Smartphones have rapidly become one of the most viewed mediums across the world, with consumers now spending 20% of their online media time on this device. Yet despite this increase in consumer use, marketers still only spend 4% of their budget on mobile advertising.
Smartphone shipments have risen from 35 million in 2009 to 315 million in just 4 years and this rapid growth is expected to continue. So why have consumers started to shift their focus to smartphones and why should marketers follow suit?
Consumer use of smartphones is increasing dramatically as they become an extension of the individuals who use them for everyday tasks. Users have developed such a personal attachment to smartphones that a third have described the device as their lifesaver.
Smartphones are handheld computers and consumers have created personal connections with them. A study carried out by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) claims consumers like using smartphones and even compares smartphone addiction to common non-harmful ‘displacement’ behaviours such as doodling or fiddling with objects.
The Benefits to Marketers
There is no downtime anymore – consumers spend spare time on their phone. And that mildly compulsive behaviour is a significant benefit for marketers as it provides a potential avenue to further encourage digital purchasing and consumer brand engagement.
- 75% of the UK population now own a smartphone and, as a result, m-commerce continues to grow with 33% of consumers shopping on smartphones, making it more important than ever before that brands are present on mobile.
- Mobile as an advertising platform is extremely personal and offers brands the opportunity to hold a one-to-one conversation with the consumer. Smartphones as a device are constantly close to the consumer and to-hand, which presents an un-missable chance for marketers to capture their consumers’ attention but also understand them better.
Smartphones are here to stay but consumers have high expectations when it comes to mobile content. It is clear that marketers need to make mobile a key focus of their strategies, while at the same time ensuring they meet consumer expectation to avoid being left behind as mobile continues its rapid growth.