Everyone is on the go. To reach consumers where they live, work, play—and tweet—you have to consider making mobile advertising a big part of your marketing plan. With the rise of rich media production, mobile tablets and smartphones offer the perfect canvas to paint your brand picture and really engage with consumers.

While PCs and laptops still have their place, you cannot trust that they’ll continue to be a good place to catch the eyes of potential consumers.

The statistics tell a compelling story for thinking “mobile first” in all of your digital marketing plans:

  • Nearly 1.80 billion humans will have a smartphone by 2015
  • Mobile devices continue to become more affordable, causing more people to make the switch around the world
  • 4G networks continue to grow and advance
  • People look at their phone, on average, more than 100 times a day. (Some even a lot more.)

Mobile is important, but not easy

It is important to realize how mobile and the web are both similar and different. For example, while it is becoming easier to reach and engage with people on their mobile device, it is still not so easy to track them and measure their actions. Cookies are available on mobile advertising the same way they can be tracked on web browsers, so it isn’t possible to follow a consumer to know what they like and how they interact on other sites and with other brands.

However, while tracking isn’t yet possible, targeting your consumers is. You can target and report on your consumers based on where they live, the type of mobile device they own, the kind of WiFi connection they use, their mobile operating system and much more.

As rich media rises, mobile is key

There are still plenty of traditional banner ads that you will seen on your mobile device. But because smartphones have such a small screen, a better strategy is to invest in HTML5 Ads for Mobile campaigns. Imagine having campaigns that utilize gameplay, audio, video streaming, animation and other rich media ads tricks to really engage with people on their phones. These types of campaigns bring more excitement and fun to the users—which in turn allows you to make a bigger impact.

After all, people are used to playing video games and using interactive apps on their phone. Adding these engagement devices to your ads will drive higher interaction and conversion.

Apps, apps, apps. Think apps, too.

While you are thinking “mobile first” for your digital marketing plan, you should also be thinking “apps.” Both Google and Apple have over a million apps in their marketplace. Apps are a great way to make it easier for a consumer to interact with a company or brand, so they should also be a primary focus for your marketing. And of course, the place people interact with apps the most is on their smartphone or mobile tablet. Don’t look past this fact. Instead, consider how investing in app display ads might impact your business.

One thing to consider is that you will have to create two different campaigns, one for the mobile app, and a second one designed for the mobile apps.

Why mobile? Why now?

While traditional online platforms like the desktop pc and the laptop aren’t disappearing right away, the time will come when they cease to be effective marketing platforms. Those who invest in the “next” wave first are going to be the most successful.

It pays to start diving into mobile marketing. By starting now you can be ahead of the game when the paradigm finally does make the switch.