Thursday, December 5, 2013

Mobile is no longer an emerging advertising channel. In fact, mobile marketing is one of the fastest growing areas of spending for marketers, according to mobileFUSED. With the rapid adoption of smartphones and mobile media consumption, projects mobile ad spending to increase to $11.8 billion in 2014, a 50% increase over this year. A report from Markets and Markets, a market research company, claims the value of mobile advertising will explode exponentially to nearly $77 billion in five years, with an anticipated Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 38.3%.

Needlesstosay, the market for mobile and cross-channel advertising is doubling year on year because of the increase in smartphone and mobile device use. For anyone unfamiliar with the term, cross-channel or cross-platform advertising is simply the use of multiple ad platforms like internet, mobile, email, social, apps, etc. The increased use of mobile devices and the use of mobile web, are creating new opportunities in the cross-platform and mobile ad market.

When thinking of mobile marketing growth, there are four letters that will be extremely important in the next several years: BRIC. This is referring to the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China...also known as the Big Four. Across these emerging BRIC countries, high mobile penetration is creating opportunities for mobile marketing initiatives. This has made it very popular for businesses across various industries that have a broad reach and can offer location-based promotions. Cross-platform marketing is prising open the world economy for corners of the earth that were simply unable to compete on the global stage, even ten years ago.

Currently, customers in the BRIC countries are targeted through mass marketing campaigns via bulk messages. However, this is expected to change as marketers start utilizing location-based services, which will be driven by the increased penetration of smartphones and an improved mobile infrastructure.

For businesses and marketers alike, ‘cross-platform advertising’ may seem overwhelming, however, the multiscreen, multi-device access to the world and cloud-based data has opened the door for advertisers to target customers on phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers.

Add location-based marketing to the mix, and you have the potential to target the plugged-in, switched-on public. According to Pew Internet research, 91% of American adults have a cell phone, and, for the first time, the majority of Americans - 56% - now own a smartphone. This is where text messaging and voice broadcast campaigns can make a huge impact on consumers as this allows for more personalized offers and better engagement between customers and brands.

With these fast changing times, marketers have an added responsibility to engage consumers via multiple platforms, but at the same time this increases opportunity for business and promotion. One thing the Markets and Markets report warns, however, are the challenges posed by cross-platform and location-based marketing, referring to privacy as one of the ‘major issues’ facing this new combination of technologies. Tracking consumers using GPS places a much greater responsibility on companies to act ethically and with explicit customer consent. SMS marketing and web marketing firms should be alert to the need for opt-in checkboxes and easy opt-out options. For mobile marketers who launch their strategies from a point of mutual trust and clear consent, the future looks bright.