Dramatic new figures from the IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) and PwC show that mobile advertising spend more than doubled in the first half of 2013 compared to the same period last year.

Mobile advertising grew by 127% to £429 million in the first six months of 2013, and mobile now accounts for 14% of total digital spend and 20.4% of total digital display advertising.
The IAB’s Digital Adspend report also sheds light on the sectors that are growing fastest in mobile display. The entertainment sector had long been the leader in mobile display, but the figures for the first half of 2013 saw the consumer goods sector take the top spot, doubling its share to 26.8%.
Entertainment’s share stayed the same at 22.9%, and this must be read in the context of a mobile display pie that has grown an incredible 195% year-on-year. But what does the emergence of consumer goods as the big spenders in mobile display say about the direction of the mobile advertising industry?
One exciting interpretation of the surge in consumer goods companies spending on mobile display is that consumers have started to use their devices as tools for buying stuff, and big brands are spending their advertising bucks accordingly.
That’s certainly the view of Anna Bartz, senior manager at PwC. “The fact that consumer goods account for over one-quarter of mobile display advertising shows how important brands regard smartphones as key to consumer buying behaviour,” she says. “Mobile has moved on from being a communications or entertainment device to a bona fide retail one.”
So what does this mean for brands’ mobile advertising strategies? The unique targeting opportunities presented by mobile mean brands can tap into the right consumer at the right time better than ever, and information can even help hit consumers when they’re in the right frame of mind.
UKOM/comScore figures show that 22% of all UK internet time, across all devices, is spent consuming entertainment. So, a cinema brand for example could use geolocation and time-of-day to target consumers while they’re watching or reading online content on their commute to work.
Targeting tablet users in the evenings is another way advertisers can reach consumers as they ‘dual screen’ in front of the TV – a thoroughly modern and increasingly common situation that has mind-boggling potential in terms of engaging consumers and something Yodel Mobile is working on with one of the UK’s leading broadcasters, more on this soon.
Mobile presents unprecedented opportunities for getting into the heads of receptive consumers through smart mobile strategy – and these new figures show the shift towards mobile advertising is gathering considerable momentum.