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Mobile advertising?s potential grows with increased usage of smartphones

In November 35 percent of smartphone users used their device to access the mobile Internet, proving once again that marketers should advertise on the mobile Web.

A whopping 61.5 million consumers in the United States owned a smartphone in November, illustrating the reach that marketers can achieve with a targeted mobile advertising campaign.

?Mobile scales,? said Anne Frisbie, head of North America at InMobi, San Mateo, CA. ?Reach and impactful creative now exist in combination. 

?Consumers want the basics of advertising to learn something new and save money above many of the benefits we often discuss in the industry today,? she said. ?Focus on these core elements of mobile advertising in combination with the right calls-to-action.

"Mobile-optimize and measure your storefront and you will reap huge benefits for the brand.?

ComScore findings
Approximately 234 million Americans ages 13 and older used mobile devices in November. Samsung was ranked the No. 1 manufacturer, LG came in second, followed by Motorola in third, according to comScore.

Research In Motion led the smartphone operating systems with 33.5 percent market share. Google Android captured the No. 2 ranking and Apple came in third.

What is probably most interesting to marketers is that mobile content usage continues to be on the rise, indicating opportunities to reach various demographics on mobile.

Mobile Web browsers were used by 35.3 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers in November, beating out downloaded applications, which saw 33.4 percent of the subscriber market.

Mobile access of social networking sites increased slightly in November.

Mobile gaming engaged 22.6 percent of the mobile audience and listening to music took in 15 percent market share. 

Implications for mobile advertising
The comScore numbers show that although there is fragmentation in the market, there is a real opportunity in terms of reaching consumers on their mobile devices.

Text messaging is obviously at the top of the list when it comes to reach but the creative possibilities are rather limiting with SMS by itself.

With mobile advertising, such as display and search engine marketing, real creative opportunities arise.

?The main opportunity of mobile advertising is simply to embrace what works in mobile today,? Ms. Frisbie said. ?The creative options on mobile need to be exploited with a range of ways to covert direct to sale or to a permission marketing relationship with consumers who then convert when they need to or a promotion compels them to do so.?

The potential from mobile search has not yet been realized, with the majority of companies dipping their toes into the display world in 2010.

In 2010, most consumers were able to leverage mobile search to find a product or locate a store nearby. 

?In 2011, we expect consumers will use mobile search to support more advanced retail scenarios such as compare prices, find special offers and discounts, and even the best local price,? said Dennis Glavin, manager of the North American mobile search advertising business for Microsoft, Redmond, WA.

?Mobile search advertising will make it possible for advertisers to translate consumer searches into immediate action,? he said. ?By leveraging mobile offers and loyalty programs, advertisers will be driving measurable foot traffic to retailers.?

Final take
Here are some examples of the power of mobile advertising. These are some sample AdMob-developed mobile ads.