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How will 2011 holiday mobile marketing spend compare to 2010?

When it comes to 2011 holiday mobile marketing spend, mobile rich media advertising and search will get the most dollars, according to industry experts.

Mobile search marketing company Performics predicts that this holiday will be the largest season yet for mobile paid search with 17.3 percent of all search clicks to come from mobile in December. Additionally, digital agency iCrossing is expecting mobile advertising spend for the 2011 holiday season to double from 2010. 

?This holiday season marketers are relying on channels that they know work and are not trying new things,? said Joy Liuzzo, vice president of InsightExpress, Stamford, CT. ?Overall, I think lots of retailers will be surprised by the amount of mobile traffic this season compared to past years."

Given that one out of three U.S. consumers is armed with a Web- and app-enabled smartphone, brands and retailers are likely to pull out all stops to get in front of this increasingly discerning audience.

The marketing cacophony this holiday season will extend not just to television commercials, print ads, radio spots, search and Internet banners, but also to ads on mobile Web and apps, check-in promos, daily deals, QR codes, rich media executions and SMS-led database-building and CRM efforts.

It can be safely said that getting heard this year will be harder than holiday seasons past. 

What can differentiate the smart marketer from the run-of-the-mill is effective use of mobile as a marketing destination and also as an enabler for other retail and marketing channels. 

Brands must be thinking of the most engaging experiences if they are going to drive conversion. 

?The holiday shopping experience starts before Black Friday for consumers,? said Rachel Pasqua, vice president of mobile at iCrossing, New York.

?Last year, clients just wanted to get mobile campaigns out and they shrunk down the creative to a mobile format,? she said. 

?Now companies are taking our advice and adding essential mobile tools such as store locators and click-to-call functions.?

Rich on mobile
When targeting, media placement and creative are done right, mobile marketers can make a significant impact on purchase and consideration during the holidays, according to Dynamic Logic.

Mobile advertising has proven to be able to drive brand consideration, intent to purchase or other relevant action. After exposure to a mobile campaign, increases in purchase intent average five points and even up to as high as ten points for the best-performing campaigns, according to Dynamic Logic.

According to Performics, mobile ad spend (among its clients) has increased 150 percent this year.

?This is being driven by two factors ? the organic rise in mobile traffic, and the increasing share of tablet traffic within mobile,? said James Beveridge, senior analyst at Performics, Chicago.

Mobile ad spending will grow 47 percent in 2012, reaching $1.8 billion, according to eMarketer.  

Digital marketing research firm InsightExpress found that mobile ad campaign norms were four-and-a-half to five times more effective than online norms. This is surely driving marketers to use the channel during the holidays and beyond. 

Mobile advertising campaigns run with rich media ad units show a significant performance lift over those with standard media. Therefore, rich media will likely get more of the mobile ad budget this year round. 

Search and rich media ads will likely get the most dollars during the holidays because these are the No. 1 channels for direct response and conversion, which is what the holidays are all about: selling. 

QR codes
QR codes can also be particularly effective around the holidays because they can be used with company?s existing marketing efforts such as print, out-of-home, on-packaging and in direct mail.

However, for companies looking for a last-minute holiday marketing push, QR codes might not be the best solution since they take time to create and cannot be changed as quickly as other mobile initiatives.

In June comScore reported that 14 million mobile users in the U.S. (6.2 percent of the total mobile audience) scanned a QR or bar code on their mobile device.

The use cases are virtually endless for QR codes. Retailers specifically can find a lot of value from incorporating codes into their mix. 

For example, The Gap incorporates codes throughout its stores to help people decide which jean is the right fit for their body type and Best Buy is using codes to give people product details and user reviews.

Marketers can incorporate QR codes to complement traditional marketing efforts. For the holidays, codes could link consumers to product demos, videos, the brand?s Facebook or Twitter page, and even directly to mobile commerce sites. 

Get social
According to mobile ad network adsmobi, parents and moms will be a growing sector to watch this season with a special focus on social media.

?The social user experience is definitely a growing trend,? said Alexander Voss, Hamburg, Germany-based senior marketing manager at adsmobi.

?Most devices are already connected to a user?s Facebook, so it?s a pretty seamless process to go from the click of a banner ad to ?liking? a brand and then easily navigating back to original content the user was engaged in,? he said.

Millennial Media predicts more retailers to leverage location-based services this holiday season.

?The name of the game during the holidays is to reach shoppers when they are shopping and get them into your stores,? said Marcus Startzel, senior vice president of sales at Millennial Media, Baltimore, MD.

?People love to talk about rich media, which is phenomenal, but sometimes a standard video or banner ad is enough to drive traffic,? he said.