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Mobile?s share of digital advertising to quadruple over next four years: Borrell exec

NEW YORK ? While today mobile represents 15 percent of online advertising, by 2015 it will represent 64 percent of all digital ads, according to an executive at Borrell Associates Inc.?s Local Online Advertising Conference.

As mobile as a whole grows, local advertisers will drive much of that growth. Borrell projects that local mobile advertising will grow on a ?wild trajectory,? from $500 million last year to $1.2 billion this year, $3.3 billion in 2012 and $6.6 billion in 2013.

?Today 15 percent of all of the online ads are generated for mobile devices, but by 2015 mobile will be 64 percent of all digital advertising,? said Kip Cassino, executive vice president at Borrell Associates, New York. ?By then the devices will have changed?because of the iPod, iPhone and iPad, Apple is now the No. 1 computer manufacturer in the world.

?In the future, the purchase of laptops and tablet computers as well as smartphones will increase significantly,? he said. ?The purchase of mobile devices will all but have replaced the desktop devices we currently look to.?

A Borrell survey found that 44 percent of local businesses plan to try mobile local advertising this year.

The MMA is bullish on mobile-local
The Mobile Marketing Association?s presentation underscored the value of a mobile local future.

As Mary Meeker said, mobile is moving faster than any medium ever before. Brands, retailers and publishers must keep up with consumer adoption and consumption trends.

Modus Associates projected that by 2013, there will be 1.5 billion computers connected to the Internet and 5.5 billion mobile phones worldwide, including 1.8 billion smartphones.

?Mobile?s time is now?mobile is on everyone?s lips,? said Greg Stuart, global CEO of the Mobile Marketing Association, New York. ?Mobile is the missing piece to pull local advertising together.

?In fact, calling this the Local Online Advertising Conference seems antiquated to me at this point?local digital advertising seems more appropriate,? he said. ?Mobile?s unique selling proposition is the fact that it is personal, pervasive and leverages proximity.?

At a recent conference that Mr. Stuart attended, Wendy Clark, senior vice president of integrated marketing at Coca-Cola, said ?If you?re plans don?t include mobile, then your plans are not finished.?

?Marketers don?t get behind media channels?they are agnostic when it comes to media channels, so that is a pretty powerful statement,? Mr. Stuart said.

A survey by the MMA and ANA from Oct. 2010 found that 75 percent of marketers said they will spend more on mobile in 2011 than they did in 2010.

Industry analyst and consultant Chetan Sharma issued a report that said mobile wins on reach, targeting, engagement, virality and transaction.

?Clearly, mobile is a better mousetrap,? Mr. Stuart said. He offered five bullet-points of advice for attendees:

1. You have to be in it to win it: Nearly 80 percent of businesses do not have a mobile presence, and they are missing opportunities.

2. Assume responsibility for making mobile work harder and focus on improving ad performance: Will agencies, marketers or publishers lead the way?

3. There are big opportunities out there: Mobile is unique?capitalize on it.

4. It?s not your daddy?s digital medium?know your audience and optimize for various devices and platforms.

5. Mobile is a new paradigm ? scale is everything: The old world was based on distribution, but the new world is based on scale.

Mr. Stuart reasoned that if local advertising is nearly 50 percent of the overall media business, then local should be a $25 billion industry.

However, his research has suggested that U.S. national digital spend would be at $40 to $50 billion if there was rational decision-making based on consumer adoption.

Therefore, local digital should be a $50 billion sector, per Mr. Stuart.

?Mobile is the missing link for marketers,? Mr. Stuart said. ?Everything can be tracked through mobile devices.

?Mobile analytics provide powerful tools to help marketers fine-tune their messaging,? he said. ?Local media has worked based on distribution, not on value.

?Mobile provides the value of proximity?knowing where consumers are and what they are engaged in offers a huge number of opportunities to marketers.?

Final Take
Rick Blair, CEO of Clarity Digital Group's