American Marketer


5 reasons why we have reached the mobile marketing tipping point

December 27, 2011


By Amielle Lake

Tagga was launched just months before the first iPhone hit the market. Over the last four years, we have witnessed the life-transforming impact that mobile devices have in our everyday lives.

Yet, brand budgets for mobile are still surprisingly small.

As we leap into another year, I am optimistic that things are improving for us mobile marketers.

I might even be so cliché as to say that the year of mobile is here or at least near.

While brand adoption may not have been as rapid as the industry might have earlier predicted, warp speed growth is definitely in store.

Here are 5 reasons why we have reached the tipping point.

1. Smartphone adoption in the US has neared almost 50 percent: Smartphone adoption marches on, with 44 percent of mobile phone users owning a smartphone, compared with 18 percent in 2009, according to Nielsen.

2. Adults read more news on their mobile than print: EMarketer released a report that found the average adult consumer spends 65 minutes a day on their mobile device, while they spend only 44 minutes with print media – 26 minutes with newspapers, and 18 minutes with magazines.

3. Global brands issuing request for proposals for Mobile Agency of Record: Perhaps this is a less observed trend, as it certainly is not something that industry analysts follow. However, Tagga has been party to and witnessed several formal RFP calls for Mobile Agencies of Record. If this is not a definitive sign of commitment to mobile by marketers, then I do not know what is.

Smaller brands will follow suit. In fact, Agencies are now clamoring to improve their capability-set to demonstrate a robust mobile foundation – many opening up mobile divisions.

Top brands as of late signing up MAORs (Mobile Agency of Record) include American Cancer Society, Proctor and Gamble, Kraft Foods and a host of others.

4. Global brands are changing their DNA to launch truly integrated campaigns: Tagga had the pleasure of participating and speaking at a conference where the Chief Marketing Officers of Visa, Citigroup North American and Samsung (LATAM) participated.

Each presenter spoke of dissolving their siloed digital and traditional teams in order to combine them into a single group.

Why? To effectively launch truly integrated multi-channel campaigns. These thought-leaders clearly saw mobile and social as mechanisms to add more value to their traditional media initiatives.

By breaking down marketing silos, brands will be able to harness the true power of mobile – engaging with a consumer wherever they are and giving them what they want, whenever they want it.

5. Social media is mobile: With social media and mobile on the scene, marketers often grappled with the notion of how the two mediums play together.

Facebook CEO best settled the debate by pronouncing Facebook as on path to becoming a mobile company.

According to a recent cNET article, Facebook has more than 350 million mobile users – out of 800 million total, and that the proportion will swing to more than 50 percent within the next year. Most of Facebook's users in India, Southeast Asia, and Africa, are via mobile devices.

As the lines between social and mobile become increasingly blurry, marketers will drive towards an approach that integrates technologies that leverage all capabilities of the mobile device, from foursquare to augmented reality.

With the rapid adoption of mobile devices, in particular smartphones, the challenge of the marketer has shifted.

Consumers are channel agnostic, and want to be communicated to in a relevant, transparent and timely manner – whether they are on the go or not, offline or online.

With the convergence of these trends, it is not hard to see why marketers will turn to mobile to drive results.

To quote Frost & Sullivan, is not hard to see why mobile marketing will become “the most important vehicle of all time.”

Amielle Lake is CEO of Tagga Media, Vancouver, Canada