Mobile internet usage gains have brands eyeing on-the-go strategies
JUNE 6, 2012 – Mobile phone penetration in Canada is neither as wide nor as fast-growing as in the US, but the country that birthed the BlackBerry is rising rapidly when it comes to uptake of smartphones and tablets�and inspiring more mobile internet usage as a result. Marketers on both sides of the 49th parallel are taking note.
The number of mobile internet users in Canada jumped more than 28% in 2011, with 25% of the population using the mobile internet by year�s end. eMarketer estimates that penetration will continue to rise, albeit at a somewhat slower pace, through 2016, when nearly half of the population will be mobile internet users.
“As adoption continues to increase, marketers are moving from getting their feet wet to executing more sophisticated campaigns,” said Paul Briggs, author of the new eMarketer report “Canada Mobile: Marketers Take Aim at a Moving Target.” “Canada�s brands and agencies have started to invest in the mobile channel, with mobile increasingly occupying a dedicated line with campaign budgets.”
In 2011, mobile ad spending in Canada reached a relatively paltry US$80 million, according to eMarketer estimates, but that figure is expected to balloon past $777 million in the next four years, as “mobile-first” strategies begin to dominate marketers� efforts.
One of the primary challenges for marketers will be Canada�s increasingly equitable spread of mobile operating systems, as a result of Research In Motion hemorrhaging BlackBerry OS market share in the face of expanding ownership of Android- and Apple iOS-based devices.
“Reaching all smartphone users [in Canada] can require separate development projects for reaching Android, BlackBerry and iOS devices,” Briggs noted. Especially in regards to issuing apps to engage consumers and serve as a venue for display ads, “reaching across all major platforms can be costly and hard to manage.”
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