All mobile, all the time

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All of the news and news leads here in the Direct Marketing News newsroom today centered on mobile marketing. Two studies and a marketing campaign in particular stood out and underscored growth in the sector. One study, from BIA/Kelsey, was bullish on ad revenue potential, predicting mobile will grow to $2.9 billion by 2014. The prediction represents a compound annual growth of 43% for the sector, which brought in $491 million in 2009.

BIA/Kelsey based its projections on formulas assessing current ad rates and sales. It predicted that search advertising would see the fastest growth, from $59 million to $1.6 billion over the five-year period. That is compared to a 20% growth rate for SMS advertising.

Projections have been made in the past, and we keep hearing this is the year of mobile, but with those kinds of predictions, perhaps 2011 is the year.

Major marketers are using mobile in several ways. American Red Cross launched a mobile holiday donation effort on December 1. Individuals can text the Red Cross to make a $25 donation. The nonprofit saw the power of mobile with its unprecedented $33 million in relief dollars raised following the Haiti earthquake.

According to another study, marketers are making much more use of mobile media to reach out to shoppers this holiday season, and more shoppers are using their mobile devices to interact with ads.

Engagement with mobile campaigns continues to grow, according to Millennial Media's tallies, which covers more than 80% of the U.S. mobile ad market. The network's October figures showed post-click activity was up by double-digits in all forms of call to action, especially mobile-only. Mobile campaigns are driving traffic to retail promotions and mobile commerce, which saw 13% and 8% growth in click-through in October, respectively.

With the growing ubiquity of portable devices among consumers and this continued comfort level with the medium, maybe mobile really has finally arrived.

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