Steve Jobs once said, “Every once in awhile a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. Apple’s been very fortunate in that it’s introduced a few of these.”
Arguably, Apple’s most iconic product – the iPhone, which turned 10 recently – seems to epitomise this, with consumers buying more than a million Apple smartphones to date. Recent findings by Gartner state that the iPhone also has cornered the smartphone market, making up 17.9% of the market share.
The impact the iPhone has had on people’s everyday lives, and as a revolutionary technology in itself, has allowed companies to jump on the smartphone bandwagon. Now, more than 2 billion people worldwide rely on these devices. It also catalysed the growth of social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. Apple’s app store didn’t officially launch until a year after the first iPhone was released, and then only featured 500 apps to choose from. Today, apps have become ubiquitous within consumers’ lifestyles, with more than 2 million to choose from and a growing number of new apps being launched continuously.
While Apple has become the dominant player on the market, many people tend to forget that they weren’t the first who looked to combine the internet with mobile services. Five years earlier, in 2002, Nokia had created its 3510 model which used General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) technology.
In addition to drastically changing consumers’ lives, the iPhone had an undoubtedly significant impact on digital advertising spend. In 2007, ad spend on mobile advertising amounted to only $1.7 billion – in contrast, this year it is expected to reach $143 billion. That’s a staggering growth for a decade, made even more impressive by the fact that mobile advertising will make up well over half of total digital advertising spend by 2020.
From a marketing point of view, it’s interesting to see the impact smartphones have had on the evolution and growth of digital advertising – particularly with regard to native ads.
In 2013, native advertising was still in its infancy – brands were experimenting with different formats and native was just coming to the forefront. However, in today’s mobile world, it has become an essential tool for any brand looking to engage with its target audiences. Consumers now expect and demand a flawless mobile experience, free from any interruptions and popup ads. As one piece of research shows, they are becoming less patient towards mobile ads than they are with on desktop. Adopting Native mobile ads in any digital campaign can really help a brand increase engagement levels and reach potential customers by matching different editorial formats and app experiences.
Consumers’ fast adoption of the smartphone in their lifestyles, combined with the desire to have a seamless, uninterrupted online experience direct from their mobile, has largely contributed in helping shift the digital ad environment toward mobile native as an alternative approach to traditional advertising, and this won’t stop anytime soon. In fact, 8 out of 10 consumers say they readily accept native content, and Facebook estimates that about 63% of mobile ads will be native within three years, amounting to $53 billion in ad spend globally.
For the advertising industry as a whole, it is now imperative for all marketers to integrate mobile channels within their overall advertising campaign strategy, and ensure that the appropriate budget is allocated to native content. Consumers live and die by their newsfeeds, and if you want to get noticed, you need to ensure you’re part of this in a way that isn’t disruptive to their user experience.
Ten years ago, the iPhone changed the world – it’s recent anniversary shows just how quickly things can shift. Nothing is forever and smartphones will likely be old news in a few years’ time, overtaken by another future technology. However, one thing is clear: companies who actively adapt and embrace new realities will flourish and profit.