It doesn’t feel like that long ago that every marketing and tech blogger was making the claim that mobile was officially going to overtake desktop usage. A few of us laughed at the idea, while others started preparing for the mobile-takeover that was soon to come. Well, as it turns out, the tech bloggers were right: mobile has officially surpassed desktop usage in America.
So, what does this mean for us advertisers? You would assume that marketers would drop everything they’re doing and make sure that all digital channels were optimized for the largest medium in America, right? Well, based on my experience, this is not usually the case. *Gasp*
Trust me, I’m just as shocked as you are. Time and time again, I hear traditional PPC advertisers talk about how mobile is great for showcasing your products and services, but not the best medium for driving conversions and closing deals. Sure, it might have been like that in the past, but more and more studies are showing that not only are smartphones just effective at closing deals as desktop computers, but are on track towards becoming the primary purchasing device.
Basically what I’m saying is, if you want people to purchase your product or service, you can’t pass up mobile as an advertising medium. Here are a few more reasons why:
Mobile Is A Growing Market
According to a study done by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the mobile advertising industry experienced an eye-popping 65% worldwide growth in 2014. It grew from a $19.3 billion industry in 2013 to a $31.9 billion industry in 2014… and it isn’t showing any signs of slowing down!
These numbers should come as no surprise to most of you considering the fact that smartphone users make up approximately 73.4% of all internet users in America (that is roughly 207.2 million people!). And while the number of smartphone and cellphone users continues to increase year over year, we see the number of desktop or laptop users remain the same or even decrease. According to the Pew Research Center, 78% of adults under 30 owned a laptop or desktop computer in 2015, a dramatic decrease from 88% in 2010. In contrast, smartphone ownership has increased with 86% of 18 to 29 year olds owning one in 2015.
You can’t ignore those numbers.
Mobile Can Reach Your Target Customer In The Right Place At The Right Time
Unlike any other advertising platform available, mobile has the unique advantage of reaching their customers in any place at any time. The majority of smartphone users (me included) rarely ever put their phone down. As much as I hate to admit it, I find myself checking my phone for no reason at all every thirty minutes or so. Chances are, this behavior is not unique to just me. Smartphone users almost always have their phone turned on and in their hand. This is an advertisers dream!
This advantage provides advertisers with the opportunity to send location-specific and time-sensitive messages, such as event notifications or sales alerts, with little to no delay. With location-specific messages, you can also reach your target customers at their time of need. For example, let’s say you own a Frozen Yogurt shop in downtown San Diego. Using location-based data from smartphones, you can target people in the near vicinity with mobile ads for your froyo shop. That is pretty powerful if you ask me. Mobile is the only channel that has this “always-on” advantage… don’t let this opportunity slip through your fingers.
Mobile Is Cost-Effective
Mobile has also proven to be the most cost-effective device to advertise on, showing consistently lower CPCs than both Desktop and Tablet. The reason for this is because there is simply less competition on mobile among advertisers, since (like I mentioned before) not as many advertisers leverage the advantages of mobile. This is a huge added benefit to consider; mobile provides you with the opportunity to reach your target consumer at the right place at the right time, at a lower cost than on any other device due to less competition for the ad space.
Also, mobile’s advantage isn’t relegated to only digital channels; it is more cost-effective than traditional advertising channels such as billboards or television as well. If you owned a frozen yogurt shop in downtown San Diego back in the Don Draper days of advertising, you would pay for ad space on a billboard. Luckily, there are less pricey means of reaching your customers these days. Mobile advertising costs a fraction of the cost of billboard, magazine, or television advertising. Not to mention the fact that it is more targeted, meaning you can reach more qualified customers for a lot less money. Seeing dollar signs yet?
Mobile Engages Customers On Every Network
According to a report by Marin Software, mobile saw the highest CTR (click-through-rate) for search, display, and social compared to desktop and tablets in Q4 of 2015. CTR is the most important pre-click metric for advertisers, since it is used to measure both how successful an ad campaign is, as well as how much spend it will accrue. So this statistic is huge! Let’s get a little more granular:
- Search: Smartphones had a 3.72% CTR, tablets had a 2.35%, and desktop had a 2.02% CTR
- Display: Smartphones had a .60% CTR compared to .43% on tablets and .26% on desktop
- Social: Smartphones saw a 1.14% CTR while desktop only saw .73%
Those numbers speak for themselves. If you want people to click-through to your website, you better have a mobile ad strategy in place.
Mobile Ads Drive Conversions
Back to my main point about mobile being considered as merely an “assist-device” between shopping and actual purchase. The same report by Marin proves this statement wrong on so many levels. Check it out:
- Search: Mobile (smartphone) impressions, clicks, spend, and conversions saw the most YoY growth as opposed to desktops or tablets. Desktops and tablets both saw DECREASES in all of these metrics, while smartphone saw anywhere from an 8% to 13% INCREASE
- Display: Smartphones drove the highest share of conversions at 60% compared to desktops and tablets
- Social: Mobile, once again, saw the only increases YoY for impressions, clicks, spend, and conversions. Desktop/tablet saw YoY decreases in every metric
As you can see, not only does mobile drive conversions, but it oftentimes drives more conversions that desktop and tablet.
As you can see, mobile is well on its way to becoming the primary purchase device among consumers, and yet for some reason a lot of digital advertisers fail to fully utilize it. What should this mean for you? Stay ahead of your competition by investing some time into this profitable channel. The odds of mobile advertising are in your favor. Take advantage of it.