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Mobile advertising is on the upswing, with eMarketer estimating US advertisers will spend just over $1.1 billion on the medium this year, rising to $1.5 billion in 2012. But for many marketers, mobile is still in the relatively early stages, with sporadic or disconnected efforts not tied to an overall marketing campaign.
May 2011 research from Chief Marketer found that 33% of marketers had run mobile campaigns in 2010, and more than half were doing so this year. The survey also indicated that just over a third of marketers had integrated mobile into an overall, cross-platform strategy as of last year. Many more (58%) plan to do so in 2011.
While marketers are adopting mobile advertising and moving to tie it to broader goals, some may be flying blind. More than one in three respondents to the survey said they “assume” their customers are mobile, but don’t have much information about their usage habits or content activities. That can make it hard to target users appropriately through various mobile channels like SMS, display ads or apps.
The most common tactic marketers reported using to reach mobile users was text messaging (59.3%), followed by 2-D barcodes like QR codes (53.3%). Without knowing about user habits, however, these efforts could fall flat—while many users are aware of such codes and marketer usage is gaining, there is little solid evidence that mobile owners are scanning QR codes with regularity.
By contrast, relatively few respondents to the Chief Marketer survey employed mobile display ads (33.8%), which research shows have higher clickthrough rates than standard banners and are a major growth area in mobile advertising. eMarketer estimates that by 2012, display will overtake SMS for the largest share of US mobile outlays.
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Check out today’s other article, “eBay Motors’ Auto Buyers Take App for a Spin.”
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