Posted April 15, 2014 5:22 pm by with 1 comment

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How often use a smartphoneA mobile device used to be a luxury, an item that only the geeky few would own let alone use on a daily basis. But now you’re the odd man out if you don’t have a mobile phone in your pocket. Check out these stats from Forrester Research:

  • More than 2 billion smartphones installed worldwide
  • They’re in the hands of 31.3% of the world’s population
  • Massive usage in three countries: More than 64% in the UK, 64% in the US, and 66% in Hong Kong.
  • Three-quarters use their smartphone to access the internet at least once a day.

This is great news for marketers, right? Well, it would be if we weren’t going backward through the history of online marketing.

Think about the last advertisement you saw on your phone? I’ll bet it was a banner ad. Even if it wasn’t, that’s the ad that stuck in your mind because they’re annoying on mobile. Without even realizing it, you might have seen an ad for a movie or TV show or a new beauty product. You might not remember the ad because it blended so seamlessly with the content it didn’t stick out in your mind.

So. . . memorable is bad and blending in is good. This is a topsy turvy world we’re living in but it’s true. We have to find ways of getting our message across without annoying the masses.

From Forrester:
57% of online US adult smartphone owners who see ads in apps say that ads interrupt their user experience, and only 20% feel that the ads are relevant to them.

What we need is to stand out in a good way and that’s going to take a lot more creativity and effort. How many times have I said that you can’t just put a desktop ad on a phone and expect it to work?

Here’s one of my favorite examples of brilliant mobile phone advertising. (Which Forrester happened to include in their report.)

weather channel

This is the Weather Channel’s app. The background is an ad for Oz the Great and Powerful movie. The image changes depending on the weather – it’s always Oz but it’s sunny or cloudy or raining, etc. It’s so smart because it’s beautiful and it has a sense of humor. It makes me want to tell my friends, download this app and watch what happens.

Years and years ago, when screensavers were all the rage, there was that one with the guy on a desert island. Every day he’d do something new. He’d celebrate holidays and change with the seasons and the time of day. It was simple but so captivating. There’s just something about a graphic that responds to our surroundings that is irresistible.

Creating a whole new mobile advertising ecosystem isn’t going to be easy but we’ve got to do it if we want to see those conversions rise. And with more people abandoning their desktops in favor of mobile browsing our future bottom line is going to depend on it.

For more, check out ‘Mobile Advertising: It’s Time To Get Personal‘ from Forrester Research.