It’s Probably Time to Figure Out Your Mobile Strategy

Matt Clement

Written by Matt Clement

May 29, 2014

There are a lot of interesting graphs and insights in this article at the Atlantic, but for my money, here’s the big one:

Percent of time spent in media vs percent of advertising spending graph

Essentially, what you’re seeing is that the amount of money spent on print is disproportionately high compared to the amount of money spent on mobile, relative to the time people spend on each.

That said, whether or not this graph means anything to you depends on who you are:

1.) If you’re an advertiser, I don’t think it’s necessarily a call to move a ton of money into mobile advertising. In my opinion, most of the platforms are awful, the click-throughs are minuscule and, in the end, it’s a platform waiting for a better advertising model. But if history teaches us anything, it’s that in due time this is where you’ll be spending money, so keep a hand on the horse, so to speak.

2.) If you’re advertiser (Part II), it’s probable cause to question your print spend (like you haven’t been already). With print, you get superior engagement times to these other mediums, but the percentage of spend is getting high enough that for many of us (and to be clear, we ARE print advertisers), it’s becoming a bit disconcerting.

3.) If you’re a publisher, the article hints at brands being able to make money on paid apps, and until advertising gets figured out, that could be a way to go, assuming you have a compelling product. And if you don’t, well that’s an entirely different problem. Keep in mind, paid content isn’t a great way to get paid, but branded calculators, resource guides, how-to-kits, etc., if done right, packaged well in an app, can give you a reason to be.

And, perhaps most important of all, don’t forget that what you’re seeing is media as a whole. I suppose the only one who could take this chart at face value is Walmart. For the rest of us, it’s critical to examine how these charts are similar or different within our own verticals, because that’s what matters most.

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