As Smartphone Ownership Crosses 50% And Mobile Ad Spending Jumps 80% Keep 3 Key Measures In Mind

A new report by eMarketer estimates that U.S. Mobile-ad spending is projected to grow 80% this year, to $2.61 billion. What is driving this growth? The Pew Internet Project just released a report saying smartphone ownership has just crossed the 50% threshold to 53% of U.S. mobile consumers. And people are using those data plans. From 2010 to 2011 U.S. Smartphone data usage was up 89%.

As smartphone ownership increases more and more people are using their phones for search, web browsing and use of applications – that is where mobile marketing comes in. According to the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), Mobile Marketing is a set of practices that enables organizations to communicate and engage with their audience in an interactive and relevant manner through any mobile device or network. The MMA says mobile now includes advertising and media, direct response, promotions, relationship management, CRM, customer services, loyalty and social marketing. It can also engage to start relationships, acquire, generate activity, stimulate social interaction with organizations and community members, [and] be present at time of consumers expressed need.

The old way of thinking about mobile media is mobile advertising where you bring old school Internet banners and TV ads to the tiny screens of mobile devices. The new way takes full advantage of the new technology capabilities of mobile. It makes marketing on a mobile device interactive. With this definition in mind some of the measures of effectiveness of the Internet are very applicable to mobile media. I believe that ease of use, perceived usefulness and speed of interactivity are all important factors in measuring the efficacy and effectiveness of mobile marketing interaction.

1. Ease of Use is an important factor in measuring its effectiveness whether you are making an iPhone app or a text message pizza ordering system. Is the organization and structure of the marketing app logical and easy to follow? Is the app name or text to address easy to remember? Are the terms and conditions of a promotion easy to understand? Is content concise and easy to understand? Is learning to use the system or app easy, clear and understandable?

2. Perceived Usefulness is another important measure in mobile. People will not download an app, pay attention to rich-media ads or watch a video if it is not perceived as useful to them. Is your mobile marketing going to improve their shopping experience (I.E. get coupons, information at the point of purchase)? Will it increase shopping productivity (I.E. book a flight while waiting in line)? Or will it increase shopping effectiveness (I.E. pick out movies before you get to Redbox)? The best mobile marketing are the ones build around a consumer’s needs.

3. Navigability is also an effective measure because of the new uses of mobile. If voting for your favorite American Idol contestant was hard to navigate less people would do it. Is the layout intuitive and is the order of information clear? By now everyone knows they need to develop mobile enabled websites that meet the navigation requirements of the small screen.

Search, display (which includes spending on banner and rich-media ads) and video are expected to grow their share this year at the expense of SMS, MMS and P2P messaging, which are expected to drop according to eMarketer’s estimates. Search is expected to take up 50% of spending next year followed by banners and rich media at 35%. Video and SMS/MMS/P2P finish out ad spending at 8% and 6% respectively. If you are diving deeper into mobile this year or next, keep the three key measures above in mind.