Earlier this week, I cited ZenithOptimedia’s data on the strong future for mobile advertising. Those statistics are supported by mobilemanifestoOvum data produced for the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB). 32% of major brands surveyed by Ovum are spending at least $300,00 on mobile annually and growth in the format is likely to surge next year.

The Ovum study focused on the top 300 brands. Virtually all of these brands use mobile and 20% say they’ll be increasing their mobile commitment by 50% over the next couple of years.  These merchants say the top developments in the mobile advertising ecosystem include responsive design, native ads and HTML5.

Mobile is not without challenges. The same privacy concerns that surround all digital advertising remain an issue for people who use their smartphones and tablets to research products and services. However, the number of merchants worried about privacy and its implications for consumer backlash has dropped from 40% to 22% in the past 2 years. Merchants are worrying less about the fragmentation of mobile operating systems in the market as well. Only 23% say this is an issue now. In 2011, 39% said they had concerns about OS.

This study also considered the differences between B2C and B2B operators. A significant percentage of B2B companies, 41%, say that mobile marketing is still experimental for them. Only 50% of B2B merchants are happy with their mobile ad outcomes. In addition, about 45% of B2B operators will focus their efforts on smartphones instead of feature phones, believing they’ll achieve a better outcome with this strategy.

The Ovum study shows that while mobile is gaining ground, marketers are working hard to tweak the problems they have with this format. As they do so, the funds invested in mobile will continue to increase.

How much are you planning to spend on mobile this year?