Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
February 25, 2011 8:44 PM

When Mobile Eats The Internet's Lunch

As mobile becomes more important to the overall Marketing mix, will it wind up diverting funds away from the Web?

Marketing is changing. Fast. Faster than most expected and faster than most organizations can keep up. The adoption of mobile devices is not to be taken lightly. For the past few years, I've made the argument for one-line of connectivity (not having separate strategies for mobile, social media and the Internet) - one strategy that deals with the connected consumer. In the ReadWriteWeb news items, Smartphones Outsell PCs, from February 8th, 2011 it was reported: "According to IDC, smartphone manufacturers shipped 100.9 million devices in the fourth quarter of 2010, while PC manufacturers shipped 92.1 million units worldwide. Or, more simply put, smartphones just outsold PCs for the first time ever. The number of smartphones sold in Q4 2010 was up 87.2% from the 53.9 million sold in Q4 2009. For the year, vendors shipped 302.6 million smartphones - an increase of 74.4% from the 173.5 million in 2009."

These are the early indications of what will be the inevitable shift from fixed connectivity to a completely mobile experience.

While brands are tinkering with mobile and tablet marketing (much in the same way they tinkered with the Web in the early 2000's), there is an opportunity (right now) to not get left behind and (for once) to get ahead, and take the lead prior to mass consumer adoption (which - in the case of mobile - is an inevitability). Too bad, we're already making some initial mistakes. The famous saying, "robbing Peter to pay Paul," is exactly where us Marketers find ourselves.

Taking from the Web to give to mobile.

Yesterday, MediaPost, ran a Blog post titled, Most Mobile Budgets Coming From Online. I suspected this was happening, but was sad to see it all come to life: "Among companies with near-term mobile marketing plans, only 20% have created a separate budget line item for mobile. The majority (60%) carve mobile budgets from online ad spending, according to a new survey of 350 executives with responsibility for mobile at brands, agencies, publishers and technology vendors. So mobile still has to battle it out for its share of ad spending against more established online channels like search, display and video."

Big mistake.

Marketing dollars allocated to the Internet are still grossly under allocated when you compare it to consumer consumption of all media channels (percentage wise). There are countless reasons and arguments for this. The underlying sentiment for this seems to be based on complacency: nobody wants to rock the boat for fear that shifting marketing dollars to other/newer channels may not return the same results they're currently getting (no matter how bad they may be). Now, with the rapid ascent of mobile, we're busy splitting hairs on an already under-allocated media channel.

It's up to us to correct this path. Now.

By Mitch Joel