile advertising and it is time for marketers to get on board and figure out exactly where mobile and apps fit into their marketing efforts. Smartphones have become ubiquitous now, with majority of people spending large portions of their day on mobile devices. In fact, some consumers have reported that they would rather give up their TV over their smartphone or tablet. A global media consumption study conducted by InMobi, Decision Fuel, and On Device Research showed that while the average mobile user consumes 7.2 hours of media daily, mobile devices make up 27 percent of this time.
The study also showed that comfort with mobile advertising is already higher than TV or online advertising with 48 percent of respondents saying that mobile devices have the most impact on their purchases. Mobile affects consumers purchase behavior at all stages of the purchase cycle including search, looking for alternatives, purchase decisions as well as post-purchase behavior. 42 percent of respondents said that they have been introduced to something new via the mobile channel. Mobile is commonly used for price comparisons, payments, and refined product information searches while shopping.
In fact, 66% of consumers are more or equally comfortable with mobile ads vs. TV and online ads. With masses of research backing up the great potential in the mobile medium, one would imagine that marketers would enthusiastically seize the opportunities presented by mobile advertising. However, a 2012 report by Flurry Analytics showed that on average a mere 1 percent of budget money is allocated to mobile advertising. Why is mobile failing to achieve popularity with marketers just as it has with consumers?
Many marketers see the potential of mobile advertising and understand its benefits but are swamped by the challenges they perceive. Top issues with mobile marketing include privacy issues and device fragmentation. A perceived lack of agency expertise and the lack of standardized metrics are other issues that are top concerns for marketers. In time, as more and more companies start to experiment with mobile strategies and industry standards are developed, these issues should start to melt away as well.
In the meantime however, marketers should remember that defining appropriate goals for their mobile campaign will enable them to effectively measure ROI. An OVUM study showed that the top goal for marketers trying their hand at mobile advertising is to increase awareness and improve branding. This may not be the ideal goal for mobile marketing. As an interactive medium, the mobile channel can be better used to increase engagement with a product/ service, customer relationship management, and as a support to other promotions.