The rise of mobile is increasingly not just about communications, but the whole consumer experience.
The expansion of mobile phone usage has become one of the key technological trends of the early 21st century - and it has some significant implications for the marketing sector, both in the way it is used to market goods and services, and the levels of expertise needed in marketing departments.
A number of recent developments have underlined just how much of a game-changer mobile has become. The New Mobile Display Ecosystem Report by Econsultancy in association with OpenX revealed that the use of mobiles surpassed that of desktops for the first time ever earlier this year. With that came continued rapid growth in the use of mobile internet and marketing.
For example, while figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) revealed internet advertising grew by 159 per cent in its first four years - between 1996 and 1999 - mobile was not far behind at 123 per cent between 2010 and 2013. By comparison, TV advertising only saw 98 per cent growth.
The IAB also revealed that 2012-13 was a particularly strong period of online advertising growth for mobile, rising from a ten per cent share of a £5.45 billion UK market to a 16 per cent slice of £6.3 billion.
Spending on mobile advertising is also expanding worldwide at a rapid rate. Research by Gartner has indicated that the global value of mobile ad spend is set to rise from $13.1 billion (£8.1 billion) last year to $18 billion in 2014, with the figure projected to soar to $41.9 billion by 2017.
Clearly, this trend has been rapid and it simply cannot be ignored by marketers. This has one very clear implication; it is increasingly important for marketing departments to grasp the potential of mobile, or risk losing out to their rivals.
To do this requires that marketing departments have mobile expertise, and the best way to do this is through the recruitment of individuals who know the sector well and have a lot of relevant experience.
Mid-high level recruitment in this area, however, will not be easy, as such skills are scarce and in high demand. For that reason, it is definitely wise to use a specialist recruitment agency.
At EMR, we have seen a major surge in the need for mobile specialists across a range of sectors, particularly as laptops and tablets have increasingly been usurped. With consumer behaviour continuing to shift rapidly towards mobiles, the demand for specialists has moved from being a trickle to a surge.
This can only be expected to increase in the years ahead, not least in areas like video, which Gartner has forecasted to show the highest growth, even as display formats bring in the lion's share of the revenue.
A shortage of mobile expertise is already starting to show up in some geographical areas, with a lack of available talent being observed in the Midlands and the north. However, the trend is likely to ensure that the south is affected too before long. Using the best recruitment expertise to find the top talent available has never been more imperative.