Mobile Advertising: Why 2017 is Not the Year of Mobile

Since the early 2000s, marketing leaders have claimed each ­year to be the “year of mobile.” If you are excited for 2017 to be the year of mobile, though, prepare to be disappointed. According to a 2017 comScore report, 71% of all time spent online in the U.S. is spent on mobile devices. That stat doesn’t show 2017 as being the year of mobile; rather, it shows that mobile is the primary device for reaching potential customers with digital advertising. If there ever was a “year of mobile,” you already missed it, and it’s time to incorporate mobile advertising into your digital marketing strategy to boost revenue and your bottom line.

Mobile Is More than Just a 12-Month Project

The whole idea of the year of {anything} assumes that in 12 months, something else will be more important. I promise you, mobile will still be important 12 months from now. Perhaps even more important. With internet users spending the majority of their digital time on mobile devices, it is crucial for your brand to have a presence in this space. If your site isn’t designed with mobile in mind, it could take weeks, or even months, to redesign the website to make it easy to use on a smartphone. Only then can you begin shifting your dollars over to mobile advertising—and then you have a whole host of other questions to answer:

  • How much should you spend?
  • Which landing pages perform best on mobile?
  • Are there more changes you can make to your site to improve conversion rates and help improve your bottom line?

These types of questions should be part of an ongoing optimization plan to improve performance. Sure, you could get a lot of improvements by focusing on mobile over the next 12 months, but you’ll see better results, and happier customers, if you decide to add mobile advertising as a focal point for well beyond the next year. Getting started now and answering these questions upfront is key to staying relevant and successful in mobile for the foreseeable future, not just for 2017.

The Fact is, Mobile is Impacting Your Top-Line Growth

If you haven’t already invested in a mobile marketing strategy, the negative impact is likely evident in your financial statements. The comScore chart below shows that 20% of digital spending happens on mobile devices. Regardless of the business you’re in, can you afford to miss out on 20% of the available revenue? I’m guessing the answer is “no.”

The chart also shows that users spend more than twice as much time on a mobile device as they do on a desktop. If your competitors are already focusing their advertising strategy on mobile, you are losing potential customers. If your competitors aren’t focusing on mobile, you should capitalize on this missed opportunity.

The Mobile Advertising Focus Should Be On Reaching Users Across Multiple Devices

Cross-device marketing is essential to the success of any marketing campaign, as nearly 70% of users in the U.S. use a multi-platform approach to browse the internet. (comScore) Accordingly, if you are reaching the same users across multiple devices you will truly be meeting them where they’re at.

80% of digital spend is still happening on computers, so you absolutely should continue to focus on that device. However, with 69% of time being spent on mobile devices, you are losing valuable impressions if mobile advertising is not included in your strategy.

Putting It All Together

Mobile marketing isn’t going away anytime soon, if ever. The “year of mobile” isn’t happening this year, next year, or the year after that. If you truly want to grow your business, and capitalize on your full revenue potential, you must incorporate mobile advertising into your long-term digital marketing strategy. The most impactful way to succeed with mobile marketing is to develop a cross-device strategy, send traffic to a mobile-friendly website, and continually optimize all elements of your campaign to improve performance. Mobile shouldn’t be your only focus, and this year might not be the “year of mobile,” but ignoring mobile completely could lead your company to the “year of bankruptcy” sooner rather than later.

 

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Did you like this post? Let us know why (or why not) in the comments. In the meantime, check out our blog What is Advanced Geo-Fencing Display and Why Should You Use It? to learn why advanced geo-fencing is not the same as geo-targeting and how you can use it in your mobile advertising.

About Sam Russell

Sam Russell is a Paid Search Strategist for Fathom’s Education team. He has over 6 years of experience in digital and traditional marketing, and is passionate about helping clients efficiently meet their goals. Outside of the office, Sam enjoys watching movies, hiking, and spending time with his wife and son.

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