Even the most conservative mobile marketer would be heartened by this report coming out from the Mobile Marketing Association indicating that recent research they backed (conducted by Marketing Evolution) indicates mobile advertising should command as much as seven percent of an firm’s overall advertising budget.
Couldn’t agree more with the MMA: the explosion of mobile device usage, particularly the growth of smartphones, is undeniable. But to the experienced mobile marketer, the next thought after reading thsat headline was probably something like, “From your mouth, MMA, to my CMO’s ear…”
But you know what? Another study, this one from Google (along with Sterling Brands and Ipsos), can give you some of the ammo you’re going to need to convince the CMO you deserve to bump the mobile advertising budget to as high as seven percent (up from the average of one percent cited in the MMA report). The Google study describes the impact of mobile devices on content consumption and how consumers spread their consumption among their ecoystem of devices (smartphone, media tablets, PCs and TVs).
So let’s put these two items: the MMA advocating a “seven percent solution” and the Google/Ipsos study which breaks down the consumers ecosystem of content consumption/information devices. An important finding in the Google-sponsored research is that mobile devices, smartphones in particular, are used for spontaneous queries or content access, and that consumers then move to a tablet or PC for more complex drill downs on a topic or a transaction. For mobile marketers, as awesome a gift as the MMA study would seem – who wouldn’t want a third-party confirmation of the imperative to increase their budgets — it sets up the next challenge: justifying the increase in the mobile advertising budgets. We all know marketing is increasingly having to show direct ROI improvements for their work.
I’ve mentioned in a previous post the notion that mobile marketers can use mobile as a “vehicle of immediacy.” The Google research shows that the smartphone is the “starting point” for activities across the rest of the screens in a consumers ecosystem of devices. In particular, I would point to the survey findings showing two main modes multiscreen usage occurs: sequential and simultaneous. An example of the sequential mode would be a TV ad sparking a consumer to launch a query from their smartphone that might take them to their PC to pursue more complex tasks including making a purchase etc. In the simultaneous mode, the consumer is using one or more devices at the same time for related or unrelated tasks e.g. watching TV while using a tablet or smartphone to do searches based on the programming, or watching the show while using a media tablet to check work e-mail.
If I’m either already involved in a mobile marketing effort, or I’m trying to justify developing one, I now have some nice tidbits: one survey from an industry group making the case for mobile marketing/advertising’s importance in an overall budget, and a second painting a fairly vivid picture of consumers, their device ecosystems and how they switch between those devices based on context (on-the-go, at home) and content consumption or information query they’re engaging in at any point in time.
Yes, there are a universe of other issues involved in going mobile — which platforms to pursue, are all of the products/services we sell applicable to mobile, which payment systems/models to pursue, which partners to work with etc. But taken together, these two surveys certainly provide some important pieces of the foundation for starting or expanding existing investments in a mobile advertising/marketing effort.