Mobile Boom

Mobile is a booming channel. According to Nielsen’s State of the Media: Consumer Usage Report 2011, there are more mobile phone users (232 million) than computer users (192 million). It also reports 43 percent of those mobile phones are smartphones. That works out to nearly 100 million people walking around with full-featured mobile Web and app access all the time, even without counting tablets—like the iPad—which are exploding in their own right.

So, the mobile channel certainly exists, and roughly half of it has advanced connectivity and media access. What can marketers do with that? Here are some of the top mobile marketing techniques, and some vendors who can help you use them.

There are many opportunities for display advertising throughout the mobile universe. Apple, Google and Millennial Media (the three largest providers of mobile ad space) have sold mobile display ads for years. According to International Data Corp., the combined U.S. mobile advertising market was $2.1 billion in 2011, split mostly between mobile search ads and mobile Web display ads (banners or short videos that display while users surf the mobile Web). Beyond the mobile Web, there is also ample room for display ads in other companies’ apps, games and other native mobile functions.

Thorin McGee is editor-in-chief and content director of Target Marketing and oversees editorial direction and product development for the magazine, website and other channels.