As the world’s largest ad market and leading spender on mobile advertising, the United States saw a total expenditure of 72.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. This figure represents an 18 percent increase in mobile ad spend from 2018 and is mostly attributable to spending in the retail industry. In 2019, the U.S. retail sector invested over 19 billion U.S. dollars in mobile advertising, in response to shoppers’ gradual turn towards e-commerce. As U.S. consumers are increasingly switching to mobile devices to browse the web and are therefore spending less time online via PC, marketers are now primarily focusing their advertising efforts on mobile platforms. Consequently, mobile has overtaken desktop as the primary recipient of digital advertising funds in the United States in recent years.
In a survey conducted in February 2020, polled marketers from across the United States reported allocating approximately 13 percent of their overall marketing budgets to mobile marketing initiatives. By investing in such measures, marketers seek to meet one of two primary objectives, namely branding or fueling conversion actions such as direct responses. As some of the most popular mobile ad formats, playable and interactive ads are generally considered the most effective tools for ensuring retention among internet audiences, according to industry professionals. Other tactics and technologies employed within the field of mobile advertising include the use of beacons, push notifications, and location-based tracking, all of which serve to tailor marketing campaigns to individual users.
Looking at how today’s mobile users are navigating their time online, in-app use stands out as the most relevant channel in terms of usage time. Seeing that leading mobile apps like YouTube and Facebook reached around 70 percent of U.S. smartphone users by early 2020, their great potential for brands and advertisers cannot be overemphasized. However, partnering with such platforms is not only a formula for success, as many consumers distrust ads that are placed on social media sites and delivered via mobile phones. U.S.-based companies will therefore have to find a suitable balance between content visibility and inundation in the future, as too many ads can deter potential customers and drive away existing ones.