Mobile Shopping YOY Growth Back in September, AMP's blog post, '2013 Holiday Shopping Season Predictions'? reported that mobile is believed to contribute to 38% of in-store sales by retailers, and 53% of retailers believe the most significant transactions will be via mobile channel. Those predictions are not far off. Mobile has proved to be a formidable factor so far this holiday season. As reported by the WSJ, CIO Journey Blog, 'The figures for Cyber Monday are even more startling, particularly when broken down by category. Department stores, for instance, saw a '?¦ 52% growth in mobile sales [vs. 2012].'? Options for Mobile Marketing So, mobile is a factor. No duh. The question is: how can marketers benefit from this explosive growth? Where should marketers spend to get the most bang for their buck. First let's break down some of the most common options for mobile marketing: Paid in app advertising Sponsored ads across mobile social channels Integration into couponing sites and/or apps In-store drive to retail mobile sites or apps SMS Mobile Display Ads Mobile Search Ads Mobile web video Mobile Usage Holidays 2013 Now the question is, how are consumers actually using their mobile device this holiday season? In our unscientific, informal survey consisting of 45 respondents, we investigated which apps people are using most and how they perceive they will be using their mobile device over the upcoming weeks. The charts above show us that Facebook was the most cited app used with Amazon and Instagram tied for second place. And, we found that entertainment was the top ranked use for mobile devices over the holidays followed by social sharing and directions. Shopping and purchasing related activities were ranked as lower priority. Stay with the Tried and True So, what does all this mean? Because there are more than 500 appssubmitted to the app store every month, in app advertising is becoming increasingly more fragmented. A marketer's best bet for mobile advertising is to stick to placements in the tried and true social, entertainment, and ecommerce properties (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, Pandora etc.). Of course, many advertisers will know where their target audience is, which should dictate more niche mobile sites and apps. But, ultimately, it is safest to stick with the most popular mobile destinations and spend accordingly to ensure the reach and frequency the brand needs to break through the mobile clutter this holiday season. Bring in the Holiday Cheer While the mobile device has become a critical shopping companion, people do not look at themselves exclusively as consumers and thankfully there is more to the holiday experience than what or how people purchase or intend to purchase. People are continuing to celebrate the holidays with friends and family and their mobile usage supports this. People want to share their experiences, get directions to visit family and friends, entertain while at home or visiting and they are using their mobile devices to help augment these activities. For a marketer to succeed in the mobile marketing space, we can't just throw coupons and sale reminders at our target audience. Rather, we need to engage them this holiday season with messaging and placements that compliment their holiday spirit. Recognizing that mobile usage is still fundamentally about human interactions is the first step to a successful holiday marketing plan.