Display advertising is no longer a matter of advertising uniformly across mobile and desktop. Leader brands recognize mobile’s unrivaled influence on consumer behavior and the purchase funnel. A modern consumer might discover a product via a mobile ad and examine it further on a desktop computer, only to purchase it when searching for the nearest store months later.
Product discoverability on mobile devices and the cross-device purchase journey are causing brands to increase investment in mobile advertising. Mobile display ad spend increased 50% year-over-year in 2017 among 321 brands across 12 sectors. This growth outshined growth on desktop video, which increased 16%, and far surpassed desktop display spend, which decreased by 1%.
Instead of just amplifying existing mobile assets, brands are also beginning to think mobile-first. In 2017, mobile impressions were up by 46%; additionally, 15% of total ad creatives were mobile-only, up 7% from 2016. Even sectors embedded in the legacy ad industry, such as financial services, have ramped up mobile-only ads. The rise of creatives designed for mobile viewing habits suggests that brands recognize the ability of mobile to strengthen conversions.