US Mobile Ad Spending Will Top $4 Billion in 2012

Mobile advertising spending will total more than $4 billion by the end of 2012, according to eMarketer estimates.  And new research by Millennial Media reveals that certain industries have seen tremendous growth (more than 400% year-over-year) in mobile advertising.

Growth of US Mobile Ad Spending via Millennial Media studyThe third quarter of 2012 saw a 574% jump in mobile ad spending for the automotive industry year-over-year. Close competitors for this growth in mobile advertising include:

  • travel, with 431% growth since Q3 2011
  • education went up 421%
  • sports grew 417%

However, eMarketer cautions that these numbers “should be taken with a grain of salt” since many brands and companies may be shifting resources into mobile for the first time.

Where were these mobile ads leading viewers? Site searches were the destination for 41% of mobile ad campaigns, followed by app downloads (32% of campaigns). Just under 3 in 10 (28%) of mobile ads sent viewers to social media actions.

The most common goals for mobile ad campaigns were maintaining a market presence and driving traffic to websites.

eMarketer speculates that the incorporation of “native” ad formats in social media may have helped drive the high growth of ad spending.  Do you agree?

  • Ross Quintana

    Interesting. It isn’t surprising as mobile is the new screen of choice. I think that the next level will be finding the functions that make the most sense. Many businesses are still experimenting. There is a big difference between a search result and having an app in user mechanics.

    • I agree, Ross. With mobile, it’s all about utility – and intuitive ease of use.

      • Ross Quintana

        The down side of an app is if it is for a small functional use people may not use it as often once it is downloaded. Mobile is smart but like social media it needs a multi-pronged strategy so your business actually gets interacted with more often to create those spontaneous opportunities.