I’m sure you already read this several times: mobile advertising it’s about to boom. I had one more article to the list, even if I’m no longer very confident in the potentials of the market. Sounds like we’ve been talking about this for ages, but the so called “explosion” never happened yet. I think it’s also a problem of wording (mobile marketing/mobile advertising and marketing integration) but also a big issue related to costs. Isn’t mobile internet (still) too expensive for users? As a consumer, sorry but in Italy I cannot afford a mobile connection, therefore I don’t use my 3G phone to browse the Web. In any case, for those of you interested in the topic, there was an interesting article last week on Infoworld which investigated the potentials of a market which is expected to more than double in 2007 to $1.5 billion.
Standalone ads on mobile phones will not deliver results if they don’t get integrated in a mobile strategy which also takes into account promotion, sales and customer services. This is one of the main outcomes highlighted in a Datacomm Research Report called Mobile Advertising: Opportunities & Illusions. According to the research, inundating mobile subscribers with sales pitches won’t be effective. Successful merchants will leverage mobile phone technology to create deeper and longer-lasting customer relationships. No matter the channel, Internet, mobile, interactive Tv, the winning answer is always the same. Call it consumer 2.0, web 2.0 or whatever you prefer, but bear in mind success it’s all about building relationships, and make everything very easy to use.
Motorola is about to launch on the US market a new dynamic idle-screen technology dubbed “Screen 3″. It’s a technology that pushes Internet information to the mobile phone’s screen. With Screen 3 users can get news updates or any other information with just a glance at their phones, without having to open WAP browsers or other applications. RCR News reports carriers can use it to promote new services and features without bombarding user with text or multimedia messages. Motorola is already looking for advertisers interested in sponsoring the content provided through Screen 3.
Bluetooth marketing is raising concerns since it is basically based on an opt-out, rather than an opt-in principle. Since the technology offers interesting opportunities, but consumers are sensitive and brands don’t want to spoil their relationship with them, NTT DoCoMo, the biggest Japanese carrier, has come up with an alternative. It’s called “ToruCa” and it will enable users to obtain information by simply waving their phones in front of dedicated reader/writers installed at restaurants, theaters, music stores, arcades and other establishments. Digital Media Asia reports the news, and TechDirt adds some interesting comments on the value advertising content should bring to consumers, especially when it comes to mobile phones.
On iMediaConnection Kevin M. Ryan writes about mobile search and the appeal it should have to marketers. He also points readers to a white paper just released by OneUpWeb “Mobile search and its implications for search engine marketing” investigating the potentials of convergence. If you’re trying to understand the characteristics of WAP 2.0 and mobile search marketing opportunities, the paper is a must read.
According to the numbers recently released by Gartner, smartphones will represent one fifth of all mobile handset sales by 2008. 3G eventually appears to be around the corner, and we need to start thinking about the real opportunities on a mass market scale the new technology will provide us with. After the failures in the early stages of the mobile market, mobile advertising is about to come back but, of course, we need to take into account the lesson learned from past mistakes. Basically the marketing approach to mobile phones should be “push” not “pull” but, with the growth of WAP 2.0 portals and mobile HTML browsers, this concept will evolve. I see a near future of “light” contextual advertising, while I believe we still have to wait a couple of years for mobile rich media. Of course the technology is already there to support streaming media ads and now even Flash animations, but marketers need to remember the “pricing” issue. Given the current prices of 3G connections in Europe (recently I spent 15 Euros with Vodafone to download 300 Kb!!!) making the user pay to watch your ads is a crazy idea that could absolutely damage a brand. So while we wait for 3G to reach the mass market with carriers applying fair prices, SMS and partly MMS will still remain the best mobile marketing option.
Mobile content provider Infospace will start selling advertising space during its “For Prizes” multiplayer game tournaments. Since consumers are increasingly relying on mobile phones for entertainment, this looks like an attractive opportunity to advertisers who want to reach not only the “text generation” but also young adults with higher incomes and less time to play from home.
Revenues from mobile advertising will capture 2% of the online ad spend, representing just 2% of the projected $47 billion online advertising spend in 2010. A new report by Strategy Analitics ( “Advertising on the Fourth Screen: Opt-In To Dominate Mobile Marketing Spend”) investigates the impact mobile phones will have on the advertising industry. With the introduction of 3G more and more multimedia content is becoming available and this surely provides new opportunities for advertisers also. However there is still a lot of skepticism both in consumers and advertisers of the effectiveness of such tool. Many players are reluctant to enter the premium content delivery channel and users aren’t (yet?) ready to pay for branded content.
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