Since Mary Meeker boldly declared a $7 billion mobile advertising spending opportunity in her Internet Trends Report, the spotlight has shone bright on the future of mobile advertising. As smartphones’ capabilities advance and younger generations’ (especially Gen Z) appetite for handheld content increases, there’s no doubt that mobile advertising should follow suit – and style.

Let’s start with phone use: whether your source is eMarketer or AdWeek, users now spend between 3.5 and 5 hours (or more) on their mobile phones – ⅔ of which are on smartphones (eMarketer) – no surprise there. If you walk down any street or settle into any waiting room or, well anywhere, most people will have their phones out. I mean, are you on your phone right now? The proof is in the Text Neck – a new “modern spine ailment” the rampant neck pain caused by looking down at your phone too much!

But how much interaction are these sore users having with brands? According to Google, people today have 2X more interactions with brands on Mobile than anywhere else (includes TV, in-store, you name it), and 89% of people are likely to recommend a brand after a positive brand experience on Mobile. Well hello engagement opportunity! Nice to see you there! Furthermore, this engagement might usurp even Desktop use: 83% of internet users will use a mobile phone to go online according to eMarketer.

This trend became clear in our own analysis of our 2018 data: mobile engagement is climbing. Average Mobile CTR for 2018 was 0.35%: in Q4 of 2018, the Mobile CTR was 150% higher than Desktop’s.

Not only that, Mobile Time On Site increased by 28% from Q1 to Q4 2018 and Bounce Rate decreased by 25% in the same time (Bidtellect 2H Native Report). It’s all happening! Engagement continues to increase in conjunction with the vast improvement in the Mobile web experiences from readability to relevant placement. Not only are users increasing engagement with Native ads on mobile, they are engaging for longer – and that engagement is climbing at a faster rate than Desktop. We could expect to see continued growth in Mobile as users are on the phones more often, much longer, and for more important tasks. Could Mobile completely take over the world?! Will we no longer need computers?!

Ok ok. Back to reality here. Have advertisers taken note of the trend? Spending indicates, yes. Mobile ad spend will top $93 billion in 2019, according to eMarketer, and over ⅓ of ad dollars worldwide will go to mobile in 2019 – for the first time ever (eMarketer). Woah! And as Native Ad Spending trends match Bidtellect’s findings: eMarketer measured a 30% growth in Mobile Native ad spend versus just 15% growth of Desktop spend last year. Which is to say, a Content Marketing and Native Advertising strategy – heck, any programmatic strategy – requires Mobile in the conversation. It’s non-negotiable at this point. But furthermore, more time and resources ought to be set aside for improvement of how Native ads are experienced on Mobile devices to ensure a positive user experience, that is, to create a positive and trusted relationship with a brand. Get on the mobile ad train then! Everyone is doing it!

But smaller screens mean less room for nonsense – so yes every programmatic strategy requires Mobile, but obnoxious display or banner ads will not cut it on mobile devices, and will likely become obsolete.  And as users today seek relevant, high quality content they can trust from brands they respect, browsing on Mobile will cut the BS. Contextual relevancy, good creative quality that’s conducive to a smaller screen, and content that matches the brand are even more important than ever before.  And lest you forgot, high quality content makes consumers 131% more likely to buy (Twitter via Nudge, “The State of Content”) and 70% of users who feel a connection to a brand spend twice as much as those who don’t, according to Adweek. Content marketing strategy coupled with Native Advertising is the secret sauce here, even for Mobile.

As our CEO always says, “When a consumer engages with a brand’s content, they engage with the brand.” A content marketing strategy that misses Mobile is a missing opportunity.

For these and more stats, Download our Mobile is the Move Infographic here!

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