Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mobile advertising – its time has come

UK: Delivering relevant, desired, valuable information on mobile devices has the potential to move consumer relationships with brands to a new and very deep level. The mobile marketing landscape is undergoing a dramatic transformation, now responsible for 8.5 percent of all web traffic. This is set to double in 2012, according to Ryan Hall, managing director of Nice Agency.

In a speech he made on 13th February to Nature Publishing, Ryan outlined the growth opportunities for mobile marketeers as well as the challenges they are confronted with.

“We are seeing three types of mobile users evolve: what we term the Pioneer, the under 35 year old male with a smartphone with advances features such as apps and Internet access which makes up 15 percent of the market. The Mobile Wannabe, which comprises roughly 25 percent of the market – the individual who has a mobile with some features. The final category is the Mobile Traditionalist which we estimate to account for some 60 percent of the market comprising of two thirds of the over 35 year olds who only use a mobile for calls and text.

“And yet, we are seeing a huge increase in spending on mobile advertising. Some estimates put that figure on $1.6 billion in 2010, doubling to $3.3 billion in 2011. Accounting for some $86.6 billion in mobile transactions. The key question for mobile marketeers is whether to build a mobile site or an app or both!”

Ryan went on to say: “Apple is all about mobile apps, and Google is all about mobile web. How the system will evolve, whether apps or web will be the chosen mobile solution is a difficult one to predict. I think that both of the platforms will co-exist. For advertisers, the most crucial part is presenting the ad. How the consumer accesses the ad, will not matter.”

He stated: “Location-based marketing will develop – that is, dishing out content based on where the recipients precisely are – in other words an SMS offering you some freebies once you order something from them.

"Mobile advertising is now recognised as an opportunity for brands, advertisers and publishers to engage consumers in a targeted and relevant manner, and that means in pure business terms - improving returns."

But, according to Ryan, there are challenges for the industry.

“The mobile audience is fragmented across multiple platforms, with multiple sellers, multiple carrier networks, multiple devices, and multiple browsers, all of which hinder consistency of execution. In such a highly fragmented landscape, identification of a user, user session, browser, or device can pose a significant problem, hindering the ability to deliver the right ad to the right user at the right time.”

The second major challenge is that of measurement. According to Ryan there are multiple measurement yardsticks which are making the process complex and costly. These include:

* Measure unique users against lots of polluting traffic (bots, spyders, etc.);
* Track international traffic vs. US traffic;
* Measure advertising impressions in intermittently-connected content like games or downloaded audio.

Ryan concluded: “Delivering relevant, desired, valuable information on mobile devices has the potential to move consumer relationships with brands to a new and very deep level.”

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