There is a huge opportunity for brands to find new customers on mobile devices said Neil Halpin, a Google strategy consultant in the internet giant's northern and central European mobile division.
He told an audience at the Mobile Marketing Live conference in London that as much as 80% of time spent on mobile applications involves doing nothing.
"There is an opportunity for brands if they create the right experience to get users to waste their time with the brand rather than waste their time with something else," he said.
Halpin shared his ideas on how Google helped clients to target potential customers on mobile devices.
"What we are trying to do is to teach advertisers to look at engagement and focus on the action of the user," he said.
"The most important thing is to take advantage of the functionality of the device. It's all about engagement and fun."
Halpin spoke just before Claire Valoti, joint head of sales at Facebook UK.
She asserted Facebook's status in the world of brand advertising on mobile applications.
"We have the biggest mobile app of any network in the world," she said.
Increasingly, the fiercest competitions shaping international business are rooted in a combination of technology, advertising and social networks.
The battle is truly global as mobile devices like smartphones and tablets continue to spread across the world with the rising middle classes of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Samsung and Apple have clashed over who has the greater market share in smartphones and the rights to manufacture the device.
Apple has challenged Microsoft's iconic product, the personal computer with tablets.
Former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer resigned in August 2013.
He was criticised by some for ignoring the importance of new devices such as smartphones and tablets.