Corporate Eye

UK Mobile Marketing Wide Open for Business

mobile phonesAccording to a June 2010 report from comScore, the number of people who own smartphones in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and Italy nearly doubled to 60.8 million people between 2009 to 2010 (41% growth to be more precise).  In the United Kindom alone, smartphone use nearly tripled (70% to be precise) to 15 million users between 2009 to 2010.  The latter data comes from a report from the Internet Advertising Bureau UK as reported by eMarketer.

Considering the fact that it’s estimated that 1 in 3 people in the United Kingdom who use the Internet have accessed the web via their mobile devices in 2010, it appears that the opportunities for brands to reach consumers via mobile advertising are significant.  However, eMarketer also reports the comScore study found that in the United Kingdom in 2009, mobile advertising spending accounted for, “just 1% of the sum spent on all online ads aimed at PC users.”  As you might expect, that spending is expected to grow quickly.  In fact, the Internet Advertising Bureau UK predicts it will more than double before 2011 comes to a close.

Keep in mind, there is still much to be learned about mobile advertising.  Although many consumers claim not to mind receiving mobile ads that are actually useful to them, there is still not a written recipe for success.  There is much testing to be done in the coming years, so although we’ll see ad spending in the mobile environment grow by leaps and bounds, return on investment numbers are likely to track across the charts.  However, without experimentation and more research, there is no way of knowing what will work in mobile marketing and advertising.  It’s an exciting time to be a marketer, but the challenge is getting the budget to do the necessary testing without a guarantee of success.

Have you been successful in convincing your executives to set aside a percentage of the marketing budget for mobile marketing?  The numbers don’t lie.  More people are using mobile devices to conduct more aspects of their lives everyday.  It can easily be argued that brands which don’t carve out a space in the mobile environment will find themselves playing catch-up later.  Certainly, smartphones aren’t going to disappear anytime soon.  On the contrary, they will only get faster, more affordable, and more prevalent.  There’s no turning back now.

What do you think?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts about mobile marketing in 2010 and beyond.

Image: stock.xchng

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.