Trends in Mobile Marketing

By: Maheshwari Zala

Do you know that 2015 looks to be the turning point in mobile marketing? Mobile marketing campaigns will account for almost 50% of digital marketing dollars by the end of 2015. One commonly cited forecast suggests that mobile gadgets could be the focus of 72% of all digital ad spending by 2019. eMarketer projects 50% growth this year, which will bring mobile ad spending to almost $29 billion. Everyone is becoming mobile dominant for a very profound reason: most consumers now spend more time peering at mobile screens than ones on their desktops. It makes the marketing campaigns on smartphones simpler and easier.

Three trends in mobile marketing are:

1.      Mobile ads are driving in-store and online sales

Marketers working with San Francisco-based audience intelligence firm Ninth Decimal recorded an 80% increase in store visits on the first day of many mobile campaigns. Its clients include American Express, Comcast, Kraft, Microsoft, Starbucks, Target and Toyota. Mobile impressions to offline sales gave higher returns for marketers from fewer mobile eyeballs, which was unexpected by marketers. It was a myth that consumers would not make purchases on mobile phones or tablets. Criteo, a software company that specializes in “performance advertising” across mobile devices and desktop browsers, is seeing a spike in transactions on smartphones, as screens get bigger. Mollie Spilman, Criteo’s chief revenue officer said that, “the next six months, their clients will see a much larger number of ecommerce sales coming from phones”. However, it is a myth that consumer’s purchase only low ticket items through their phones.

  1. Need to be found in application

Generally people use their mobile devices to check email, grab their digital wallet, search for a local business, or consult a mobile app for information. Google calls these “micro-moments”. Here marketers will have a very small opportunity to pull up their advertisements. Marketer needs focus wherever there is consumer traffic. Just being present in a browser will not work out; they need to be found in applications, too, as attention spans are shorter.

  1. Ad-blocking in mobile world

Adobe and PageFair have published a 2015 ad-blocking report and the results will make marketers re-think where the industry is going and its effect on mobile marketing. In the report they drill into geographic detail, providing per-country and per-state information on ad block usage rates, as well as monthly active user counts. It shows that ad blocking has continued its fast growth not only on desktop computers, it also it has leaped onto mobile in Asia; ad blocking has also recently launched on iOS on September 8, 2015. Ad blocking is estimated to cost publishers nearly $22 billion during 2015. Moreover, there are now 198 million active ad-block users around the world. Ad blocking grew by 41% globally in the last 12 months and US ad blocking grew by 48% to reach 45 million active users in the 12 months up to June 2015.

Ad Blocking Penetration Rates

Monthly Active Ad Blocking Users

Ad blocking is an issue marketers are worried about. Mobile ad-blocking may seem like a dire warning, but it could actually prove to be more of a hint for what brands and agencies need to be looking at now to prepare for tomorrow. Despite the fact that consumers always want to go ad free, do you think they will do so by paying out of their own pockets?


  • Clancy, Heather. “3 Reasons This Is a Breakthrough Year for Mobile Marketing.” Fortune 3 Reasons This Is a Breakthrough Year for Mobile Marketing Comments. GreenTechLady, 27 July 2015. Web. 1 Nov. 2015.
  • Williams, Ben. “Adblock Plus and (a Little) More.” First Official Ad Blocker for IOS Launches Today; Ditto for Android. 9 Aug. 2015. Web. 1 Nov. 2015.
  • Hargrave, Sean. “Do Huge Ad-Blocking Numbers Matter In A Mobile World?” 11 Aug. 2015. Web. 1 Nov. 2015.
  • “The 2015 Ad Blocking Report.” Inside PageFair. PageFairTeam, 10 Aug. 2015. Web. 1 Nov. 2015.

7 thoughts on “Trends in Mobile Marketing

  1. Adam Chadbourne November 28, 2015 / 10:29 pm

    The rise of ads on mobile devices has been noticeable. I personally have been using my phone or tablet more often over the past few years to get my information than from a laptop or desktop, and with these new platforms I have been seeing more ads arising. Many mobile sites now have their ads that are integrated into the site and they appear to use the cookies in your browser to determine what to advertise to you. Also, it seems as if any app now has an ad; either as a banner on the bottom or as a popup that appears as soon as you open the app. Then half the time you try to exit out of the ad, it instead brings you to the site it is advertising instead. It seems that paying for the ad-free versions of apps is the only way to get completely away from ads, but many consumers seem to be upset about this concept. Paying to get away from ads seems to be like paying off a bully in my opinion. The advertisers feel that they are helping people, where many people seem to only feel annoyance or bothered towards ads.


  2. Matthew E. Dulac December 2, 2015 / 8:28 pm

    Over the past year, I have also noticed a significant increase in the amount of advertisements on my mobile device. They have been noticeable and in my opinion, annoying as well. Many sites, such as Spotify and Pandora, offer premium accounts where you won’t have to pay to listen or view the advertisements but these prices have also gone up every fiscal year. This brings up the point of whether the $10-$12 per month is really worth it and in my opinion, it is not. In this way, I feel very similar to Adam and I think that this sort of marketing is moving in the wrong direction as companies are trying to gain revenues in a way that I do not feel to be appropriate.


  3. James Wegman December 4, 2015 / 2:17 am

    I have noticed that ads seem to be getting smarter. Relevant ads pop up on your browsing when you are trying to surf the web. It’s as if they know all of your website information and preferences to give you sponsored content in offers that are relevant to you. Even with the ad blockers they still find a way to get to you. There is an increase in them, and you can’t really stop them anymore. Ad blockers do hurt marketers and advertisers chances of making a profit. However, they will find a way to survive?


  4. Kedar Gandbhir December 5, 2015 / 3:44 pm

    Mobile ads have consumed my phone as of lately. Usually they come with a option to skip after 5 second or a similar exit out option. I have also noticed ads are becoming more and more relevant to things I am interested in. If I look something up on my phone a similar ad will appear on my computer hours later. An ad free service comes with a price that most aren’t willing to pay.


  5. Michelle McNall December 6, 2015 / 5:59 am

    I agree. I find mobile ads to be really annoying and I have seen the number of such ads rise in recent months. It’s hard to do any web-browsing without being hounded with ads and this is now the case for web-surfing on smart phones. I understand that marketers are trying to find any way they possibly can to reach consumers but they have to understand that the constant hounding is only going to hurt their cause in the long run. Especially if ad blockers do become a necessity for some people, there will be no reason for marketers to use mobile ads as a means of marketing as now, those who have ad blockers enabled, would not be exposed to the ads thus reducing the effectiveness of the strategy. Good job, MJ!


  6. Tyler Berube December 9, 2015 / 6:54 pm

    I found your article very interesting and relevant to the current “mobile addiction” our society is facing. With the increase in mobile ads, also comes the want for more ad protection, but I somehow fear that companies will be developing way around this. I think immediately to the YouTube ads, which only allow you to skip after 5 seconds. I’m also curious about the future of this form of marketing, in comparison to the old-fashioned paper, tv, or normal computer ads. Should companies phase out the other forms of advertising?


  7. Andie-Jane Phinney April 22, 2016 / 7:55 pm

    This was a very interesting read, and very relevant because of the popular mobile marketing.The three trends listed such as Mobile ads are driving in-store and online sales, Need to be found in application, and Ad-blocking in mobile world were interesting reads as well. Things that we do not take into much consideration, and things that do appear many times especially in the “mobile world.” I can say, I find ads extremely annoying on mobile devices, as I never click on them so they just become an annoyance and not something I take into consideration to be serious. I know from a marketing perspective of the company, mobile marketing can be very beneficial, but I know on my end it is rather annoying. The graphs posted about the ad blockers was very cool, as something I believe should happen, but won’t be helpful for marketers. Will these marketers find a way to continue to market through mobile, or will the ad blockers continue to block them out.


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