As far as classic channels go, search and display are Internet advertising legends. They arose in the proverbial stone age of digital technology, when ad capabilities were limited to standard banner ads that screamed, “Click Here!”
Simply put, innovations at the industry’s disposal today, including online video and mobile executions, were once easily dismissed as pipe dreams. The commonplace use of mobile devices and smartphones had not yet become an integral part of everyday life.
Today, innovation across channels has saturated the mainstream, and mobile devices are now ubiquitous. It’s even hard to imagine when Palm and Blackberry owned the market and “touch screen” was not yet a part of our everyday vocabulary.
Welcome to the age of the mobile makeover where mobile technology has forever altered how consumers shop, engage, and absorb information. And in the coming years, mobile is scaled for even more rapid growth.
Gartner recently reported that worldwide ad spend in mobile will increase to $18 billion in 2014 — up from $13.1 billion in 2013 — and that it will reach $41.9 billion in 2017. When all is said and done, mobile will dictate how marketers leverage more traditional digital advertising strategies like desktop display and search. Here’s why:
Mobile Devices Are Just That: Mobile
Sheer mobility and accessibility are the key differentiators for mobile. Gone forever is the time when marketers depended on users being in a stationary location with time to spend perusing their content amid a multitude of desktop distractions.
Desktop computers and even traditional laptops don’t offer the same direct exposure as mobile. Now, marketers can reach consumers with greater frequency and, more importantly, while they are on the go. The era of pure mobility is driving more consumers to search, shop, buy and connect all with a few clicks and swipes of the hand 24/7.
At the end of 2013, it was reported that there were more mobile devices on earth than people. Other stats claim that 80% of smartphone users want more mobilized products and that mobile coupon users in the U.S. will reach 53.2 million by 2014.
Consumer mobile usage is on the rise, so marketers must take the time to ramp up their mobile strategy, take hold of the vast array of mobile websites and apps offering mobile ad formats and find creative ways to integrate their brand within today’s most accessible consumer channel.
Mobile Is The King Of Local
More often than not, search on mobile indicates immediate intent. When you combine mobile search with the ability to reach consumers with display ads across apps and the mobile web, this opens up a world of intricate, real-time targeting opportunities for small, medium and large-scale advertisers.
Reports today even indicate that local will overtake national mobile ad spending by 2017, which is largely due to the rise of hyper-local technologies (Wi-Fi hotspots, RFID, tracking devices, etc.). These technologies enable advertisers to hone in on the “always-on” mentality and initiate locality-based advertising approaches such as geo-aware, geo-fencing, and geo-location.
These geo-targeting strategies position mobile as the optimal channel for ad relevancy: right ad, right time and even the right place.
Where rich media and other stellar, impressive creative ad formats like the takeover and pushdown once took the digital world by storm, innovative mobile formats are dominating the mobile web and taking consumers along for the ride.
Take the IAB Rising Star units for example, designed to give consumers control of their unique brand experiences and interactions. Mobile rich media isn’t just grabbing users’ attention at first glance: it’s proving enormously effective at holding their attention and prompting them to engage — at much higher rates than desktop display or rich media has ever seen.
Other types of creative gaining ground in mobile are in-app, in-game, Facebook Newsfeed ads and other larger formats. Often times on mobile, size does matter.
Mobile Creates Holistic Experiences
Mobile has invented the omni-channel consumer and, in doing so, has forever changed the way brands execute marketing plans. Mobile serves as the connectivity between brick and mortar stores and the digital sphere.
Brands like Macy’s are taking full advantage of mobile’s power by creating a unified brand experience for their customers by leveraging apps, QR codes, digital image recognition and even testing for Apple’s iBeacon. The driving force behind Macy’s strategy focuses on the consumer and fosters a brand experience in which the consumer has strong influence over how the brand engages across digital channels.
Conversations should not focus on mobile vs. desktop display and search. Just like TV has remained a prime marketing channel for brands, so will traditional forms of digital advertising.
I can’t imagine a time that will come when we won’t still need to be stationary for certain projects employing a big screen and bigger controls to execute on. We will, however, continue to see mobile become a greater complement to desktop, as integration across all channels becomes more and more universal throughout everyday life.
It’s time to embrace the age of the mobile makeover — things will never be the same.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.