Marketers have been urged to place the mobile channel at the forefront of their digital marketing efforts.

According to the latest estimates from ZenithOptimedia, more than half of people in the UK are expected to own a smartphone by the end of 2016.

The level of tablet usage is also on the rise, with 51 per cent of people set to have access to these devices by the end of the year.

The overall number of internet users is expected to reach 57.7 million by this time – a 1.8 per cent increase on last year.

ZenithOptimedia has therefore urged brands to be mindful of this trend, so they can remain relevant and visible to their target audience.

Jonathan Barnard, Head of Forecasting at the organisation, said: “Marketers need a mobile-first approach to communicate with these people effectively.The rapid spread of mobile technology is transforming media consumption and marketing communication across the world.”

Mr Barnard added that the smartphone or tablet is quickly becoming the first place people look for both information and entertainment.

TWO THIRDS OF PEOPLE LIVING IN TOP DIGITAL MARKETS WILL OWN A SMARTPHONE BY 2018 ZenithOptimedia.