As smartphones continue to gain mass acceptance and in some parts of the world continue to outsell feature phones, more money is being spent by advertisers on mobile advertising.
The key benefits of smartphones for mobile advertisers is that advertisements can be delivered using location awareness, meaning the ads target consumers at the right place and at the right time. Also, since smartphones are complex devices, they are able to show complex ads. Mobile advertising has moved beyond banner ads and has embraced media rich ads including interactive video.
Millennial Media has released some data which shows significant spending increases in certain verticals when compared to expenditure in 2011. The biggest growth can be seen in the automotive vertical. Here, advertisers have increased spending by 318%, which is by far the largest year-over-year growth. The increase in advertising dollars spent is likely a combination of several key factors including a more buoyant automotive industry and smartphone use penetrating middle income families.
Similarly, spending in the travel vertical has also risen dramatically. The advertising spend for 2012 has increased some 251% when compared to 2011. Again, the increase is likely due to external factors, like a better economy, and smartphone related factors, like the adoption of smartphones over feature phones.
Other verticals which have seen an increase in spending are sports, which is up by 235% compared to the previous year, and education, which rose by 224% in 2012. One vertical where spending increased, but not by the same magnitude as in other verticals, is FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods)/CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods). Spending in that vertical rose by 106% when compared to 2011.