The Advertising Shift: Less Traditional, More Mobile


As consumers spend more time with digital media and mobile devices, the world’s leading brands (like P&G) are shifting their advertising budgets from traditional media such as print, to digital and mobile channels to reach consumers where they are: online and on the go.

While companies typically allocate 20-25% of their marketing budgets to digital, P&G, the world’s largest advertiser, is now spending as much as 35% of its U.S. marketing budget on digital media (Wall Street Journal).

Surprised? Consider this stat from eMarketer: consumers will spend more time with digital media per day than TV in the U.S. for the first time this year. The independent market research company estimates the average adult will spend more than five hours per day online—with 45% of this time (2 hours and 21 minutes) on mobile phones and tablets—compared to 4 hours and 31 minutes watching TV.

One company that is successfully monetizing the shift to mobile is Facebook. The social networking giant converted some doubters into believers after announcing in its Q2 2013 financial results that mobile advertising revenue grew from virtually nothing a year ago to 41% of total advertising revenue of $1.6 billion for the quarter.

And there’s more good news for mobile ad businesses (like Boingo Media): eMarketer just revised its latest digital ad spending forecast and projects mobile ad revenues to increase 95% from 2012 to reach $8.51 billion this year.

eMarketer Mobile Ad Spending Forecast

eMarketer Mobile Ad Spend Forecast

Despite these impressive figures, there’s still a huge gap between the time consumers spend with mobile devices and advertising dollars that brands allocate to the channel—this year mobile spending will account for 20.1% of all digital ad spend and 5% of total media budgets.

Fast forward to 2017 and the gap will close as mobile revenues grow to $31.1 billion, accounting for more than half of all digital ad spend and 15.8% of total media according to eMarketer’s estimates. Not too shabby, eh?

Here’s one last bit of data to chew on: just a few years ago in 2011, mobile ad revenue represented less than 5% of digital and just 1% of the media ad spend pie.

All of these digits are making me hungry for mobile. So here’s a question for brands and advertisers. Are you mobile yet? Because your audience sure is!

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