It's no secret that mobile advertising is
expected to grow globally in years to come, as smartphone use
increases and the ability to target customers even more closely
improves on mobile.
However, in the Middle East, mobile advertising
constitutes only a fraction of regional ad spend, and SMS is
still very popular.
Here's a look at some of the statistics that reveal the difference between the global market and the regional market, so that startups can consider how to allocate ad dollars based on their target audience:
- Growth in global
ad spend is accelerating. Growth is increasing from 3.6%
in 2012 to 5.3% in 2013, and expected to reach 5.8% by 2015,
according to a report by Advertising Expenditure
Forecasts. One of the reasons for its acceleration
is that, for the first time, mobile is expanding media consumption
without cannabalising other platforms.
advertising will jump to fourth place by 2016. Within the
next two years, mobile advertising is expected to
become the fourth most popular advertising medium, contributing
7.7% to total ad spend by 2016, compared to 2.7% this year,
according to the same report noted above.
ads are the name of the game on mobile. As mobile grows,
programmatic advertising, especially real time
buying, is gaining momentum, according to a report by
Business Insider. Real time buying allows companies to buy
highly targeted ads, based on a user's interests and mobile usage
habits, in the moment as they are browsing. Programmatic for mobile
is growing at 56% annually in the U.S., according to the
- In the Middle East, the
overall mobile market is growing. More people are using
mobile phones, which means more potential customers. Mobile
penetration rates are hitting new heights, reaching 109% in the
region as a whole, according to an Ericsson report, and 181.6% in Saudi Arabia
alone. Mobile phone users are also attached to their phones
more than any time before, as 60% of mobile phone users check
their phones more than
twice daily, according to Saudi marketing and communications
- Mobile ad spend is
still low in the Middle East, and
it's growing less quickly than the global
average. Globally, mobile advertising grew 82.8% in 2012,
while mobile ad spend in the Middle East grew 68%, according to
Advertising Bureau, meaning that mobile ad spend in the Middle
East as a percentage of the global total actually shrank from 2011
to 2012- from 1.3% of global ad spend to 1.2%.
- In the Middle East,
SMS-based advertising is still a very popular
method of mobile advertising.
Data compiled by OTS showed that 99% of SMS messages are read
within three minutes of being received, and generally, companies in
the region have seen a 40% increase in revenue after launching a
successful SMS marketing campaign.
These conclusions echo something that several mobile services providers in the region have told Wamda: SMS is still often, a better bet than mobile advertising. Yet startups addressing a global audience won't want to miss this trend.