Upwardly mobile: IAB report shows charts rise of the phones

Mobile advertising in New Zealand is very much in its infancy. But, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s new global mobile anthology, which provides insights into different countries’ experiences with mobile media, it has enormous potential for growth and with the significant increase in smartphone penetration in recent years to around 30 percent of all handsets and the increase in mobile internet usage, the local IAB office is predicting more media dollars being spent on this channel in the near future.

Not surprisingly, the study found that mobile adoption is growing rapidly while mobile data rates are a key factor in driving or impeding adoption, which is undoubtedly part of the reason New Zealand is lagging behind slightly. And, despite the bells and whistles now available on phones, the study showed text messaging remains one of the most popular activities carried out on a mobile phone in many countries.

Joe Laszlo, director of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, who led the project writes in the report: “IAB New Zealand points out that for many years, their country was known for having more sheep than people. Now they have more mobile phones than people, a nice achievement. In 2011, mobile phones provided 80 percent of all telephone lines in Mexico. Ninety-five percent of Danes have a mobile voice connection. Smartphones topped 50 percent penetration in Sweden last year, and 90 percent of new phones sold there are now smartphones. The United States (which has long had a mobile inferiority complex) compares favorably on the mobile adoption league tables: the CTIA reports about 323 million mobile subscriptions in 2011, and according to comScore about 55 percent of U.S. mobile users used mobile data in 2011.”

Alisa Higgins, IAB, General Manager says, “in 2011, mobile ad spend in NZ was $632,092. A small drop in the total online ad spend pool of $328.11 million. However, online advertising, including mobile, is the fastest growing medium in New Zealand and we are estimating mobile ad spend to leap into double digit growth over the next few years.”

In Australia, PwC is predicting that spend on mobile display advertising, excluding search, apps or subscriptions, will hit A$37m in 2011, rising to A$219m in 2014 .

“The developing world of Mobile Commerce as well as new technology such as near field communication will also be a growth driver for mobile,” says Bridget Gallen, mobile commerce manager for Vodafone NZ. “Globally the mobile phone is increasingly being used not just for search, but also for the purchase of products and services, a trend likely to be replicated here in New Zealand. Together with technologies such as NFC which enable the mobile device to be turned into a mobile wallet, this will make the mobile device an even more important one in consumer’s lives. Leaving home with just the mobile phone, without keys or wallet, may soon be a reality. As a brand, being able to communicate with consumers, wherever they are, via mobile marketing will become an essential part of the media mix.”

Download the whole report here.

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