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IAB Study Shows Uptick in Mobile Advertising Budgets

Brand marketer mobile budgets surged 142% between 2011 and 2013, according to Interactive Advertising Bureau analysis of figures released in a new IAB study, produced by consultancy and research firm Ovum.

The results, which update the “Marketer Perspectives on Mobile Advertising” survey of 2011, were released during the annual IAB MIXX Conference & Expo in New York.

The findings support the prior study’s prediction that brand marketers’ mobile advertising budgets were on the rise. In addition, the survey showed that the number of marketers who maintained annual mobile budgets exceeding $300,000 more than quadrupled, rising from 7% in 2011 to 32%.

According to the 2013 “Marketer Perspectives on Mobile Advertising” study of 300 top-level brand marketing executives, nearly three-quarters (74%) expect that their companies’ mobile advertising spend will increase in the next two years — a similar number to those who anticipated an increase in the two years following the 2011 survey (72%). Moreover, building upon this intent to boost mobile spend, almost one in five respondents (19%) predict that their mobile budgets will increase by more than 50% in the next two years.

Respondents were also asked to rank the top developments in mobile advertising: responsive design, HTML5 and mobile native advertising.

“These findings reaffirm that publishers need to make mobile a top priority in order to take advantage of strong brand marketer demand,” said Anna Bager, vice president and general manager for the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence. “In addition, it is a signal to all of us at IAB that we must continue initiatives, such as our HTML5 guidance for digital advertising, to fuel the mobile arena.”

The 2013 survey inquired about the key challenges facing mobile advertising. The results demonstrate that, while hurdles remain, greater marketer experience and ongoing industry efforts have lessened the urgency. For example, a highly important challenge in 2011 was cited as privacy issues, named by 40% of marketers. Surveying marketers in 2013, a year in which the Digital Advertising Alliance released mobile privacy guidelines, that number nearly halved to 22%. In 2011, 39% of respondents said that device/operating system fragmentation was of high concern; only 23% say the same today. In addition, progress has been made in the area of standard mobile metrics, as 31% of marketers cited it as a highly important challenge in 2011, with 13% noting it in 2013.

In addition to comparing and contrasting against the 2011 findings, this year’s “Marketer Perspectives on Mobile Advertising” spotlights differences between marketers’ perceptions about mobile from the B2C and B2B sides of the fence:

● 41% of B2B marketers rate mobile as still “experimental” as compared to only 27% of B2C
● B2B marketers are far less likely to be looking at feature phones as part of their mobile efforts, with 45% saying that those devices are “not a priority” as compared to 19% of B2C marketers
● B2C marketers are generally more satisfied with their mobile efforts than their B2B counterparts (70% vs. 50%)

The survey is based on a quantitative primary research program with 300 U.S. organizations that use mobile advertising. The sample included an even mix of companies in terms of revenue size, and with a balanced split across business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies.

Respondents to the questionnaire were marketing executives with either final decision making authority for some or all of our mobile marketing requirements or who had influence over some or all mobile marketing decisions.

IAB used the survey data to estimate an average marketer budget for 2011 and 2013, assuming a normal distribution and taking an average. At the high end, Ovum made conservative assumptions about average spending levels and applied those consistently for 2011 and 2013. This model yielded an average mobile ad budget of $100,125 in 2011 and $242,750 in 2013, a 142% growth rate for the two-year-period.