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Ongoing growth of the mobile web

June 20th, 2011 by Talya

Over the last several months, we have discussed mobile web growth in a variety of regions (Germany, the Middle East, Asia) and touched on the growth of the industry in general by looking at Millennial Media’s S.M.A.R.T. report from Q1 of this year. Today I’d like to go back to a more general discussion on the growth of the mobile industry, because it continues to grow and thrive, even in an economic climate where many other industries are still struggling.

Everyone knows that numbers don’t lie, and there are plenty of numbers that show us that the mobile internet, which has been growing steadily for some time, will continue to expand over the upcoming months and years. The growing numbers of mobile usage and spend are shown to us time and again by research groups, large online companies, as well as other networks. A recent Mobile Marketing Watch article reports on Juniper Research’s study on mobile growth, showing, among other things, that revenues of global mobile networks operators will reach $1 trillion by 2016.

Other reports show similar findings – that is, of an industry that will continue to grow over the next few years. Mobile Marketer’s State of Mobile Advertising 2011, which has also just been released, further proves the growth trend in mobile and reveals some interesting facts about mobile device users. For instance, their findings report that roughly a quarter (26.6%) of US households rely solely on mobile phones, not landlines, for communication purposes. And of these users, around 63 million own a Smartphone, and over a third of these Smartphone users access the internet via their mobile devices.

Additionally, Mobile Marketer’s report reveals that advertisers will be spending a lot more cash on mobile advertising in the future. In the U.S. the mobile advertising spend for last year (2010) was around $7.4 million and is expected to be close to $2.5 billion by 2014. Spending for ads delivered via mobile apps in the U.S. will show similar growth patterns, increasing from $305 million in 2010 to over $1 billion by 2015.

Looking at this information, it is safe to say that we are in a field that will not be slowing down any time soon. Opportunities in mobile are endless, and we as a company are excited to be a part of it all.

Mobile fundraising

April 7th, 2011 by Talya

We talk quite frequently about all that you can do via mobile – shop, game, book travel, etc,. From what we see, much (if not most) of the activity on the mobile internet tends to be very “me” related. Think about it – shopping, playing games, dating, all of these things (which are BIG movers in mobile) tend to be more or less self-focused activities. Now we are not saying that there is anything wrong with that, but once in a while it is nice to see that mobile can be used for the good of others, especially when major tragedies occur.

Haiti was a great example. Within three weeks of the catastrophic earthquake in January of last year, over $35 million in donations had been made from – you guessed it – mobile fundraising. Users were able to text codes to the Red Cross and other organizations which then ended up as donations to the disaster relief. Loads of money was donated this way.

We are seeing the same thing start with the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan as well. Within a week of the tragedy, several  non-profit organizations, mobile carriers, and a number of celebrities began rallying people to make monetary donations via their mobile devices for the victims in Japan. According to Mobile Commerce Daily, by March 15, the American public had already donated $1 million to relief efforts through their mobile devices.

Not only are people giving money with their mobile phones, but they are also opting in to stay informed of the latest details. Through social media, people are also spreading the word, telling others about the opportunities to stay informed and make donations to groups like the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Of course, celebrities are also using social networking sites (particularly Facebook and Twitter) to encourage others to give to relief agencies. As mentioned before, it is always refreshing to see some of the best of humanity – especially when it is through the mobile web!

Online business and personal contact

November 26th, 2010 by Talya

Today’s post is a bit more “editorial” than usual, without the usual references to current facts and figures on mobile marketing, mobile web growth, and the like. Today we are going to bring things a bit closer to home and discuss personal contact in the online world. By personal contact, I am referring to actual human contact – meeting face-to-face, speaking over the telephone, and the like (you know, the things humans have been doing since the what I call the b.i. days – as in, before internet). Since working in this industry, I have realized two very simple but interesting things.

First, it has become clear that even in the realm of mobile and internet marketing, people still want to be in touch with people. I would even venture to say that the more technological the world becomes, the more we miss and therefore crave personal contact – consider the success of social media if you need proof of this. Sure, it is convenient to work online and to take care of most business exchanges via email, but sometimes a human voice across a telephone is faster, easier, and even friendlier than yet another quickly-typed email. And while I prefer email exchanges because there is written confirmation of a conversation or agreement just in case, a brief telephone conversation can replace an afternoon’s worth of emailing back and forth to clarify something that would have taken two minutes by phone.

The second thing I have learned from the field of online marketing is that business is still all about relationships. People want to do business with people, not systems or machines. No matter how technologically savvy we become, business is still nothing more than two parties connecting to exchange goods and services. This becomes particularly clear at trade shows, where some of the brightest, techiest minds gather to discuss and build business. At these events, particularly at the busier ones, it is evident that the online world, while advanced on the outside, at its core is nothing more than a large marketplace with salesman hawking their wares and connecting with their customers and potential partners. Instead of selling fish and bread in a wooden stall, we in this industry sell ads and clicks from behind a screen. And even still, we want to do business on a personal level.

I am curious to know if others agree with this assessment. Do you agree with these thoughts on personal contact in the online world? Is anyone else out there bothered when you need to get in touch with a business contact but can’t find anything more than an email contact or an online form to fill out? Is the online business environment really all that different from brick-and-mortar business?

The mobile internet, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday

November 23rd, 2010 by Talya

So we find ourselves two days away from Thanksgiving, three days away from the biggest shopping day of the year in the US, and less than a week away from the online shopping frenzy of Cyber Monday. For anyone in the United States planning on venturing out on “Black Friday” to fight through the crowds and get some good deals, new mobile apps can help. TechCrunch reports that Dealmap is putting out new Android and iphone apps that will list over 165,000 Black Friday deals at 52,000 retail locations across the United States. The app will not only provide a map of all the local deals, but will also notify users of any super deals that are nearby (TechCrunch).

For those who would rather avoid the crowds by finding deals via the internet or the mobile web, Cyber Monday has been a dream-come-true for the past several years. Most retailers start their big online seasonal sales the Monday after thanksgiving, but apparently these deals are being broadcast earlier than before. Shawn Collins at Affiliate Marketing Blog shared Amazon has officially started its Black Friday specials early (yesterday, November 22, to be exact) and will continue to add new sales through November 27. Cyber Monday specials will also be brodcast online by Amazon in a two-day event, so there should be more than enough time to enjoy the online sales.

Apparently, those of us in Europe also get to enjoy special deals – Amazon’s UK site is also offering Black Friday sales, and it will be interesting to see which other retailers offer deals to those outside the borders of the US.

Mobile apps versus the mobile web

October 15th, 2010 by Talya

In the ongoing discussion about  everything mobile, it has been said off and on that the explosive growth of mobile apps will eventually kill the mobile web. While the numbers show that apps are very popular (one source reports that by 2015 over 25 billion mobile apps will have been downloaded – yes, that’s twenty-five billion), the death of the mobile web is most certainly not on the horizon.

Despite the huge volume of apps being downloaded, the mobile web browser is still the most widely used mobile application. A recent survey by Adobe polled over one thousand U.S. mobile device users, and the result was that 66% of users preferred the mobile web over mobile apps (Sarah Perez). A similar study by Orange in Europe showed that the findings across the pond are nearly the same. In both the UK and France, nearly 7 out of 10 users would rather access the mobile web than an app. The numbers are slightly lower in markets where the mobile industry is not as well established, such as in Spain and Poland. In these places, apps were (only) slightly more widely preferred than in what are considered the “more mature” mobile markets of countries like the UK, France, and Germany.

So even though some may believe that the mobile web may some day be dwarfed by beloved apps, the numbers seem to show us something else. Namely that the mobile web browser will continue to be king of the mobile online space, at least for the next long while.

The mobile web: a fad or the future?

September 10th, 2010 by Talya

As we have been discussing in previous posts, mobile web usage is growing and there seem to be no signs of slowing down. The numbers out there are poised for growth. An in-depth report by MarketResearch.com shows that by 2015, mobile payment transactions in the U.S. alone will reach $56.7 billion. That is a lot of mobile traffic and purchases, and that is just in one country  (Mobile Marketing Watch). This may be a liberal estimate, but even so, mobile transactions in 2009 were a mere $5.2 billion by comparison. These figures show that we have barely skimmed the surface of what is coming up in the mobile world. And most definitely, mobile online usage will soar right along with this.

Something else to consider is who is moving towards mobile. In the U.S. alone, we have recently seen large retailers entering the mobile scene. Target, which is second only to Wal-Mart, just began putting their weekly ad into mobile format (Mobile Commerce Daily). Netflix, the U.S. online movie rental company, also just recently created a mobile app. And not only retailers are getting in on the action, but non-profits are as well. Shortly before the earthquake in Haiti, the Red Cross made it possible to make monetary donations via mobile, and others have followed suit.

Considering all of this, it seems that we are on the cutting edge of some major growth in the mobile web which, as we have said before, does not seem to be slowing down any time soon.