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MMA: Mobile Spend Could Reach $220B Within Decade
Trade group argues market trends will motivate shift to mobile.
Mobile trade group the MMA released a document today that argues mobile marketing spending could — indeed should — reach something like $220 billion within the decade, on a global basis. The US component of that would be roughly $70 billion under the formula used by MMA.
The report and MMA broadly define “marketing” to include, “advertising, apps, messaging, mCommerce and CRM” on mobile devices. The report’s projection is based on arguments about the effectiveness of mobile marketing and advertising, mobile device penetration and to-date mobile ad growth rates.
I don’t dispute the logic and recommendations of the report. Getting there however will be a bit of a challenge.
The totality of digital advertising in the US will be worth roughly $50 billion this year. Mobile advertising (not all of mobile marketing) will be worth roughly $15 billion. However if time spent and ad spend were in alignment we’d see the mobile ad spend this year at $29 or $30 billion and the PC-based ad spend at $20 billion.
Consumers have leaped far ahead of brands and agencies in adopting mobile. The complexity of the marketplace and consumer behavior so far is outstripping marketers’ ability to keep pace. This complexity represents a barrier to the realization of the MMA vision and projections above.
Attribution and mobile ROI are particular challenges for the industry. A Kenshoo-sponsored report written by Forrester surveyed 106 advertisers, agencies, and analytics professionals in the US and Europe.” It found that most digital marketers are using narrow and unsophisticated attribution and ROI models, including excessive reliance on clicks — which for mobile has been proven to be a false ROI metric.
A recent survey of 155 marketers and executives conducted by Waterfall found that the top three objectives of respondents’ mobile marketing campaigns were brand awareness, driving in-store visits and customer retention. Measurement approaches were all over the place and, perhaps most interestingly, most of these respondents had no plans to increase mobile budgets the remainder of the year.
Furthermore the CMO Council’s annual State of Marketing report, based on a survey of marketing executives, discovered that just over half (52 percent) said that their mobile ad budgets are flat or they’re planning to decrease them over the next year. This is contrary to consumer behavior and, of course, what the MMA is recommending.
To reach the ambitious projection in the MMA report a number of problems need to be solved around education, scale, ad creative, targeting and attribution. Facebook’s Atlas ad-serving platform promises to solve cross-device targeting and attribution problems. Exchanges and programmatic can solve some of the scale issues.
Overall, however, marketers need to pay more real attention to mobile and “up their game.” Mobile is for too many still a “check box” or area of secondary emphasis. Indeed, mobile ad creative is an area of particular weakness on the display side.
My view is that mobile offers a better branding — and direct response — opportunity than the PC. However it’s much more difficult to fully realize.