Over the past couple of years, mobile marketing has emerged as the game-changer for businesses and consumers around the world. Key indicators point to mobile marketing emerging as the dominant form of marketing in the very near future.

  • 91 percent of American adults own a mobile phone. Of these, 61 percent own a smartphone.
  • One-out-of-five Facebook users accesses the site only through mobiles. Almost one-third of Facebook’s ad revenue now comes from mobile ads.
  • The global ratio of mobile phones to PCs is 5:1. Add tablets to the mix and the ratio is even more skewed in favor of mobile devices.
  • One-out-of-every-four Americans uses a mobile device purely for accessing the Internet.
  • By 2015, the mobile marketing industry is expected to generate $400 billion. The figure in 2012 was $139 billion.

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Marketers are moving to mobile devices because that is where the consumers are. Today, more than a third of mobile and tablet users initiate and complete purchases on their mobile devices. The number is up from the 2012 figures of 12 percent for smartphone owners and 17 percent for tablet owners.

One of the reasons for this is the improvement in tracking mobile audiences that has resulted in better geo-targeted and geo-fenced ads. Another reason is that the mobile browsing experience has improved considerably. Mobile-friendly websites, better Internet service and faster, larger smartphones have contributed to a more satisfying buying experience.

The single biggest factor that makes mobile marketing a certified game changer is location-based marketing. This includes search, push notifications and email alerts. Mobile internet searches are often local in nature. At present, 66 percent of the mobile ad spend is for search-based ads. Of this, more than 10 percent is directed towards location-enabled ads. This will rise to 33 percent by 2017.

Features that enrich the mobile shopping experience include click-to-call, GPS, mobile apps, NFC (near field communication) and refined shopping cart processes.  Add in timely messages, the right context, the personal nature of mobile engagement and you have the most powerful marketing medium in history.

Related: 5 Mobile Marketing Questions Every Business Owner Needs Answered

The continuous shift of Internet users to mobile devices has forced social media networks to adapt to the change. Search and social media apps account for the majority of time that mobile users spend online. Advertising on mobile devices has evolved swiftly to include rich media and video ads, as well. According to a study by the Mobile Marketing Association, mobile video ads are already outperforming TV ads in terms of emotionally engaging the viewer.

This is encouraging businesses to integrate mobile into their overall marketing strategy. Mobile marketing strategies continue to grow more robust and attract a larger chunk of the marketing budget. It will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

Finally, mobile marketing further levels the playing field for the small businesses everywhere. Local businesses across industries have reported a surge in business after running mobile marketing campaigns. Mobile marketing is altering the marketing landscape and businesses that are keeping pace with the changes are reaping the benefits.

Related: 10 Ways to Find Customers with Mobile Marketing