The average time spent per day on one’s mobile device has increased from 21.9% to 28.2% compared to other major media mediums. The increased activity on mobile phones has increased more than Internet, TV and video, radio, and print mediums. According to ComScore, as of April 19, 2011 the majority of mobile subscribers is the 45-54 age group followed by 25-34 year olds. Among those who use mobile phones, the majority of time spent on these devices is conducting searches (40.7%), social networking (36%), and personal email via a browser (35.1%). As mobile device usage increases, as does the the mobile ad spending. In 2009, mobile ad spending was $416,000,000 and it is projected to increase to $2,549,500,000 by 2014 which is an increase in 500% in spending and the majority of spending will switch from display to search ads.

In order to truly understand the future of mobile advertising, let’s discuss the different types of mobile advertising. The main types of mobile advertising are: SMS ads, search ads, web display ads, and app display ads.

Below are some examples of these ads:

SMS ads: The user is opted into the SMS vendor’s network and then the user can receive an alert (weather, sports, stocks, etc.). At the bottom of the text, there is a short “teaser ad” which allows the user to opt-in for more information. The user replies with a text and receives a longer ad from the advertiser with a call to action such as the ability to click to call.

In-App mapping unit: This type of ad includes a mobile banner displayed within a Web site. The user clicks on the mobile banner and the mobile ad unit uses a GPS to provide instant location mapping of the user. Click to call is determined by the GPS proximity. The rich media aspect of these ads leverages iPhone functionality in order to deliver enhanced user engagement.

iAD: These ads appear on the iPhone as display ads that allow the user to click and have an interactive experience with the ads such as playing a game, watching videos, download offers, and more. Mobile rich media: These ads start off as banners in the browser and can become expandable and watched by users (short video).

Text to short code: These ads allow a mobile phone user to send a short text message to an ad provider in order to have additional information on a product or service sent back to his or her phone. These ads can be incorporated with billboards, print, radio, and car wraps.

QR codes: These two-dimensional codes are being utilized to allow ease of access to Web sites via the mobile web. QR codes are more practical than barcodes due to the thousands of alphanumeric characters of information that they can hold. Users can scan the QR code with their smartphone and then they are re-directed to an ad, Web site, offer, etc.

Augmented reality: This allows the user to look through their phone at a store-front, restaurant, or other physical locations, and obtain information about that location such as address, menu, listing price, etc.

As our society is becoming more mobile dependent, mobile phone usage is prevalent across all demographics. The majority of mobile data usage growth is being driven by smartphones. Looking towards the future, tablets could change the face of mobility and computing, and advertising as a whole. Mobile is not a standalone channel. Companies should always think of the consumer first and make sure that the advertising channels are relevant, convenient, and useful.