Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two or three years–not that there’s anything wrong with that–you have bore witness to the “mobile phone metamorphosis” and the “smartphone surge.” Let’s face it, everyone and anyone has a mobile phone these days, or at least it seems that way, right? We all either have a smartphone or its not-so-intelligent stepchild, the “traditional” mobile phone. Sorry, don’t mean to slight the “traditional” mobile phone; after all, we ALL had one at one point.

The numbers, as they say, do not lie:

  • 234 million Americans own a mobile device.
  • As of July 82.2 million Americans owned smartphones, up by 10% from April 2011.
  • The number of advertisers using mobile advertising has doubled in just two years.
  • Revenue from mobile commerce will increase tenfold from 2010 to 2014 in the US.
  • The total value of mobile payments for digital and physical goods, money transfers and NFC (near field communications) transactions will hit $670 billion by 2015 – nearly three times as much as will be seen this year, $240 billion.
  • 1/3 of us would rather give up sex than our mobile phone.

Do I have your attention now? Yes, you read right. 1/3 of us (not saying which 1/3) would rather sleep with their mobile phone than their…well, you get the idea.

Want more?

Good, cause I got more…

  • Among all interactive marketing platforms, mobile marketing is expected to grow 38% over the next five years with an estimated $8.2 billion being allocated to it by the year 2016.
  • Google Wallet. The latest gizmo/gadget from Google is an app that will use NFC technology to turn your phone into your wallet… literally. It stores virtual versions of your existing plastic cards on your phone, along with your coupons, and eventually, loyalty and gift cards.
  • iCircular. Haven’t heard of this yet? You will. It’s a new app developed by The Associated Press and is intended to be the digital equivalent of coupons and other promotions that are inserted into the print editions of weekend newspapers.
  • In 2011, 73.5 million mobile users will play games at least monthly, up 22.1%. By 2015, more than 100 million US consumers will play games regularly on their phone. And something tells me the advertisers and the marketers out there would want to get their message in front of all these gamers.

Ok, so now you know why it’s important to be advertising and marketing in the mobile space. At least I hope you realize that by now.

But, and this is a big but: It’s huge. It’s colossal. It’s…you get the point. Before you go rushing off to start on your mobile-marketing and mobile advertising campaigns, remember these two things:

  1. Test. Test. Test. Ok, I know that’s three, technically but…consider yourself a mad scientist working in a laboratory. You want to ascertain the effectiveness of something before you announce it to the world, so what do you do? You test, of course. And then you test some more. And then maybe even a little more. In other words, don’t just jump into the mobile marketing and mobile advertising pool…dip your toe in it first, see how the water is.
  2. Integration. Repeat that word over and over in your head. Mobile marketing and mobile advertising can only truly be successful if, after you’ve tested it, of course, it becomes one part of your overall marketing and advertising strategy. It can be an incredibly powerful tool but it cannot work alone or in a silo. It needs to play with the other kids: TV, radio, print, online, and so on, in the marketing and advertising sandbox.

So go forth ye marketers and advertisers and integrate mobile into your campaigns. You’ll be glad you did.