What Matters Now: Mobile goes mainstream

US smartphone penetration projection

Nielsen’s latest report on mobile trends predicts smart phones overtaking regular mobile phones by the end of next year.  The report is not surprising given predictions from Gartner, IDC, Admob, and a slew of other media and research companies earlier this year.

When the reports talk about rapid adoption, they’re not talking about just young tech guys either. Ethnic groups, such as Hispanics, use smartphones even more than the general population. And these new mainstream adopters aren’t using their smartphone just for business.  They are watching episodes of their favorite shows, checking out the Duke basketball stats, and looking for ideas on what to make for dessert.

Combine this with all the hoopla from this week’s iPad launch and it is pretty apparent that even the most traditional marketers can’t afford to ignore the growing category of mobile advertising.

With smartphones and newer mobile enabled devices having larger screens and more interactive capabilities,  expect the flavor of mobile advertising to change.  The issues  folks talked about a year or two ago (small ad unit size, limited audience, expensive creative development costs) are evaporating.  If I can reserve a table at my favorite restaurant via Opentable, check competitor prices via RedLaser and notify the world as to my whereabouts on Foursquare, there is no reason why uber-sized brands should have a monopoly on mobile advertising.  Mobile is the perfect platform for upstart brands, restaurants and regional retailers. Watch out Miller….Here comes Brooklyn Brewery!