Media Buying Trends for Mobile Part Two: Industries Using Mobile Ads

Mobile digital advertising is an area that continues to grow and change with advancements in the advertising industry. In our previous blog post, we discussed changes in mobile display formats. In this second installment of our mobile buying trends series—based on details from FunMobility’s “Mobile Advertising Trends Report 2014”—we focus on the industries currently using mobile advertising.

Part Two: Industries Using Mobile Advertising and Their Spending

This year, the United States will spend a colossal $17.73 billion on mobile advertising. The chart below shows the industries that make up that total and breaks down how much each industry spends.


Here we are discussing what this spending means and how mobile advertising benefits these industries in various ways. Some examples of these include:

  • The importance of leveraging geo-tagging and local offers
  • Rich media enhancing clickthrough rates
  • Goals and gains with mobile versus non-mobile
  • The industries that straggle behind the pack of mobile advertising

Mobile Ad Giants

One quarter of all mobile ad spending is in the retail sector with $4 billion already spent in 2014. This figure can be broken down even further:

  • 33% big box stores
  • 6% clothing and apparel
  • 2% home and garden
  • 20% other

These types of retail giants benefit from the geo-tagging capabilities of mobile as opposed to non-mobile. Specifically, the “store finder” feature drives traffic to brick-and-mortar stores. This feature shows customers a business’ nearest location, for example, through a Google map connection including directions from their GPS location. Additionally, retail ads that include links to “buy now” drive digital sales for online shops.


Rich Media Experts

As discussed in the first part of this series, rich media ads are really taking off this year as companies are benefitting from this innovative ad type. Automotive mobile ads are now a familiar sight as the industry spends $1.85 billion on ads. Their rich media ads more than quadrupled clickthroughs. These ads help the auto industry gain brand awareness and feature local offers. Likewise, in the travel industry, online travel agencies gain similar benefits with rich media, especially gaining bookings for same day or last minute journeys.

Big spenders like the consumer and packaged goods (CPG) and media and entertainment industries also benefit from the growth of rich media in mobile ads. CPG spends trillions of dollars per year on advertising including non-mobile. This industry has found success at building brand awareness through rich media, as well as social sharing and branded games on mobile.

The media and entertainment industry spent $1.54 billion this year and will grow faster than any other industry in this format. Rich media ads, including traditional 30-second television commercials as opt-in mobile video ads, and game app ads increase awareness and product launch buzz. Companies in this industry should be mindful of how many seconds of videos viewers are actually watching to gauge best practices as this format grows.

Industries with Unique Goals and Methods

Although it is a goal of many of the industries we have discussed so far, not all are spending on mobile ads to gain brand awareness. Finance, telecommunications, and technology companies have unique goals successfully reached with this ad format.

  • Finance companies’ goals vary, but often include driving registration. They have minimized the friction of registration processes on mobile with short and simple text fields, resulting in an increased amount of conversions. The industry’s clickthrough rates alone have four times that of non-mobile ads, justifying the $2.2 billion they have spent on mobile ads this year.
  • The telecommunications industry’s goal is to build one-to-one consumer relationships. They do this through the “place call” feature, which easily connects customers to businesses through just the click of a button.


  • Technology companies’ goal actually is awareness; however, they reach this goal in a different way than other industries. These businesses use type-of-device information available from the mobile format to their advantage in a similar way that other industries use the geo-tagging or location-based capabilities of mobile. For example, Android often runs mobile ads on iOS devices that are nearing end of market lifespan, thus creating awareness and encouraging conversion to their technology. This is referred to as “Techno Conquesting.”

Behind the Curve

The one sector that has not caught the mobile advertising fire is the health and pharmaceutical industry, which makes up only 2% of all industries’ mobile ad spend in the US for this year. In fact, health and pharmaceutical’s digital display ad investments have actually declined by 22% since 2012 according to a Nielsen report. This is a fault those in the industry own up to—like A.J. Triano of inVentiv Health’s Palio+Ignite, who says:

“We’re still misaligned with where people are needing our information… We’re drastically overspending on print and TV, and underutilizing the mediums where people are looking and paying attention.”

Time will tell if the health and pharmaceuticals industry will catch up to the likes of retail giants, or even smaller spenders like travel or technology. Companies should use mobile advertising to create awareness and educate consumers about product information in the future.

Whether you are behind the pack on mobile advertising like the health and pharmaceutical industry or a booming retail mobile ad giant, Multimedia can provide the best media placement for your business’ mobile ads. We have relationships with media connections around the globe and even have exclusive contracts for the biggest outlets in Latin America and the Caribbean. Contact us to discover how we can help your business reach the globe.