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December SMART Report Shows Explosive Growth in Mobile Advertising

millennialmedia dec vertical explosionI know that mobile is the hottest trend in advertising, but I’m still bowled over by the growth numbers in the latest Millennial Media SMART report.

Look at the Year-Over-Year Spend. In total, 10 categories increased their spend more than 100%. Four grew more than 400% and look at automotive – 574% growth? That’s insane.

I’m also surprised to see Government Services on the list. Apparently this comes from advertising related to the recent elections.

Ranked by spending alone, Telecommunications took the top spot, just as it did 10 months out of the year. Retail and Restaurants came in second with Finance and Automotive in third and fourth place.

Looking at branded apps, the top three rearrange themselves – Finance, Automotive and then Retail.

What’s the Goal?

Top three goals for mobile advertisers were  driving sustained in-market presence, site traffic and registrations.

32% led users to download an app and 24% were looking for a little m-commerce.

By far, the most common post ad action was Site Search with 41%. Here users were asked to click through for more information, to see additional products, read reviews or take a survey.

28% of ads asked users to click through to a social media site. This was particularly popular with the car companies.

Device Mix

What’s really fascinating is the growth in smartphone usage. Take a look at these charts.

mm connected device archive mm device mix 2012

We went from 55% in 2010, up to 68% in 2011 and now smartphone impressions account for 75% the pie. Feature phones are on the way out. How long will it be before they drop off completely? Then it will be a battle between Non-Phone and Smartphones. (NOTE: The colors are swapped on the two charts. Feature phones are blue on the 2011 chart and green on the 2012 chart.)

All in all, another good month for mobile. Can’t imagine where we’ll be this time next year.