Fact: Mobile advertising will one day be bigger than TV advertising.
And that day is coming sooner than you may think.
I have spoken with many visionary agency execs and brand marketers about the future of mobile as an advertising channel. What makes it unique? What are its prospects, and how will it evolve?
When we push out past the nuts and bolts of campaign implementation, we almost always reach the same conclusion: mobile advertising will one day inevitably be larger than advertising on TV and every other digital channel.
Inevitable, yes, but when? Brand ad dollars spent on mobile will exceed those spent on TV a decade.
1. Access to Audience — Anytime, Anywhere
Imagine an audience that encompasses the vast majority of the world’s spending power and can be accessed by marketers whenever and whereever they want with relevancy and precision. That’s where we are going.
High-end smartphones enable brands to engage their target audience wherever and whenever they want. A decade from now, just about everyone will have a smartphone more powerful and user friendly than the best computers available today – not only in the U.S., but in the rest of the world as well.
In 10 years, mobile devices will be the primary way that people consume data and media. According to a recent study, smartphone users today spend 667 minutes per month using mobile apps, 671 minutes text messaging, 531 minutes making phone calls and 422 minutes browsing the web. These numbers will increase with time as mobile data speeds quicken, mobile content improves and mobile user experience continues to get better.
2. The Most Memorable Messaging
In a recent study, 75 per cent of people reported that if they forgot their mobile phone and their wallet, and could only go back for one, they would choose their mobile phone. Seriously, three-fourths. Why? Mobile devices are our connection to all of the things we love: our family, friends, our favourite song, pictures of our kids and –of course – Angry Birds. They are personal, intimate and close by at all times, commanding 100 per cent attention.
TV, on the other hand, has become a multimedia experience for all of the wrong reasons. While interactive TV has gotten off to a clunky start, consumers are watching TV, surfing the web, updating Facebook, all at the same time with their mobile phone or tablet.
Why will brands continue to settle for expensive TV advertising that is often being ignored when they can reach the most engaged users where their attention is most focused? They won’t.
3. Touch Drives Deep Engagement
Tactile interaction on a mass scale through mobile devices will prove to be one of the great revolutions in brand marketing. Kudos to the engineers at Apple for keying into touch. It’s so natural, intuitive and fun that toddlers pick it up in seconds. In fact, children have become so accustomed to tactile digital interaction, that they expect it for every other screen. My three-year old niece continues to stay frustrated that nothing happens on the TV screen when she tries to zoom in on Elmo – like it was an iPad.
For brand advertisers, touch is the ultimate opportunity to engage consumers. Everything is right there at your fingertips – interested in more on the brand? Tap it. Zoom in on the product with a pinch. Heck, with one more swipe you can undoubtedly purchase the item. It’s natural, it’s fun – and most importantly, it works.
4. Proof in Results
TV ads – is there really a way to effectively target? No. Measure effectiveness? No. Can campaigns be changed on the fly? No.
For those of us who have access to the growing volume of data on effectiveness of mobile ads, it’s clear premium mobile advertising outperforms TV advertising (and all other channels including online) on key brand metrics.
Brand awareness, check. Purchase intent, check. Message recall, check. Engagement rates, check. Viral nature, check.
The proof is in the numbers. The data is here and it’s compelling. As brands continue to invest in mobile advertising and see results that outperform their other advertising channels, larger portions of their budget will be allocated to mobile. As the penetration of touch-driven smartphones increases toward ubiquity, most brands will be able to launch mobile-brand campaigns at scale and reach the vast majority of their target audience. The floodgates are starting to open. In over a decade, the dollars will become a torrent.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments section.
Dane Holewinski is the director of marketing for Greystripe.