Mobile, Research

Mobile 101

A mentor recently recommended to me that I should be paying more attention to mobile and developing some of my own insights, opinions and recommendations regarding its use in advertising and marketing.  I’ve only touched on mobile regarding e-commerce which means that I’ve been hoarding research and articles in order to come to you with a more robust analysis on the subject.  Don’t worry, I won’t get too media nerdy (well, maybe a little), as I hope the information I share with you over the next few weeks will either inspire you to try mobile for your business, recommend mobile for your clients, or just learn about it and start to use it more as a consumer.

So, this week, I’ll share with you some general research that has either come across my desk (or I’ve hunted down) on mobile usage, dollars spent, and interesting trends.  Then, next week I’ll talk about more specific research and how it relates the travel and automobile industries, as well as current and future apps you’ll see in your Marketplace.

Framing mobile usage
According to webtrends, only 1 in 4 mobile users have smartphones, but by 2014, there will be more mobile Internet users globally than desktop users.

Google just recently announced that 7% of their revenue come from ads on mobile.  And two-thirds of their mobile search comes from mobile devices running Apple iOS software.2

In my own conversations with Google ad reps, I found that it is necessary to split up paid search campaigns into desktop campaigns and mobile/tablet campaigns.  You can have them start as mirrors of each other, but as the campaign runs, you’ll gain insight by seeing the different results.  And, because not everyone has jumped on the mobile search bandwagon, it’s actually more efficient than a regular Google search campaign.

Searching doesn’t equal spending though, and mobile still has a little way to go before consumers get super-comfortable with buying things on the device.  Emarketer analyzed a report from Scarborough which found that only 7% of smart phone users’ time is spent shopping on the device.  But, at least the ads are still resonating with them.  More than 65% of smart phone users could recall ads they saw while shopping on their mobile device and more than 45% of users recalled while searching or using entertainment or navigation services.3

So if a person is on their mobile device and sees my ad, but then goes to their desktop to buy my product, how can I attribute the ad from the phone when the IP addresses of the phone and desktop are different and therefore it looks like two unique people? My boss and I have been trying to solve this disconnect. While we haven’t had a chance to do this with a client yet, we are settling on the idea of recommending we offer the consumer an incentive to give us their email address so that they only have to go to their desktop and check their email to click on a link to continue their research and make the transaction.

If anyone has done anything with this, I’d love to hear from you!

1webtrends, “Measuring the Success of Your Mobile Strategy,” Oct 2011.
3Emarketer; The 2011 Scarborough Report, Release 1 and Al Fiala with the Orlando Sentinel

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