The rise of mobile marketing

Last updated: 20 March 2014

There are over 5 billion mobile users worldwide, which means that over half of the world’s population has a mobile device in their pockets. While there are one billion PCs in the world, there are 3 times as many mobile handsets,  so the third screen is already the first.

Mobile is the most engaging medium ever, simply because it´s personal, interactive, always on, and accessible anytime, anywhere. No wonder response rates are twice as high as email click-through rates! (SMS up to 10%, email from 3% to 5%, direct mail less than 0.1%)

A raft of other statistics also proves that consumers are ready to embrace it:

  • 62% of Americans said they wouldn’t mind receiving relevant mobile ads (Mobile Advertising Bureau, 2009)
  • 70% of Britons are open to mobile ads (HipCricket MMA, 2009)
  • 78% have reduced spending due to economic conditions, and become open to opt-in alerts from their favorite brands (ComScore 2010)

Historically, each new medium inherits the capabilities of previous media (convergence), adding some value on top… and with the mobile it´s no different. The capacity for increased dialogue with customers opens up an opportunity for CRM services. Got it? Mobile is unique because it’s personal, but has a huge reach.

And for marketers, it´s more than a simple advertising channel: it can be a platform for building stronger relationships with consumers. Operators and brands can make best use of the long-tail theory by getting to know their customers better and offering targeted services or discounts. Telcos are already deploying these services. For example:

  • Turkcell: ran 650 campaigns in 2008
  • Vodafone: generating revenue in 20 countries
  • Claro Brazil: ran 60 campaigns in 2008

This has meant overall spend on mobile marketing has increased, and as a result, brands want in on the action too:

  • 50%+ of brands are shifting money from underperforming channels to mobile (Millenial Media, November 2009 )
  • 72% of agencies and 48% of brands developed mobile campaigns in 2009
  • Amongst non-mobile marketers, 60% planned to employ mobile advertising in 2010
The message from this for marketers is clear: the world is going mobile!
What do you think?