The most important wedding for digital marketers this year isn’t noble — it’s mobile: the long-anticipated marriage of mobile technologies and social media.
On the one hand, the social-mobile union is a match made in heaven. It will open up a wealth of opportunities for innovative companies to bring a real-time, personalized component to customer interactions (as demonstrated by Visa and Gap).
On the other hand, though, the merger can feel a bit like a shotgun wedding. Changes are happening so quickly it can be difficult to keep up. Many marketers are still trying to get their bearings with social media and mobile individually. Now, we need to start combining the two in meaningful ways.
Love it or hate it, recent data suggest you can’t ignore it — at least not for long. Consider these recent findings from comScore:
- Mobile consumption is rising steadily. As of March 2011, mobile consumption in the US saw double-digit year-over-year growth across all major categories. Not surprisingly, social networking was the category that showed the most growth, increasing 45.7 percent to nearly 64 million users. Use of maps also showed strong growth (43.3 percent), followed by weather (40.2 percent).
Additional data from The State of Mobile Advertising, which comScore presented during a webinar with the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and Where, Inc., indicate that mobile display ad campaigns targeting consumers are also on the rise. Among the highlights:
- The number of advertisers using mobile display ad campaigns has more than doubled in the past two years. In April 2011, 689 advertisers used mobile display advertising campaigns to reach consumers, up a whopping 128 percent from 2009.
- Smartphone users are driving adoption. More than 80 percent of smartphone users accessed their mobile browser or applications during March, while less than 20 percent of feature phone users used their mobile browser and only 16 percent accessed apps. Smartphone users were also far more likely to see mobile display ads (27.5 percent vs. 5 percent) and respond to SMS ads (7.7 percent vs. 3.5 percent).
- Mobile content and publishing make up the bulk (50 percent) of mobile display advertising. Mobile display ads also include consumer discretionary goods (26 percent), information technology (7 percent) and financial services (6 percent).