The survey, conducted amongst a panel of over 100 senior-level UK agency representatives, investigated their knowledge and understanding of mobile advertising, as well as general attitudes towards the medium.
The results show that familiarity with many areas of mobile activity has grown significantly over the past 12 months, requiring respondents to ‘score’ their knowledge and understanding of the mobile medium.
Awareness and understanding of areas such as MMS, voice and video Shortcodes has grown, with just 20% of marketers having no experience in this area in 2009, compared to 66% in 2008. Knowledge of mobile search is on the rise, with the amount of marketers with no experience of the discipline declining from 57% to 29% over the last 12 months. Similarly, familiarity of ads in and around mobile gaming has increased from 62% having no experience in 2008 to only 35% in 2009.
The research also finds that, compared to 2008, the majority of employees responsible for planning a mobile campaign within the agencies surveyed are mobile specialists, with the number of dedicated mobile experts increasing year-on-year. In 2008, around 37% of those responsible for planning mobile campaigns within agencies were dedicated specialists, with this figure rising to 52% in 2009.
Agencies that took part in the survey were also asked what percentage of their digital spend is for mobile, and the results reveal that some 95% of respondents included mobile in their overall digital budget. Within this, 30% spent between 0 - 1%, 46% spent 1 - 5%, 13% spent 6 - 10% and 6% spent more than 11%.
Looking to the future, some 40% of agency respondents predicted they would be spending between 1 and 5% of their digital budgets on mobile in 2011. A further 29% believed they would be spending 6 – 10% and 13% stated they would be spending 11 - 20%. Only 1% of agencies stated that they will not be allocating any budget to mobile in the next two years.
73% of those surveyed agreed that mobile will be the fastest growing media for the next five years, with 73% also believing that most media agencies will have a mobile specialist by 2010. In terms of using the medium to communicate with specific audiences, some 55% of respondents agreed that in the future, mobile will be the primary medium for communicating with 12 – 24 age group.
With the industry putting education at the very top of its agenda and driving growth more than ever this year, mobile advertising is becoming more of a necessity to reach today’s consumer. It’s extremely encouraging to see that agencies in the UK are adapting to the changing landscape, allocating bigger budgets to mobile and hiring more specialists to plan mobile campaigns and this will surely be the trend in most emerging markets. Japan has certainly proven that there is money in mobile advertising surpassing $700 million in ad spend in 2008.