How Has the Widespread Adoption of Smartphones Affected Digital Advertising?


Larry Wright

There are very few inventions that truly change how we live and work as a society. Refrigeration, the microchip, those little things on the end of shoelaces that make them not unravel. In all seriousness, it really isn t that often that a consumer product comes along that actually changes how society operates, but the smartphone truly has.

Consider how we use our smartphones. They re much more than the cell phones of old. They re on-demand access to our social media streams, our email, and more importantly, the entire Internet. This constant connectivity has changed how we interact, enabling distant friends and relatives to virtually participate in our daily lives. It s impacted how we shop, with 55% of smartphone users indicating that they have used a smartphone to price compare when shopping. Additionally, more than a quarter of smartphone owners use their phones to read online reviews that impact their buying choices, and more than a third have scanned a QR code with their phone for information.

For the retail industry, this all adds up to a major marketing element. Smartphones are not just a one-way street, after all. If consumers can use them to access information, then businesses must use that same technology to share information with those users. This is where digital advertising comes in.


Digital advertising is a bit of a catchall term. Some people use it interchangeably with online advertising, but that s not quite accurate. All online advertising is digital advertising, but not all digital advertising takes place online. It s a huge industry. Mashable reports that, Global digital advertising spending broke $100 billion for the first time, according to eMarketer, which predicts the business will grow another 15.1% this year. These numbers reflect advertising received on desktops, laptops, mobile phones, and tablets, excluding text message ads (SMS, MMS, P2P). An estimated $31 billion of that was spent in the U.S. alone.

With so much smartphone usage, the marketing and advertising industry cannot lean solely on Internet advertising for their digital messaging. Rather, marketers must navigate the often-complex waters of direct marketing via smartphones. Consumers are quick to opt-out when brands over-message them with texts and other phone-based notifications such as push-data options. Yet consumers opt-in to begin with because they do want to connect with their favorite brands. They want coupons, special and exclusive offers, product notifications, and sale information. This means marketing must toe the line between helpful and intrusive, much as it does with social media.

The key here is for brands to offer a stream of useful information via social media and purposeful ads online while sending push notifications and text messages to cell phones on a scheduled basis as well as when those smartphones GPS capabilities enable location-based app push notifications. Those location-based services are among the most important elements of a digital advertising campaign utilizing smartphones. When users can not only choose to check in via Facebook and Foursquare but actually be made aware that they are within a specific range of a business location and offered an incentive to come in, they are far more likely to engage with the brand than if they simply see a banner ad while browsing online.

Smartphones offer real-time marketing opportunities to users who truly want to connect with your brand. Smartphone users are listening. Are you sending a message you want them to hear?

Larry is the author of this article about wrote this article about how the widespread adoption of smartphones has affected digital advertising. Working for TribalVision he noticed that their

virtual marketing department


boston seo services

that worked together to learn more about mobile advertising. In his free time he enjoys taking trips with his family and blogging about his adventures.

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