12 Apr 2013

It really is becoming the year of mobile

Guest post by my colleague Jane Wilson, Account Director.

On the 40th Anniversary of the first mobile phone call, mobile ad spend has helped UK digital spend reach £5billion for the first time.
IAB's digital advertising figures for 2012 recently published the on-going momentum behind mobile as a media platform, fuelled by the proliferation of smartphones and tablets and an increasing number of clients ready to experiment with new ad formats.

Mobile ad spend in the UK almost tripled (up 148%) year-on-year in 2012 to £526m on the back of 157% growth the year before. The sustained take-up helped propel total UK digital spend to £5 billion for the first time and growth continued to accelerate in the second half of last year.
Mobile now accounts for a 9.7% share of all digital advertising spend, compared to just 1.1% in 2009. This increase could be primarily based upon the fact that, according to comScore, nearly two thirds of the UK population owned an internet enabled mobile phone in December 2012.

Our approach to digital planning is that mobile is no longer an afterthought but becoming much more integrated in digital activity.

Do you think that when, Marty Cooper, who made the first mobile phone call 40 years ago last week on the 3rd of April 1973 (to a senior engineer at Motorola), to rival a colleague at another telecoms company and announced he was speaking from "a 'real cellular telephone" they would have any idea that we would be in this situation in 2013?

Given the initial cost of the devices, (in 1983 the first models cost £2,300) this would probably be seen as prohibitive to the mobile phone becoming a mass-market product. However, from a 2lb and 1 foot long device 40 years ago to today’s razor thin handset, the mobile phone has gone from clunky, expensive and limited to affordable, small with nearly limitless possibilities.

What comes next? Who knows but we’ll probably see a much wider range of devices which will be wearable.