I’m sure the prevalence of mobile phones and tablet devices has not gone unnoticed. It may be difficult to believe that the mobile tablet as an innovation is only already three years old, although it perhaps really came into its own in the last twelve months or so.
This growing tide of smartphones and tablets is helping to push up mobile advertising. Gartner’s projections indicate that mobile advertising revenue is expected to be $11.4 billion worldwide this year, reaching $24.5 billion by 2016 – compared to $9.6 billion in 2012. 
A large part of this is probably due to the amazing rate of uptake of mobile phones and related devices in Asia. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Techology (MIIT) reports that in 2012, China had more than 1 billion subscribers: 1.11 billion mobile phone users, to be exact, out of a population of 1.354 billion. MIIT also reports that 80 per cent of phone users in China use mobile phones.
What about for marketers? What do these numbers mean for us? The main thing is that mobile represents an immense opportunity, and one that we are still grappling to exploit at its fullest. Part of the problem is a lack of understanding, stemming from uncertainty about the medium, and the difficulty of measuring performance.
This is set to change, though. Advanced analytical tools are coming into play, ones that offer what is called attribution tracking and attribution modelling. While in the past we might have measured the impact of a marketing campaign across a single media channel, that method does not adequately take into account the different multi-faceted cross-media campaigns that brands utilise today.
A consumer’s purchase decision can no longer be attributed to his or her singular contact with the brand. Today’s consumer is likely to see a print ad, watch a tvc, have his interest piqued, check out the website, download an app (whether its directly connected to the brand or not), maybe comparison shop with online stores or check review websites before finally making that crucial decision to buy.
Advanced modelling and analytics can more accurately measure the contribution of these multiple contact points. There is still a substantial amount of work to do, but advances in technology can help marketers understand how and how much influence each and every contact has on the customer. This can help to break down the silos between different media, and help marketers create holistic campaigns – and, importantly, include some of the social media engagement that customers demand.
Measuring the entire spectrum of consumer engagement is an impossible task, but estimating the effect and contribution of multiple contacts can change the way marketers think about marketing – and more closely match marketing methods to the way that consumers utilise the media.