Mobile ad spending is rising fast. Industry experts project the amount spent on mobile advertising in the US will total around $10 billion in 2014, roughly half the amount spent on desktop ads. By 2016, mobile ad spending will top $28 billion according to eMarketer, and spending on the big and small screens will be nearly equal.
The driver behind mobile ad spending growth is a rapidly expanding population of consumers glued to smartphones and tablets. In fact, 79% of the US population will have a mobile phone in 2014; 65% will be a smartphone. The daily time spent by US adults with mobile devices has exceeded time spent with PCs for the first time in 2013. The difference was only 2 minutes, but the momentum is all with mobile. Growth rates for time spent with PCs have plateaued and begun to decline, while mobile shows signs of continuing acceleration.
While top mobile usage categories continues to be doing emails, playing games, checking the weather, and social networking, local searches via mobile devices has continued to see double digit increases according to comScore MobiLens data. This is drawing marketer attention to those smaller screens. In turn, marketers are realigning budgets to ensure ads appear wherever their audiences’ eyes are focused.
Nearly a third of US digital dollars (31%) will be allocated to mobile in 2014, and in 2015 eMarketer estimates mobile will account for roughly 40% of digital ad dollars.
So is this translating to local businesses?
Reviewing recent data from our small business surveys shows this is a top growth area. In fact, this was one of the areas SMBs stated they need the most help with over the next 12 months. Roughly a quarter of SMBs surveyed indicated they plan to increase their mobile advertising budgets by ~15% over the next 12 months. This bodes well for local marketing service providers.
What are you doing to capitalize on these trends?