By Ori Carmel | Vice President, Performance Strategy
In an era of sensational declarations marketers have become immune to rampant hype and passing fads. In a sense, knowing that every year is declared “The Year of Mobile” doesn’t bode well for those pushing the mobile direct response envelope. Understandably, there are only so many times one can cry wolf and expect someone to touch their glassy screen on the other end.
Alas, something seems different this time around. 2012 seems to have been a turning point, both in the numbers themselves and in the understanding of the mobile market potential for direct response. Maybe it’s the growth of mobile as spend. Maybe it’s Google finally taking mobile ad measurements more seriously. As marketers continue their march forward toward meeting society’s mobile-first demands, let’s take a moment to examine the ways in which this channel can impact your company.
First, the scale:
- Seventy-seven percent of the global population has a mobile device. That’s 5.3 billion people. (ITC, 2010)
- Of those 5.3 billion mobile device users, 18% use a device with 3G technology. That’s 940 million, mostly in developed and mature economies. (ITC, 2010)
- There are five times as many cell phones in the world as there are PC’s. Yes, that includes Macs (Impiger, 2012)
- Americans spend 2.7 hours a day on their mobile phone. That is twice the time they spend eating. (Unisys, 2011)
- Mobile ad spend is rising. Well, rising is an understatement. It’s exploding. Here are some stats from eMarketer.
Not yet convinced? Let’s look at specific direct-response factors so we can tie all these figures to how they relate to performance marketers:
- Nine-out-of-10 mobile searches lead to action, and over half end in a purchase. (Google, 2012)
- Seventy percent of mobile searches lead to action within an hour. PC searches take a month to reach the same percentage (Ogilvy, 2012)
- Mobile coupons and offers are redeemed at rates 10 times higher than printed offers. (Barrell Assoc., 2011)
- Forty percent of mobile searches have local intent. Ninety-five percent of users search local info regularly, and 88% of those users take action within a day. (Google, 2012)
- Conversion rates are 10-15 times higher on mobile devices than on average landing pages. (Google, 2012)
- And this last one is no surprise: 91% of smartphone owners have their phone within arm’s reach 24 hours a day. (Morgan Stanley, 2011)
In short, marketers who don’t have mobile in their DNA will have a difficult time advancing their brands or their clients’ brands in the years to come. It’s an inescapable reality, and a huge opportunity for us all.
To fully realize the opportunity, let’s examine some of the major prospects and hurdles digital marketers are likely to meet down the path of mobile adoption
- Fast conversions and action: Mobile consumers are far more likely to take action and to do so within shorter periods of time. They exhibit much higher intent to purchase and act. They are far more willing to accept push notifications and alerts, so long as they are specifically targeted to their needs and wants. According to MobiThink, 90% of mobile searches lead to action, and more than 50% to purchase.
- Consumer adoption of mobile channels: The numbers speak for themselves. With entire economies completely leapfrogging the PC era, global adoption of mobile in the United States is behind the rest of the world in terms of sophistication. However, it’s catching on fast, and with quick connection infrastructure already in place, the market is primed for further growth in adoption and information processing numbers.
- Marketing Spend: It was built. They came. Now let’s make some money out of it. Mobile marketing ad spend is expected to reach more than $7 billion this year, and grow to more than $20 billion by 2016. As audiences adopt, brands want to be there, in their face, driving conversions 24/7. The amount of money being thrown around mobile will surpass PC ad spend some time in 2014. If you are not in mobile, you will be out of the game.
- Local Targeting: This is directly tied to high conversions. Mobile users act on immediate needs they want to address, and companies should take advantage of immediate needs by providing immediate, relevant and local solutions. But to do that, they have to be there when the need arises. This is much easier to do on a mobile device than anywhere else.
- High engagement and quality: The sheer volume of mobile use reveals a great mass of data about audiences, purchase patterns, demand, opportunity and behavior. This allows marketers to more precisely target consumers with relevant and timely messages, driving engagement at much higher rates than any other channel.
- Measurement: While it may seem counterintuitive, the simplicity of mobile acquisition does not translate to an easy-to-measure conversion path as a whole. It is often difficult to pinpoint and quantify the role and place of mobile interaction in a larger conversion funnel. Devices are still limited in size and functionality, and often audiences will acquire information via mobile devices, but only convert on the larger screen. This will likely diminish over time, with development of more sophisticated mobile lead-gen campaigns and increased audience adoption. But for now, it’s still a factor.
- Compliance and Security: The perception is that mobile device connectivity with brands is far more intimate and revealing than on a PC. People see their mobile device as an extension of themselves, and a vital tool for everyday life activities, from ordering pizza or checking the score to finally calling that dentist to set up an appointment. With tightening up of push notifications on mobile devices and SMS regulations the everlasting battle between optimized marketing and plain old Big Brother is not one that will likely resolve anytime soon.
- Stay above the hype: The space is flooded. Every player, in direct and brand marketing, is making a play. So is MediaWhiz. While numbers are vague, it is clear that the average person is exposed to thousands of marketing messages a day. At some point, saturation hits, and we naturally become obtuse to brand and direct response messaging. This is where a talented creative team, superb client service, a true alignment of needs & wants and strong focus on measurable ROI come into play. While the space is more crowded than ever, there is a huge opportunity for the true strategic creative companies to become industry leaders in mobile marketing.
Is your business adopting a mobile strategy? What challenges are you facing? Share your thoughts in the comments section or contact us directly if you need help with generating mobile leads.