Mobile: The Next Frontier is Already Here

Mobile adoption rate have been picking up steam lately, both from the consumer perspective as well as the business side. More and more shops accept Apple Pay and/or Google Wallet, customers are more likely to have their smartphone on hand than any other device, and how much time consumers spend staring at their small screen (even while a bigger screen is demanding their attention!) seems to grow by leaps and bounds year over year.

We’re on Smartphones More Than We Watch TV

American audiences are now looking at their smartphones more than they look at TVs. According to insights released by Flurry, a Yahoo! company, mobile is finally pulling ahead of television. Some might say we’re on the tipping point of mobile becoming our first screen, with television becoming the second screen. This means consumers will be more likely to be watching television while tweeting/using social media (which would, in turn, be the primary occupation of their focus) rather than the reverse, which is better known as the second screen.

In fact, all reports indicate that we are all obsessed with our phones — and no one knows that better than advertisers. NPR (via Kleiner Perkins) reports that people glance at their phones between 110 to 150 times per day, and that was over a year ago. That number may very well be higher, as apps have become more and more integral to our lives.

Correspondingly, ad spending on mobile has grown, eating into ad spend on desktop. Marin’s Matt Ackley identifies tablets as a potential arbitrage point in the ad spend game, and his writeup for Marketing Land demonstrates how much mobile means to advertisers and consumers alike.

Device Matters

Platform, however, only tells part of the story. Which device people use to access your store could inform your mobile strategy — or even your email marketing strategy.

Movable Ink reports in its Q3 report that roughly 2/3 of all email opens now occur on tablets or mobile phones, as opposed to desktop machines. Moreover, a staggering 59% of all emails are opened on an iOS device, though Apple’s market share by device is dwarfed by Android’s.

The entire report includes further information about when email is opened by time of day, vertical, and other cross-sections. Regardless, the proliferation of mobile devices for opening email is astonishing, and provides savvy marketers with a unique opportunity. By providing calls to action that appeal not only to the “type” of user associated with a device, but also ones that are friendlier for a mobile interface, an email marketing campaign can gain serious traction. Moreover, timing emails to coincide with natural times of day that users are checking their email (whether on smartphone or desktop) can improve engagement and retention significantly.

You can read a fuller summary of the Movable Ink report here at Search Engine Land.

Stay Relevant, Get Visits

Mobile remains the last great frontier in advertising right now. Recently, xAd (a Yext partner publishers) released a report they commissioned with Nielsen that shows 10% of all mobile ad impressions leads to an in-store visit, and 77% of mobile transactions are completed in-store.

That speaks to the power of local: though consumers are “reverse showrooming” by looking at products online but purchasing in-store, they specifically are buying local to them. The study goes on to show that by tying location data (i.e. how far the ad impression was from the brick-and-mortar location) to the ad improved mobile-to-offline conversion.

For more information, check out Street Fight’s coverage, as well as the report on xAd’s site.

Go to the Horizon

As mobile continues to develop, the horizons are limitless. Without question, the winners in mobile advertising will be those who leverage what is known about smartphone users against humans’ natural desire to stay local. The smart marketer can see and take advantage of this arbitrage opportunity.