Tag Archives: Mobile Web

It’s A Mobile World

Some new numbers from the eMarketer folks caught my eye this morning. They released their projections for digital ad spending for the next few years and they show that in 2015, mobile ad spending in the US will increase 50.0%, reaching $28.72 billion and accounting for 49.0% of all digital ad spending. By 2019, mobile ad spending will rise to $65.87 billion, or 72.2% of total digital ad spend.  As they put it:

Next year will be the tipping point where mobile ad spending surpasses desktop. And while desktop advertising will remain a significant portion of marketers’ budgets—approximately $25 billion in each year throughout eMarketer’s forecast period—mobile will continue growing in the double digits to gain more and more market share while desktop spending remains flat.

If you’re doing business outside of the US it’s pretty safe to say that mobile has already passed desktop since most populations outside of North America don’t really have desktops/laptops and rely almost solely on their mobile devices for internet connectivity.  Why is any of the above important to you?

If your business model relies on selling audiences of your content and you haven’t optimized every touchpoint for your content, you are going to be missing the boat.  If your mobile experience is inferior or if you’re depending on mobile web as opposed to investing in an app, you probably ought to revisit your thinking.  Now!

Google has recently updated the search algorithm to rank pages by how mobile friendly they appear. If all you’re doing is porting your desktop experience to mobile, you’re not being smart.  In mobile emphasis needs to be on performance and speed.  Get rid of large header images and use minimalistic design with flatter images.  OK, I won’t get too wonky but the point is you need to ask about this stuff if you’re not the technical expert.

When 3/4 of a market sits in one sector, I want to do everything I can to be participating in that segment.  I’m one of a lot of people who have written before about the need for mobile-first thinking.  Have you been paying attention?  What have you done about it?

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A Peek Forward

I’ve written before about how the hardest job in digital media and technology is seeing over the horizon.

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Image via CrunchBase

The folks at comScore try to be helpful in that regard and issue an ongoing study about trends and predictions.  As they put it, they “examine… the latest trends in social media, search, online video, digital advertising, mobile and e-commerce are currently shaping the U.S. digital marketplace and what they mean for the coming year, as comScore helps bring the digital future into focus.”  Exactly.

The latest version of the study – The 2013 U.S. Digital Future In Focus Report – came out last week and there were a few nuggets I thought you might find interesting. You can read the entire deck here.

The first has to do with something that content producers have dealt with for years – the perceived mindset that consumers won’t pay for content:

Digital Content & Subscriptions, a category predominantly composed of digital content downloads such as music, movies, TV shows and e-books, ranked as the top-gaining retail e-commerce product category for 2012, its second consecutive year to claim that distinction. The increasing proliferation of devices like smartphones, tablets and digital music players has accelerated consumer demand for digital content downloads, contributing to the 26-percent gain in the category.

So much for that myth.  As it turns out, people will pay for high-quality content delivered seamlessly to all devices.  The next tidbit is related to, or perhaps even drives, the previous finding:

Smartphones continued to drive the mobile landscape in 2012, finally reaching 50-percent market penetration in 2012. Smartphone media usage is dominated by apps, which account for 4 out of every 5 minutes spent on smartphones with mobile web usage accounting for the remainder. Despite Facebook’s leadership in the app market, Google apps dominated the rest of the list of top apps visited in the U.S., with Google Maps, Google Play, Google Search, Gmail and YouTube ranking as the most heavily visited apps next to Facebook.

Consumers are using these devices to access content but I think there’s an opening for some smart company.  Notice that 80% of the usage is not on the mobile web.  I’ve yet to run into a great mobile web experience (although there is a lot of B+ stuff) and so developers are having to support the two big platforms, often with very different degrees of success between the two.  It’s interesting to me that the top mobile apps are all, with the exception of Maps, continuations of a desktop experience.  Instragram (not a top app) is about the only exception to that.

Finally, just as the web became a valuable extension of media’s primary channels, so too mobile is becoming that for the web:

The average Top 25 digital media property extended its reach via mobile channels by 29 percent. Even those with a relatively modest incremental reach in the teens are recognizing that mobile channels represent more than a mere rounding error. The future revenue streams of these media companies depend on effectively delivering content and commerce to their consumers through these channels, and demonstrating why they are an important part of the marketing mix. Failure to meet consumer expectations and aggressively prove the value of these additional channels in 2013 could spell a very rocky economic transition by the time 2014 comes around.

There’s your peek over the horizon.  Now, what are we going to do with it?

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Working Backwards To The Web

When I work with clients on how they’re going to approach digital, I’ve been telling them something a bit different lately.  While I still believe that a company’s website is the primary point of contact, how that site is designed and built needs to be very different   They -and you- need to be thinking mobile first and working backwards to the web.  Sites that aren’t optimized for smartphones and tablets as a primary access channel are going to be out of date very quickly.  How do I know?  Check this out:

Underscoring the mobile migration story, IDC … issues a report … arguing that the number of people in the U.S. accessing the Internet from PC will decrease in coming years. The 240 million consumers currently using desktop and laptop PCs to go online will shrink to 225 million by 2016, they contend. In 2015, the tipping point will be reached where more people will come to the Internet through a device than through a traditional PC (emphasis added).

Think about how you use media these days.  You’re probably watching TV with a second screen somewhere nearby, and more often these days that means a tablet.  More people are likely to leave home without their wallet or keys than without their phone.  The desktop computer and even the laptop is an afterthought – something with which we do work but don’t necessarily consumer media or interact with brands.

Here’s a nagging thought to keep in mind.  Click through rates on mobile ads are awful – even worse than the pitiful rates we see on banner ads.  If it weren’t for the “fat finger” effect (people hit ads accidentally), I suspect these rates would be even worse.  How are you going to overcome that?  Have you been experimenting with mobile search and learning what makes it different from web SEM?  Maybe now is a good time to do so.  Is your site optimized for mobile access?  Maybe we should chat?

Working backwards to the web isn’t really working backwards.  It’s a forward look into the future.  Thoughts?

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