Mobile-advertising budgets have surged 142% since 2011, according to a new study, as brand marketers seek to capitalize on consumers' love affair with smartphones and tablets.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau study polled 300 top marketing executives, all of whom said they were incorporating mobile devices in their promotional plans.
In an indication of the growing importance of the increasingly ubiquitous gadgets, the number of brands devoting $300,000 or more to mobile-ad campaigns more than quadrupled during the study period, rising from 7% in 2011 to 32% this year.
Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said they expect to increase mobile-ad spending over the next two years. One in five (19%) projected a 50% bump in mobile-ad budgets over that time. Research firm Ovum produced the report on behalf of the IAB.
"Marketers increasingly understand that the mobile audience is huge, and that mobile is a tremendous way to reach consumers and engage with them anytime, any place," Joe Laszlo, senior director of the IAB's mobile marketing center, said via email.
It's no surprise that companies such as 1-800 Flowers.com have flocked to these smaller screens: Worldwide mobile phone sales totaled 435 million in the second quarter, with smartphones accounting for more than half of those devices, according to research firm Gartner Inc.
"Consumers have embraced mobile phones as a crucial part of their day-to-day lives," said Amit Shah, vice president of mobile and social for 1-800 Flowers.com.
Smartphone shipments surpassed those of PCs in 2011, according to market research firm IDC. Another hot-selling device, tablet computers, are expected to outsell desktops and laptops by 2015, Gartner projects.
Worldwide tablet sales have slowed (IDC forecasts sales of about 227.4 million units this year) as larger smartphones lure would-be tablet buyers.