The state of mobile marketing: five key trends

Today sees the UK release of our State of Mobile Advertising report.

Based on a survey of client-side advertisers and agencies, the report looks at whether brands are putting mobile at the centre of their marketing strategy.

Here are a few key takeaways from the report, produced in association with Search Optics.

Advertisers strive for mobile maturity

The central tenet of our research is that marketers should put mobile at the centre of their integrated marketing activities.

Many advertisers are still early on their journey towards mobile advertising sophistication. Only 13% of advertisers regard themselves as advanced, while 31% say they are intermediate.

The remaining 56% describe themselves as beginners, though this figure is significantly lower in North America (42%) than in Europe (57%).

mobile maturity chart

Our research suggests that the incentive for increased maturity is a strong one. Only 6% of those who rate themselves at the beginner level regard the return on investment (ROI) from overall mobile advertising as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, compared to 59% for companies who classify themselves as advanced.

Hyperlocal marketing: a missed opportunity?

Hyperlocal presents a powerful opportunity for marketers, but our survey found that current tactics are basic and fragmented.

Of the hyperlocal tactics for targeting consumer we asked about, there wasn’t a majority of respondents using a single one. Only 22% of advertisers are fully exploiting hyperlocal.


The most popular tactic (customer match) is used by a mere 35% of advertisers, while at the bottom end of the scale the use of specific locations such as shopping malls is only used by 10%.

Paid search provides the best ROI

Lead generation and direct sales were the most common objectives for marketers using mobile advertising.

Indeed paid search provides the most impressive ROI of the tactics used by mobile advertisers.

how do you rate roi from mobile advertising

Both agency and client-side marketers consider paid search a safer bet when it comes to ROI, with 31% and 35% of respondents respectively rating this channel either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ in terms of ROI.

Programmatic drives growth

Advertisers who have seen the advantages of programmatic advertising on desktop are now reaping the benefits of a more data-driven and targeted approach through mobile.

More than half of advertisers surveyed are increasing their budgets this year for programmatic mobile (54%).

programmatic budget

Heavy investment in Facebook and social drives focus on mobile advertising

Social is a major focal point for mobile advertisers with paid social the tactic most commonly employed by companies surveyed.

More than two-thirds of client-side respondents say they are increasing their mobile-related investment on Facebook this year.

Facebook investment

The focus on social comes as brands ramp up their efforts to align their advertising activities with consumer behaviour.

Just under half (46%) of respondents agree that their ‘mobile advertising spend is in line with customer consumption of media through mobile’, but 34% disagree.

Download the full State of Mobile Advertising report here. 

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