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Mobile ad spend lags behind usage

UK mobile advertising is at an all-time high and rising – last year mobile ad spending hit £536 million. However, marketers shouldn’t be celebrating too much because mobile advertising spend is considerably lagging behind the amount of time consumers spend on their mobile devices.

In April, IAB UK (Internet Advertising Bureau) revealed that mobile advertising spend last year had increased by 148 per cent. The Bureau cited mobile revenue as a key contributing factor to the total spend of £5 billion on UK digital advertising – the highest figure the industry has seen.

This is significant for the UK and the international market. The UK is a world leader in digital advertising, mobile and online, and the trend has spread to other markets in the past five years.

Mobile users are reported to spend more than 10 per cent of their media time on their mobile devices. This means that mobile usage is rapidly catching the established media, including TV. Despite this, marketing budgets for mobile ad spend accounts for only 1.6 per cent of their overall budgets.

One reason for this is the preoccupation with generating headline-friendly campaigns with social media giants, such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. While it is easy to see the attraction of this philosophy, it seems many aren’t thinking about how many targeted consumers they are actually reaching with this strategy.

Additionally, marketers are still ignoring mobile optimisation, using adverts which are formatted for PC and then squeezed uncomfortably onto mobile screens. As such, it comes as no surprise that advertising executives might consider their worth with suspicion.

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