Do you remember that time between 2007 and 2010 when you purchased your first smartphone? One of your most pressing concerns was probably figuring out how much data you needed on your monthly plan. Would 256 MBs really be enough? But there was no way you'd ever use 1 GB in a month, right? 

The findings of a new report from Cisco Systems will make you realize how far mobile consumers have come from that point. According to the company's latest Visual Networking Index, North American smartphone users consumed an average of 1.38 GBs of data a month in 2013, almost double the amount from the previous year. 

"North America led the pack with the average mobile subscriber consuming 1.38 GBs a month, up from 752 MBs in 2012 and a full gigabyte more than the average global usage of 356 MBs," wrote Kevin Fitchard on the tech blog Gigaom. "When looking at individual countries, Japanese users led the world with 1.87 GBs, followed by the U.S. at 1.41 GBs and South Korea with 1.25 GBs."

So what's fueling this rise in data consumption? According to Cisco, faster smartphones and access to 4G and LTE networks have contributed to the move away from "wired" internet. The company also found that tablets and traditional PCs are often connected to mobile networks as well. Many of these computers – especially those running Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system – have touchscreens and are becoming more similar to mobile devices than their desktop counterparts. 

So what does this mean for the small business marketer? Well, an increasing number of your audience is spending much of their time on mobile devices. To learn more about developing mobile banner advertising strategies, consider partnering with KeyMedia Solutions.