The First Screen

April 16, 2013

The First Screen

As the actual year of the mobile (which year was that again?) seems to have come and gone, mobile is now just another part of the media mix. It’s a wonderful world of stats about growth, operating systems, screen size, speed and engagement. So how will mobile usage change the thinking of brands and advertisers, if at all?

There are growing calls for mobile first thinking in all campaigns, digital or otherwise. As David Shing from AOL said at the recent IAB Connect 2013, ‘no one came in here clutching a TV in their hands. It’s time we started referring to mobile as the first screen’. There is no other device that people have on them 24/7, that they check last thing at night and first thing in the morning, that allows you to access most of your life’s information at the touch of a screen, all in your pocket. It’s time to start thinking Mobile First.

The online growth and usage figures for Ireland have seen a change in the advertising landscape, and now we see that Ireland are second only to the UK in the percentage of web page views through mobile in Europe.

Device Share of Online Page Views

 Image

Source: comScore UK Digital Future in Focus (Feb 2013)

This should have huge implications for how brands and advertisers think. Smartphone sales already exceeded PC globally in 2011 (Morgan Stanley, Mary Meeker, 2012) and the projection is that this trend continues (Business Insider Intelligence, 2012). Mobile growth echoes that of online 10 years ago, so the most successful brands and advertisers will be ready for the continuing growth of mobile.

Brands also need to think about Mobile First, about the importance of mobile in how they communicate everything. We see many m. versions of websites that have been re-sized so that they can be viewed easily on mobile, but these stop gap solutions are missing a trick. When you look closely you can see that these designs were not made with mobile first thinking, but instead mobile was an afterthought and the site was rendered so that users could view through their mobile device. A bad user experience can reflect badly on any brand. Mobile first thinking allows for better user experiences and better engagement.

When we factor in the ever increasing percentage of social media accessed through mobile devices, enough to make Facebook completely alter their offering and monitise the newsfeed, and the increase in mobile search quires (140% year on year according to Google Ireland) it is clear that mobile’s importance will continue to grow. Users are already as comfortable with mobile advertising as they are with TV or online advertising (Net Imperative March 2013), and with the majority of online page views through mobile happening in the home (68% to 95% depending what you read) allowing for WIFI targeting and rich media development, the best campaigns will be those that integrate mobile into their thinking. Or rather, integrate other media into their mobile campaigns.

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