Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on August 30th, 2010

The Power of the Mobile Web

Don’t look now, but that cell phone in your hand, pocket, or purse is growing more powerful by the minute – and I’m not talking about the mounting bill. Mobile internet access has grown extremely prominent over the last year, with 40% of adults accessing the Web, email or instant messaging on their mobile phones. This increase, according to the new PEW Internet Research Study: Mobile Access 2010, is up from 32% of Americans who did so as of April 2009. Mobile access to the Web on our smart phones and laptops is becoming habitual, just like the internet and social media did in the last decade. In fact, the incredible ease at which we can get online is quite scary to think about when you look at how fast the internet has grown up. Before you know it, we won’t have computers or cell phones, but a personal robot named “Googlebot” who follows us around with the entire knowledge (as we know it) of the universe at its beck-and-call. (I may name mine ‘R2’, though) But I digress. My point here is that more adults and teenagers are shifting their internet access behavior to a more mobile approach – any time, any place. If you want to take advantage of this growing trend, it may be time to plug in to the power of the mobile Web. Types of Current Mobile Usage The use of smart phones has increased dramatically over the last year. Here is how American adults are using their smart phones as of 2010: According the PEW study, African-Americans and Latinos continue to be among the most active users of the mobile web, while young adults, ages 18-29, are the most avid users of mobile data applications. Phone owners ages 30-49 are the fastest adopters right now for using mobile devices to access the Web, take pictures, send text messages, record video and play music. No matter your demographic or psychographic segmentation, your target audience is using mobile phones to hit the Web. You may already be talking to them with Search Engine Advertising when they go to Google, but are you talking to them on their mobile phone? The Early Adopters of Mobile Advertising You may have heard the grumblings of iAd’s slower than expected start to their mobile advertising platform. While there were a few kinks to be smoothed out, some of the early adopters have nothing but praise. One of Apple’s first iAd advertisers, Nissan, launched an mobile advertising campaign for its all-electric Leaf model. The campaign lets users shake their iPhone to change the color of the car. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article about iAd, a Nissan spokesperson remarked that its iAd campaign “has driven exceptional results to date.” The company claimed that the rate of users tapping on the mobile advertising banner is five times the click-through-rate of the Nissan Leaf online campaign. While Nissan’s success is but one example, Apple’s iAd mobile advertising service is quickly growing into a giant. Apple said in early June that its iAd commitments from advertisers for the total of 2010 is more than $60 million. Not only is this new business creating new technologies, but new opportunities for companies to get their brand and message on the newest, most influential mobile device. What Are You Waiting For? Are you waiting for iAd and other marketing firms to perfect the process? That’s like jumping into the kiddie pool halfway through the birthday party. There may be a few bumps and bruises on the way, but all lucrative ventures must have a trial by fire before everyone comes a’running. 
Overall, mobile advertising is just beginning to pick up speed. Revenue from ads sold for mobile devices in the U.S. alone is expected to increase by 43% to $593 million in 2010, according to research firm eMarketer. Here is a better look into the future: The power of the mobile Web is growing very strong. By 2012, the platform will be generating over $1 billion in revenue. If you want to be running sophisticated campaigns that take generous portions of that revenue pie, start looking into mobile advertising now. Don’t wait until all your competitors are already running mobile advertising campaigns. Beat them to the platform so that you are the first one in your niche to strategically communicate with your target audience when they are most influential – your brand in their hand. Thank You For Reading! No one likes people who don’t share, especially giant flying cats. So if you liked what you read, please share my post with any of our socially-labeled buttons, or we’ll sick Fluffy after you! Please subscribe to our RSS feed as well so you can receive daily fodder from our blog.