The battle for superiority between digital and print has been raging for a number of years, but the outcome is becoming apparent. The rise of mobile devices has presented the print world with a clear choice: either adapt or face extinction. It’s not so long ago that smartphones burst onto the scene and changed the way we all work and interact with one another forever.
Smart mobile devices have taken over the market, augmented by the subsequent arrival of tablets and other so-called ‘wearable’ technology. These devices have fundamentally changed the way we behave, most notably the way in which we consume our content.
Indeed, a report by eMarketer claims that mobile advertising spend is expected to pass the £2 billion mark and will surpass print ad spend by 2015; a statistic that will be of no surprise to marketers. Nowadays, more content is consumed digitally than ever before and the print media is struggling to compete – a trend that will only grow.
The question is: how has this meteoric rise taken place? Put simply, it’s a matter of convenience. The smartphone, for example, is an enabler for the ‘always-on’ consumer. Wherever you are, whenever you want, you have access to all of the content you need and our 24-hour culture means you need to be connected. With users forever glued to these small screens, advertisers have in their arsenal the perfect device for generating awareness.
While the smartphone has been instrumental in the rise of mobile, the tablet is also beginning to hold sway. Where smartphones are often the first point of contact, tablets are an advertisers brand enforcer. Today, tablet ownership is up 63 per cent in 2013 to 17.9 million users.
The fact that tablets are used in the home more than anywhere else, as a matter of convenience, is something advertisers have long been aware of. Yet, this opportunity has not been fully explored. A targeted advert aimed at individual family members is one potentially fruitful avenue.
Another is the emerging ‘second screen’ phenomenon, which allows advertisers to engage users with content that is relevant to them. The average level of reader recall is already the same on tablet as it is in print, so the power to ensure brand recall is huge. It’s just a case of exploring these opportunities.
The prospect of being in constant contact with consumers at home or ‘abroad’ must whet the appetite for future thinking. The smartphone and tablet could facilitate a pincer movement by advertisers, which print media will not be able to compete against. Used correctly, the short, sharp communication tactics permitted via mobile, combined with the long lead, browsing driven content experience, on tablets will flourish mobile advertisers.
The foundations have been laid for future generations to exist in a world with strong alternatives to print. A mobile lifestyle is becoming the norm and advertisers should be licking their lips.