Are We Still Underspending in Mobile?
Everyone is looking for a better way to connect with consumers in a world of rapidly multiplying distractions, and you'd expect it would be easy enough given that so many are "always addressable" and available via various devices. Yet mobile marketing remains an underutilized resource and revenue stream for advertisers and marketers, and spending on mobile advertising continues to lag time spent on mobile by consumers.
According to some recent industry statistics, last year, 56 percent of content consumption took place on a mobile device—44 percent of that traffic came from smartphones, while 12 percent came from tablets. Mobile has officially captured a majority of traffic away from desktops. Companies looking to win "the screen wars" must focus more time, attention and dollars on mobile; it is clearly the next big opportunity for reaching consumers where they spend most of their time.
Mobile investment and ad spend are growing fast, but not rapidly enough to keep pace with increasing usage; in fact, mobile represents only about 10 percent of all media ad spending. With so much opportunity, why are brands so hesitant to spend more in mobile?
1. One of the Biggest Obstacles to Mobile Investment is Quantification. While there are tracking mechanisms for modern smartphone browsers and apps, it's difficult to identify a single individual across multiple devices. So while someone might start a shopping experience on mobile and then finish on the desktop, marketers struggle to recognize those different sessions as coming from a single individual and adequately or properly attribute the influence of mobile in that purchase decision. Fragmentation of user behavior across multiple sessions and between apps and the mobile Web thus makes it far more challenging to determine the role mobile might have played in a purchase. Tracking IDs meant to work across devices are still in their infancy and are not always fully validated. Of course, when consumers have to log in to access content, as is the case with Facebook, Google Apps, as well as pay-walled media properties, this is less of an issue. A great deal of effort is going into solving this challenge, but identifying individuals across devices is still a major hurdle the industry must overcome.