Why 2011 Really Is The Year For Mobile?


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It seems that the marketing buzzword for 2011 is mobile. Everywhere I look I see articles, blogs and Tweets about the emerging mobile marketing opportunity. This is nothing new. I heard this as far back as 2008. But things are different this time. This time I think it is real. Why? It is partly based on the numbers and my own personal observation.

The primary reason mobile marketing failed to emerge as an effective form of marketing in the late 2000’s was a lack of technology. There simply weren’t enough smartphone’s in use. As a result, mobile phones were used primarily for voice and texting. This is no longer the case. A recent report by comScore showed that more than 234 million Americans ages 13 and older used mobile devices. Over 61 million American’s have smartphones, (25% of all mobile phones users), and that more than 50% of all mobile phones sold in the U.S. today are smartphones. Even the majority of non-smart phones still offer text messaging and web surfing, which explains why web browsers are used by 36.2% of U.S. mobile subscribers.

I found this out first hand when my family and I recently went to buy new mobile phones. Virtually every phone being sold offered web access and required a data plan, even the non-smart phones. While I was always one of those people that thought I would only use my mobile phone for calls, now that I have a phone with internet capabilities I am finding myself using it all the time to surf the web, check my Twitter and Facebook accounts, and to text. The ease in which my new phone allows me to do these things has had a big impact on my mobile phone usage habits and helped me see first hand the way mobile devices are increasingly becoming an integral part of our lives. Besides our wallet and our car keys, it is the one device we never leave home without.

I am not the only marketer who seems to be big on mobile. The Mobile Marketing Association reports mobile marketing budgets are set to rise 124% from 2010 to 2011, putting the total allocation to the mobile channel at roughly 4% of overall marketing budgets. Marketers surveyed represent more than $2.3 billion spent on mobile media in 2010, and they say they’re allocating $5.5 billion next year. It will be interesting to see how all that money is used.

Do you think 2011 is the year mobile marketing goes mainstream? Please share your comments.

David Corr
David Corr is a Marketing Director at Contech Engineered Solutions. He is an experienced marketing executive that helps organizations build awareness, generate leads, and engage their target audience. David has a rich work history that encompasses all aspects of BtoB marketing included sales, sales training, product management, marketing operations, branding, and communications. David holds Bachelor Degrees in Business Administration and Political Science from the University of Rhode Island, and an MBA from the University of Dayton.


  1. David, I think you’re absolutely right about 2011 being the big year for mobile marketing — and mobile commerce and mobile payments. I agree that the smartphone penetration is part of the reason, but there are other reasons as well — for example Near Field Communication (NFC) technologies are starting to be built into smartphones (or an NFC sticker can be used as well), which enables not only mobile payments, but also things like customer loyalty programs and other marketing programs.

    In addition, Google will be coming out big in mobile marketing, payment and commerce this year as well. Obviously the Android phones play a big part in this new revolutions, but I think other things like Google Places are going to bring alot of these currently disparate services and technologies together as well. Google is doing a trial service for Google Places that provides merchants with “Recommended on Google Places” stickers for their store windows — the stickers are embedded with NFC chips.

    Just tap your new NFC smartphone (like the new Nexus S) and your phone can get a “tag” with who-knows what information.

    Roger Sterling

  2. 2011 will certainly see accelerating growth of mobile marketing due to the rising availability of smart phones and their novel uses.

    More vendor advances will further accelerate mobile marketing: more speed and convenience at lower cost; more fun with entertaining or useful apps; and more rewards for its use like price comparisons, offers and coupons that are based on someone’s proximity and their desires and needs.

    Another powerful driver will be understanding how to make mobile marketing profitable for brick and mortar, especially local, businesses due to their sheer volume and closeness to mobile buyers when purchases are considered and made. Some innovative businesses are experimenting with location-based engagement, loyalty programs, and trying to learn how to engage prospects and customers on their mobile websites.


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