Mobile marketing has quickly become the focus of digital media efforts, and it’s easy to understand why. From Silicon Valley to New Delhi, smartphones are increasingly capturing the attention of consumers with reports showing that the average American spends nearly 4.7 hours a day on their mobile device.
Marketers have clearly taken notice. Research from BIE/Kelsey predicts that mobile ad spend will surpass the $40 billion mark in 2017 and $65 billion by 2020. Last year, we saw mobile ad spend grow in a way that outpaced desktop ad spend.
The correlation is simple: Ad-spend follows consumer attention and, on a macro level, consumer attention is moving to mobile. The underlying question here is: Will consumers continue to want to spend their time plugged in?
That question is difficult to answer.
The rise in popularity of wellness and meditation apps paint a bleak picture of mobile users grappling with a deep, human need to disconnect. A perfect example is Space, an iOS product that aims to help users ‘unhook’ from their most addictive apps. Designed by Dopamine, the product caught fire on Twitter and Product Hunt just a few weeks ago.
The two trends can be difficult to discern, but mobile marketing cannot just scale with increased mobile usage at the same time users are trying their best to unplug. It seems we may be hitting a saturation point for mobile usage that marketers should be at least conscious of.
With that being said, the future of mobile marketing will be grounded in understanding the dynamic between loving our connection to our mobile devices and a deep human need to disconnect. Creating mobile-first products and services that aim to capture consumer attention will be far harder to do as the market becomes more conscious of where they’re spending their time.
The key to mobile marketing moving forward will be balancing quality and quantity, making an effort to earn user attention by providing value for consumers as opposed to only buying their attention. While marketing for the sake of marketing may garner results, it seems as if the consumer market is quickly growing savvy to what deserves their attention.