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A Promising Future For Mobile Phone Advertising And Marketing

2012 is increasingly looking promising as the year for mobile phone advertising and marketing. Despite similar predictions having been made in previous years, 2012 has all the hallmarks of being a very robust year for mobile advertising and marketing.

For several years now the marketing pundits were saying that mobile marketing is the next big thing online for it to never happen. 2012 however is looking like the year when Mobile Phone Advertising & Marketing takes a big leap forward.According to a recent report by Marin Software, a US based search-management software company, mobile devices are expected to account for 25% of Google’s paid search ad clicks by the end of 2012 , up from just 5% at the beginning of 2011.

That’s a very big increase, which explains why Google is focusing on its mobile platform ahead of every thing else that it is currently doing. Google clearly sees mobile advertising as its main cash generate for the next decade and beyond.

Here’s a rather interesting article I came across on Forbes.com about mobile phone advertising and marketing and Marin’s report on mobile user behaviour to mobile adverts.

It seems that mobile ads are getting much higher click-through rates than tablets or desktop computers, which is a little surprising since many commentators of mobile expressed the general concern that mobile users aren’t likely to want mobile advertising plastered all over their tiny mobile screens.

Promising Future For Mobile Phone Advertising And Marketing?

Marin says people actually click on search ads on their smartphones and tablets far more than they do on their desktop or laptop computers. That finding comes as something of a surprise, since mobile ad revenue growth has still trailed the growth in use of mobile devices.

But Marin’s data, taken from 1,500 advertisers who spend $3.5 billion annually using Marin’s software, shows that click-through rates on search ads are 31% on tablets and 72% higher on smartphones. Matt Lawson, Marin’s vice president of marketing, says that may be at least partly because mobile screens usually can show only one of two ads, so people’s attention isn’t nearly as divided among commercial messages as on computers.

There is a less attractive possibility for advertisers: The ads are such a large part of the screen that people are clicking on them by accident, though presumably people would learn fairly quickly how to avoid that.

What’s more, conversion rates–the percentage of people who take a desired action such as a buying a product or installing an app–are lower than on computers. In the case of smartphones, in fact, conversions are well under half those on computers or tablets. That could be because people are often searching in the very store where they then buy the product, but retailers usually can’t connect those actions. Original article

The low conversion rates reported by Marin however, in my opinion, comes down to two main factors, neither of which has any relevance to actual low rates of conversion of mobile users, per se.

One big challenge in accurately measuring mobile conversions is the current disjunct that exists in getting a mobile user to take a desired action on a traditional website that’s not designed for mobile browsing i.e. it is mobile unfriendly –  text is too small and a lot of functionality may be lost such that a mobile browser would find it difficult to successfully navigate the site. In other words, the problem currently is that a mobile user is not getting a mobile experience and for that reason conversion rates are highly likely to be low.

Several research studies have demonstrated very high bounce rates of mobile traffic because a mobile user’s experience on a classic website is just too frustrating, causing mobile traffic to leave for another site. Currently it’s estimated that only 1- 2% of all websites on the internet have a mobile friendly version of their site.

Contrast those results with a Dudemobile study in 2011, which revealed very high ROI when a mobile visitor lands on a mobile friendly site, measured by the number of people that clicked on the “touch to call” or the “location map” buttons.

The second challenge and reason for the low conversion rates reported in the Marin study is to do with tracking. Currently, it’s difficult to track whether a mobile user has taken a desired action because at present mobile users are in the main not making online purchases with their phone, although that too is changing.

A lot of mobile users are using their phone to find goods and services locally for example and then making an offline purchase, which is not trackable. To properly track mobile ROI, businesses need a mobile phone website with analytics to track such things as the number of times the “touch to call” is pressed, which comes as standard, along with other conversion getting features, in mobile phone website designs created by Local Viral Buzz.

Mobile phone advertising and marketing has a very promising future for the simple reason that it is the most effective medium on which to reach people. Everyone will eventually have a smartphone and consumer behaviour has already shown that people are addicted to their mobile devices, rarely leaving home without it. Mobile devices and smartphone in particular is fast becoming one of the most personal and addictive pieces of accessory, that many will find they simply cannot live without.

From a business perspective, ROI on mobile phone advertising and marketing will far exceed desktop, if only for the simple reason that their customers will always have a mobile phone on them and are therefore reachable any time of the day.

However, there is another very compelling reason to advocate mobile phone advertising and marketing and that is, as was reported in the Marin report, that there is far less distraction on a mobile phone screen compared to a desktop. It is therefore much easier to get a person to take your desired call to action, whether it is to call you or to make a purchase because you are giving a person far further choices and the choices that you do leave a simple to follow and intuitive.

If you are a local business that requires help with setting up a successful mobile advertising and marketing campaign and want to get a good return on a mobile marketing campaign, call us today and speak with one of our mobile marketing analysts as we’d be happy to help.

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