By Tom Marciw
Tom Marciw is a Cannes advertising media award–winner and media director at Fruchtman Marketing, a full-service agency headquartered in Toledo, Ohio.
As a media professional in this age of technology, it is imperative to keep up on the industry’s ever-changing landscape. As advancements continue to progress at a breakneck pace, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. In my 18 years investigating new forms of media, I don’t think I have ever seen one explode as quickly as the recent surge in mobile, specifically smartphones. This form of technology has already impacted media planning in profound ways and will very likely continue to do so over the coming months and years. Those in the jewelry industry who begin testing the mobile waters now will assume an advantage over those who feel mobile media is not yet a necessity for their marketing and media plans. The sooner a company can learn the pitfalls and benefits of advertising on mobile media, the quicker those lessons can be applied to future mobile initiatives — and on the much grander scale that will be required as the number of smartphones grows.

The current quantity of mobile devices in the United States varies depending on the source. The most recent figures from comScore, February 2013, indicate the total is 175 million smartphones and tablets in use nationwide. Other sources cite higher or lower totals. However, one item that nearly all of the sources agree upon is smartphone ownership has surpassed 50 percent and is expected to grow at a steady pace as the cost of such devices continues to decline. This is significant because smartphones are so technologically advanced, the user experience is similar to that of a personal computer. This technology provides the opportunity for advertisers to utilize more robust forms of advertising, such as video ads and rich banner placements. Typically, these mobile ads perform four to five times better than online ads across key metrics, with stronger recall rates, higher awareness levels, increases in opinion, longer times spent on a website, etc. (Insight Express, 2012)

If you’re in the jewelry business consider adding mobile media advertising to your 2013 media plans and beyond for various reasons, but primarily due to the recent advances in smartphone technology. These advances have elevated advertising on mobile device to the same level as internet advertising. In fact, its very mobility provides even stronger benefits for advertisers than the laptop or desktop counterpart. Consider the following key statistics:

61 percent of smartphone users perform local searches on their device. (comScore, January 2012)

70 percent of mobile searches lead to action within an hour, in comparison to 30 percent from desktop searches. (Mobile Marketer, 2012)

Search queries via mobile devices double during the Christmas selling season. (Google, 2011)

More than 55 percent of smartphone users have a HHI greater than $50,000-plus per year, with nearly a third making more than $75,000-plus per year. (Online Publishers Association, 2012)

In 2012 more than 50 percent of affluent consumers, whose average incomes are approximately $250,000 per year used their mobile device for shopping research, 40 percent used their device to make a purchase. (Unity Marketing, 2013)

61 percent of customers who visit a mobile-unfriendly site are likely to go to a competitor's site. (IAB, 2012)

Adults spend more media time on mobile than newspapers and magazines combined. (eMarketer, December 2011)

It’s very clear mobile advertising is a force to be reckoned with across the advertising landscape and those businesses that master mobile advertising sooner rather than later will not only reap the benefits now, but also will have gained some valuable experience that can be applied to future mobile advertising. No matter how that future manifests itself, a much larger audience of mobile users is unquestionably growing. If the projections are correct and smartphones do overtake PC sales across the globe in the next several years, mobile advertising will overtake Internet advertising via the desktop PC as well.

There are simply too many media opportunities that currently exist for businesses not to target consumers via their mobile devices, whether it’s the local fine jeweler advertising an event/promotion or a national jewelry designer establishing a brand. The technology already exists to target consumers on their mobile device in many of the same ways as general Internet advertising.

Mobile paid search should be the first item of business for companies that want to test the waters. Paid search allows you to target your advertising to consumers who are actively searching for products or services available from your business. Knowing that more than 70 percent of mobile searches result in action within the hour, it’s imperative your sales message be the first one consumers see. Zip Code Targeting is also readily available for anyone who desires to keep their advertisements local or wishes to bolster sales within a prescribed area.

Consider Geotargeting as well, a media strategy that reaches only those consumers within a specified distance of your business. Geotargeting can not only identify those individuals living in close proximity to your store, but those simply driving through. Database marketing is another very viable mobile advertising solution. Target only those consumers who are current customers and/or prospects, and eliminate all others. No more wasting ads and precious media funds on consumers with little or no interest in your message. Finally, one of the strongest performing forms of digital advertising is “retargeting:" reaching out to consumers who have paid a visit to a business’s website via their PC. This opportunity has recently crossed over to mobile and should be tested as part of any 2013 mobile advertising initiative.

As mobile media continues to grow and smartphone technology expands, even more advertising opportunities will begin to take shape. The business that masters mobile advertising now will have a much greater understanding of the mobile consumer and will be better prepared to take on any new mobile opportunities that arise in the future. Those businesses that take a wait-and-see approach -- as they did with the Internet -- will play catch-up. Now that smartphone users have exceeded feature phone users, there are no more excuses as to why mobile advertising should not be a part of your current 2013 media plans.

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