According to a new report from eMarketer, mobile web usage in Western Europe will double by 2015. There have certainly been a number of predictions the past few months hailing huge growth in the smartphone market around the world and the UK, France German, Italy and Spain are another fertile growth market according to eMarketer. Smartphone usage is booming.
According to eMarketer’s estimates, 58 million of the EU-5 population will access the internet from a mobile device this year. That’s a pretty large number and as those people fall in love with mobile access, they’ll spread the word to many others.
The report also states that Europeans in general are already fairly accepting of mobile marketing efforts. It claims consumers in Europe already have a willingness to interact with brands and have an appetite for perks such as coupons and special offer alerts.
Mobile marketing certainly does offer advertisers the opportunity to be a lot more connected to the consumer before, during and after a purchase. From getting their attention before the sale to price comparisons during the buying process to after sales service and support, mobile technology offers a lot of possibilities for marketers to enhance and add value for consumers.
As companies begin to see the value in multi-channel campaigns focused on driving awareness and building engagement, eMarketer predicts we will see more sophisticated loyalty programs and other permission based practices.
Of course this also means that mobile ad spending is going to increase in EU-5 as well. One research firm has predicted a tenfold increase in spending by 2015. That’s a lot of money which will become available to those agencies which are wired enough and smart enough to show brands how to leverage mobile for marketing.
Mobile marketing really isn’t something you can just treat as another separate channel to market to. Because this technology travels with people and is an important, even critical tool for people, a different approach is called for. First and foremost there needs to be recognition that we now live in a multi-channel world where consumers are cross-channel and they decide where and when they will interact with a brand. Second, marketers must understand that people expect to be able to interact and not just have marketing messages thrust at them. Certainly not every consumer is going to want a conversation, but the mere perception that a brand welcomes one is a positive for a consumer.
You can purchase the full eMarketer report here.