Look around you right now. If you’re in a public place, I bet you’re surrounded by people with their faces glued to cell phone screens. If you’re by yourself, I bet your cell phone is within arm’s reach. We’re attached to our tiny, hand-held computers. The marketing world has latched onto these devices, too.
Marketing doesn’t quite resemble what it was a decade ago. In fact, it doesn’t even look like it did a year ago! This world has gone mobile, and it’s changing almost exponentially. It’s time to jump in because this mobile wave is traveling at light speed!
A Quick Overview of Media Marketing
America’s first newspaper published its first advertisement in 1704. This ad form was the norm for over two centuries. From traditional to digital, the invention of the television led to the world’s first commercial in 1941. Here’s where the timeline speeds up. The World Wide Web brought us the first online ad in 1994.
Although the world’s first cell phone was launched in 1983, the mobile web didn’t emerge until the late ‘90s. Today, we have 24/7 portable web connection. This has completely changed the advertising game. Desktop use limited web connection to a few time chunks throughout the day. You couldn’t exactly carry around a ‘90s computer with you at all times, right? Not to mention how slow dial-up was. Now, we have instant access to the internet in any place at any time, and it’s all in the palm of your hand.
Mobile Marketing: Yesterday and Today
In 2000, the emergence of text messaging led to the first mobile ad via SMS. With the release of the iPhone in 2007 and the easy mobile access to the internet, companies began using mobile-friendly websites. The problem? Marketers were still using desktop ads, which didn’t quite fit on cell phone screens. Mobile marketing was still lagging behind.
Nowadays, mobile activity isn’t solely internet browsing. App usage dominates internet browsing, and the majority of time spent using apps comes from social media. In 2014, mobile marketing finally started catching up by creating ads for mobile apps. 2014 was a monumental year because mobile use finally surpassed desktop use. Mobile use has been furthering its lead above desktop use ever since.
How To Get With The (Mobile) Program
- Make your website mobile-friendly.
In recent years, Google changed its algorithm for spotlighting certain websites. Now, searches made on cell phones immediately lead to mobile-friendly websites. This means that if your company has not yet made a mobile version of its website, you’re missing out on today’s most important avenue of marketing and losing 24/7 access to individuals. (Tip: Use the Google Mobile-Friendly Test to make sure your website makes the cut.)
- Play the app.
Your company doesn’t necessarily need its own app. Perhaps a better option would be Google AdMob. Through this service, you can create mobile ads that will show up in third-party apps.
- Don’t stick to search engines.
Remember how app usage dominates internet browsing? A large portion of cell phone users’ time spent on apps comes from social media. Wedge your company into these apps. Create social media pages, and use them as extensions of your website. Be sure not to limit your company to one social media platform. Get on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, the whole works!
- Be relevant.
Cell phones provide information on individual preferences and previous purchases. Companies need to capitalize on this information and cater to these preferences. Make it about the individual, not the herd!
- Get in the moment.
The same data collection technologies that analyze individual preferences can provide information on internet searches. The speed at which relevant advertisements reach the individual is important. Allow your company to make the first impression before other brands.
91% of cell phone users search the internet for information related to their current task. Do they look up the information before? Sometimes, but the vast majority of users conduct their searches in the moment. This is why the speed at which a company gets relevant information to an individual is important.
Now, you might be skeptical. Do these advertisements really make a difference in the moment? Aren’t people looking for a specific brand already? Actually, one in 10 cell phone users change their minds and choose a different product when the right advertisement pops up at the right time.
- Be in the right place at the right time.
Cell phones provide location data. Why not make the most of this information? Set up ad appearance for users within a short radius of your business, and make the most of location-based marketing.
- Fill the gap.
In 2015, mobile ad spending was at $28.7B, accounting for 49% of digital ad spending. Today, mobile ad spending has risen to account for 72.2% of digital ad spending. However, there is still a gap between mobile ad spending and time spent in mobile media consumption. Make your company fill the gap because mobile marketing matters!
The Future of Mobile Marketing
With the growth of new mobile technology will come more information than ever! Think about wearable technology like Apple watches and the upcoming smart contact lenses. Make the most of this mountain of information, and make ads even more individual-centric.
We talked before about how much mobile marketing has lagged behind with each mobile technological advancement. Stay up to date on new technology. Each time there’s a change, be one of the first companies to adapt.
The Final Point
Today, mobile marketing is so prevalent that cell phone users see hundreds to thousands of ads a day! Do you want your ads to be noticed amidst all the jumble? Get creative and stand out. Trek new territory. Don’t be afraid to step out of the current mobile marketing box. Maybe your company could spur the next step forward.