The Smartphone Effect on Marketing and Advertising


The shift toward increasing smartphone usage that began in the early 2000s meant that advertisers and marketers had to adjust their strategies and campaigns accordingly to accommodate for mobile. For instance, companies without a mobile-friendly website risked losing valuable exposure on Google Inc.’s (GOOG) web search queries. That’s because in 2015 Google changed its algorithm so that more mobile-friendly websites received priority placement for search queries made on mobile devices, a change that some in the press dubbed “Mobilegeddon,” according to the Huffington Post.

Another lesson marketers and advertisers had to learn was that smartphones are not only receivers but also transmitters of information. Smartphones have become huge repositories of information on individual tastes and preferences. This means advertisers and marketers had the ability to be much more specific in their advertising and marketing campaigns and were able to offer more-relevant messages to different types of groups or individuals than they were in the past.

While this meant that consumers were expecting this increased relevance from brand advertising, it also meant that consumers increasingly began to expect relevance when and where it is needed. Consumers were more frequently consulting their smartphones to help them make everyday decisions. A 2015 Wall Street Journal survey found that 91% of smartphone users would look up helpful information on their phones while trying to complete a task. And according to Google data from 2015, 69% of smartphone users looked for travel ideas while waiting in a line or for the subway, and 82% of users turned to their phones when deciding whether or not to buy a specific product while standing in a store.