Toward the end of last year, we had a lot of discussions in the halls of Vitrue about what trends and topics would be making major waves in 2012. At the very top of our list was mobile. Mobile’s adoption rate was impossible to ignore or diminish. With 40% of Facebook users engaging that platform via mobile devices, it was clear to us that marketers who weren’t taking mobile into account, who weren’t generating content for mobile, or whose content didn’t look and work great on mobile devices were in a bad spot.
And while we addressed this in our own Social Relationship Marketing platform via mobile optimization for brands’ Facebook tabs, that doesn’t mean many marketers aren’t still sitting out the mobile revolution. So it’s worth taking a look at the speed and degree to which fans and followers are moving off desktops and laptops, and onto those things that seem to be in their hands 24/7, wherever they may be.
First of all, mobiles are moving from being a luxury item to being an “essential.” Nielsen research shows that, especially on the younger end, consumers will choose a smartphone even if they’re making less than $15k a year. That’s just a few thousand dollars over the official poverty level for single people! That tells you the degree to which people 18-34 want one, and how much they love them. Older demos are more prone to make sure they can afford it, but it’s one of the first purchases they make as incomes rise. In other words, we wouldn’t suggest waiting for the public to suddenly sour on smartphones.
Are marketers keeping up with this consumer passion? Well…no. eMarketer says $2.6 billion will be spent on mobile ads in the US alone this year, and the IAB says 72% of top brands will increase their mobile spend in the next 2 years. Swell. But research from app analytics firm Flurry says although people spend 23% of their time on mobiles, mobile gets a whopping 1% of an ad budget spend. Count it…1. And while print now accounts for just 6% of people’s leisure time, it still gets 29% of an ad spend.
As you can see, there’s a serious disconnect between how consumers behave and how brands are marketing to them. Verdict: mobile has exploded so fast, it’s left many marketers and their old-guard agencies in the dust. The dust is not where you want to be as users continue to exponentially embrace apps and conduct an increasing level of their social activity on mobile.