by Vincent Clarke, a marketing analyst with USB Memory Direct
Mobile advertising has also continued to flourish in 2012, surpassing $4 billion in annual spending, according to Mashable here. This is up an astonishing 320 per cent from the $1.25 billion that was spent on mobile advertising in 2011. That’s close to $0.70 spent per existing device!* Given the extent of change felt in 2012 alone, it can be fairly assumed that the exponential growth of mobile device users will only continue to persuade marketers to shift their ad spending to the mobile platform.
As a result, businesses will have to start coming up with new and creative mobile advertising strategies to stay relevant and profitable in the coming years.
The dominant mobile advertising companies (see here) of 2013 will have to be leaner, more targeted, and willing to think critically on how to approach the mobile device real estate hurdle.
With a positive outlook towards the future, here are my key mobile trends for marketers to focus on this year .
The most popular form of mobile advertising in 2013 will undoubtedly be through mobile applications.
With even social media giants like Twitter and Facebook slowly introducing advertising through their mobile apps in 2012, marketers in 2013 will have to calculate where to focus their mobile advertising based primarily on the popularity of apps in within their niche.
Another very popular trend we’ll see in 2013 is the continuation of companies developing their own mobile apps
Before you go hiring an app developer though, remember that this form of marketing must also offer your audience something of real value to them.
Exclusive discounts, store locators, and a simple order processing function are just some of the basic features you could include in a business app.
Mobile search and shopping
2013 will see a lot more people using their mobile devices to shop for products and services and access information through internet searches.
This is a great way for companies to target their customers through exclusive coupons and discounts on their mobile responsive website.
Mobile search engine advertising will also allow companies to develop mobile-specific landing pages and call-to-action banners.
It is very important that you focus on optimising your web site for the mobile platform and target mobile advertisements on Google Adsense and other search engine ad programs.
NFC [Near Field Communication] technology allows users to make mobile transactions and other related services at participating retailers.
This is a great opportunity for small businesses to offer this feature alongside their other payment options.
If you’re a distributor, you could also offer store-specific discounts and coupons made available through an NFC mobile payment.
Mobile GPS tracking and services
Location-related search queries will become much more common on mobile devices in 2013.
In any given location, people can now find out information on any nearby business or commerce centre.
This presents a great opportunity to offer location-specific services and products that are more regionally personal to each individual customer.
In addition, many mapping applications now offer ‘checking-in’ features that track user location movements and provide a fair amount of specific information on their behaviour.
Our own experience
Here’s a quick example of how my B2B e-commerce company, USB Memory Direct has been able to effectively use this to its advantage.
At USB Memory Direct, we design, manufacture, and distribute wholesale custom flash drives for businesses to use at trade shows and corporate events.
Our marketing team had been searching for a good way to determine where our main customers are and how they were spending their time on our website.
Initially we analysed data from our CRM, but found that there wasn’t enough information to draw accurate conclusions from.
So after improving our mobile site and conversions, we were able to use data from the mobile platform to begin analyzing customer locations and noticed a good amount of traffic coming in from the Brazilian market.
After some planning and additional market research we decided to broaden our focus to include a new website targeted specifically for Brazil.
Thus, over time we have improved our conversions through that revision and gained plenty of new customers.
Vincent Clarke is a marketing analyst with USB Memory Direct, a wholesaler of custom USB drives. He develops and executes strategies for traditional marketing as well as inbound marketing channels.
* [Editor's Note: That's if you believe there are only 2.8 billion devices. A very low figure for the combined global market for tablets and mobile phones.]