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August 10, 2011

Main Street Goes Mobile -
Aug '11

Overview

Main Street is embracing mobile marketing at a stunning rate. The adoption of the latest “new media” has outpaced the rate that local businesses warmed up to cable advertising in the 1980s or even Internet advertising a decade ago. This 26-page report features 27 charts, graphs and illustrations depicting the various components of mobile marketing and forecasting its growth to 2016. Local advertisers are on track to spend nearly $800 million this year on mobile advertising and more than $400 million on mobile promotions, including contests, coupons and deals. Forecasts have those numbers roughly doubling every year for the next five. If that occurs, local mobile marketing expenditures would surpass $18 billion for advertising and $4 billion for promotions – more than Main Street businesses currently spend on traditional web-based advertising today.  Charts in this report track the past and forecast growth for mobile devices, which include tablets, PDAs, smartphones and e-readers, showing how they are likely to surpass PCs in terms of household penetration within a few years. Breakouts are also provided for types of mobile marketing by local businesses, including how much they spend on SMS, mobile banners and email, paid search, and mobile video and audio advertising.
Breakouts for promotional spending include proximity, sponsorships, coupons, loyalty programs, sampling and deals. Sources for the data include Borrell’s ongoing surveys of SMBs, as well as research from Morgan Stanley, Gartner, Exact Target and Borrell’s proprietary database of ad spending for more than 24 million U.S. businesses.

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While Main Street tends to be cautious about change, local businesses are embracing mobile opportunities at remarkable rates. They watch people walk by their storefronts staring at small screens, and read in their trade publications about door-busting texting and mobile couponing campaigns for small businesses.

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