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The global mobile phone market is set for a 3% decline in 2019, according to CCS Insight, with smartphones down 2%: “handsets are succumbing to numerous challenges, including lengthening replacement cycles for mobile phones, a weakened Chinese economy, along with macroeconomic and political uncertainty in other major markets.” 

In Western Europe, sales have already suffered a 23% fall between 2013 and 2018. Yet usage is almost universal in the UK and mobile advertising now accounts for the majority of digital ad spend in the UK, according to the IAB. 

Mobile readership of news brands has risen significantly and now stands at almost 16 million a day, over 29 million every week and 34.3 million a month (64% of the population)

In the last year alone, the number of people reading news brands on their mobile every day has increased by a whopping 27% – that’s 3.4 million extra readers every day. 

The latest TGI data shows that 97% (51.2m) of the population have a mobile phone. Among news brand readers, 47% (23.4m) have a monthly contract with their handset included, 29% (14m) have a sim-only monthly contract and the remaining 23% (11.8m) use a pay as you go service.

The data also shows that mobile news brand readers spend an additional 10% on their monthly payment

In many ways, people are always on a journey to buying something new. We’re always gathering ideas about brands and products that we may like to buy in the future. The findings from our “How People Buy” research lend credence to this, with two-thirds of people choosing between just one or two brands. 

This means there are many opportunities for brands to help frame product considerations – largely attributed to the fact that people don’t always feel the need to buy a product right away. 52% of people say they could buy a new phone at any time, and with a fifth of phones being impulse purchases, brands do have time to become salient before the purchase journey begins. In an industry where Apple has a very large market share, this is critical for brands. 

If you want to see which channels have the greatest influence at the different stages of the purchase journey and how news brands compare, try our “How People Buy” planning tool.  

News brands excel at providing a moment of inspiration. They provide additional detail and information about products and helps consumers make a more informed decision. They allow the consumer to search for information that might challenge their previous assumptions about a product or brand, or to look for reassurance that their preferred brand is the right choice. 

News brands have often provided a very creative medium for telecoms and electronic companies. BT Sport’s fusion of different sports stands out, as does O2’s Stranger Things-themed campaign promoting their free 6-month Netflix offer. We also saw three excellent shortlisted telecoms campaigns at our 2018 Planning Awards from ThreeO2 and Google Pixel

Telecoms campaigns that utilise news brands are considerably more effective than those that don’t. Spending at the right level can reap dividends. Our ‘Planning for Profit’ research analyses telecoms as part of the ‘shiny new things’ super-category, which covers bigger, more expensive and less frequently bought treats that keep us up with the latest trends. While digital news brands currently receive the optimal level of investment for maximum profit return on investment, there is marked underinvestment in print news brands. Average print news brands spend needs to be at least doubled, from its current percentage of 7.2% of campaign budgets, to at least 16.8%, to optimise profitability. By doing so, brands could unlock a staggering £1.4 billion in potential profit. 

If you want to find the right level of investment for both print and digital news brands to drive the best profit for your campaign, try our PROI optimiser

For more detail, check out our category deck here and our RAMetrics analysis, which explores the performance of telecoms advertising.  

More insight for planners