As has happened for each of the past three years, 2010 has been identified as the year that mobile marketing and advertising explodes into the mainstream. The difference this year is that the prognosticators may be right – mobile marketing is on the verge of growing exponentially for the foreseeable future.
Rather than focus on how mobile marketing and advertising works, of concern to those of us involved in trend spotting and wave surfing is the overall estimated size of the global market for mobile marketing and advertising. Thus, the question becomes how big is mobile marketing and advertising currently and how fast will total expenditures grow over the next couple of years? The answer, as expected, is neither clear nor easy. Proprietary reports that provide estimates of total global mobile marketing and advertising expenditures can be purchased for between $600 and $5,000.
Using a variety of sources including MobiThinking‘s latest mobile stats site, the following table presents the range of estimates currently available online. The numbers presented below are in $US billions. The average of all estimates for each time period is calculated and used as the “formal” estimate of the total global mobile marketing and advertising expenditures for that period. Given the range of estimates and the small number of observations, using the average approach is likely to result in an understated or somewhat conservative result. The mobile marketing and advertising projections from Berg Insight were originally stated in Euros and converted to $US on 16 August 2010 using the Oanda currency converter.
Berg Insight provides the most conservative estimate of total global mobile marketing and advertising expenditures per year while ABI provides the most optimistic projections. Given the infancy and fragmentation of the market and the number of firms involved, it may be difficult to develop an accurate estimate of total global expenditures in mobile marketing and advertising for some time. Regardless of the estimated size of the market, there is consensus that growth in mobile marketing and advertising warrants your attention as a marketer. Total global mobile marketing and advertising expenditures are projected to grow from $U.S. 8.8 billion in 2010 to nearly $15.8 billion in 2012.
Smartphones represent the new frontier in marketing and advertising. Technology is developing rapidly, to the point where netbooks may become obsolete soon, making your cell phone your primary means of connecting to the Internet and facilitating your non-intensive computing needs. While it is much too early to announce the death of desktop, laptop and netbook computers, their utility is diminishing. As marketers, we need to adapt to new communications technologies and opportunities in order to survive. The key is to know the difference between the leading edge and the bleeding edge. In mobile marketing and advertising, it is safe to say that the bleeding has stopped. Becoming an innovator in mobile marketing and advertising is a risk that is well worth taking – you can bet on it.