Australian Smartphone and Tablet Data

Mobile now 15% of all Ad spend in Australia

The latest quarterly IAB / PWC Online Advertising Expenditure Report showed that one in five General Display dollars are now spent on Mobile display.  With mobile display up from only 8% this time last year and search dollars increasingly being funneled into smartphone and tablet targeting, the market is finally moving towards a true reflection of where the customers are.

Mobile display represents 21.5% of digital display and 17.1% of search revenue for the quarter ended March 2014.   Overall mobile advertising spend in the March Quarter 2014 was $163.3 million, making up 15.3% of total online advertising expenditure.  This represents growth of 4.9% even though the General Display category dropped from the previous quarter.

With 62% of online Australians now using the internet via their mobile device and mobile making up only 15.3% of ad spend, it should be clear that advertising investment needs to catch up. The gap is closing, but it’s still a pretty big gap.  From an advertiser perspective, if you’re not spending money where your customers are, you’re not speaking to your customers.  Add this to the fact that 27% of mobile internet users do not even have fixed line internet at home, and if you’re not reaching these users on their mobile device, you’re not reaching them at all.

… the market is finally moving towards a true reflection of where the customers are.

Bonin Bough is VP of Media & Consumer engagement at international brand Mondelez  and he’s in town to launch their Mobile Futures initiative in AustraliaBough speaks passionately about the gap between mobile usage and advertising spend, pointing out a similar situation in the early years of television, where usage outweighed investment for years until bold brands stepped in. Those brands; Kraft, P&G and Unilever, built advertising capability that transformed their businesses.

Bough cites advertisers’ reluctance to invest in mobile as a ‘lazy’ argument about measurement. “At the end of the day, are you going to allow the absence of measurement to stop you from participating in the largest transformation of consumer engagement in the history of humanity? Mobility has changed humanity in a huge way. If you really care about changing a business, then you need to be really aggressive about fixing measurement so you can measure this device.” 

Of course the reality is, mobile advertising does not experience ‘an absence of measurement’ as Bough describes it.  Far from it, the challenge is simply for advertisers to track and report on mobile activity in a way that demonstrates a return on investment.  For some reason, advertisers think this is trickier in mobile than in other channels.  The reverse is of course true.  While we’re all familiar with reach, recall, clicks and CTRs you can’t genuinely determine ROI from these measures alone.  No other channel is more powerful at measuring ROI than mobile, but at the end of the day it takes some effort to build the right measurement model for your brand. This is what Bough is talking about when he describes the laziness of advertisers.

Looking at the overall online ad market, it grew 17.1% year on year, but dropped back in the last quarter while growth categories like mobile, search and video advertising all experienced strong growth in the quarter to March 2014. Another high flyer, video advertising saw growth of 55.7% in the last 12 months and made up 14.3% of digital display dollars for the quarter.

The balance of ad dollar power is shifting from traditional to digital and online to mobile.  According to the recently released CEASA report 30% of all advertising spend in 2013 was digital, ahead of TV and newspapers.  All the data points to the same trends and it’s up to brands and advertisers to keep up or be left behind.

You can see the March 2014 Online Advertising Expenditure Report executive summary here.

 

 

 

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