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2010 has legit shot to be the year of mobile marketing

Posted by TeamITI on April 30, 2010

Following years of promises, and highlighted by the annual claim that the upcoming year was finally its year, 2010 actually is starting to shape up as the year mobile advertising could have its chance to shine. Sure, there have been mobile advertising and marketing campaigns in the past, but most have been half-hearted attempts that failed to garner significant traction, or if they did show promise, it was often of limited scope in the big picture of advertising.

The Kelsey Group reported late last year that the worldwide mobile advertising market could be worth more than $3 billion by 2013.
However, recent deals by some of the biggest technology names in the world have shed new light on the space. Google Inc.’s reported $750 million acquisition of Admob was followed by Apple Inc.’s reported $275 million buy of Quattro Wireless, placing both companies in a prime spot to foster the true blossoming of the mobile advertising market. These deals were followed more recently by Opera Software’s purchase of AdMarvel Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

These deals alone will not make 2010 the year mobile advertising and marketing campaigns take off, but they show that the industry is getting very serious about mobile marketing initiatives and that they are willing to invest in them.
“I don’t know if anyone ever wondered what the year of television was or the year of radio,” said Edward Kershaw, VP of mobile at The Nielsen Co., during a panel discussion at the recent Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Spain. “Things can run on hype for quite a while, but at some point the industry needs … to deliver us the media and combined tools that we all expect.”

Making the connection

For mobile advertising and marketing to really take off, companies that deal with selling the idea and advantages of mobile need to be sold on the idea. The advertising industry has dramatically shifted its considerable spending over the past several years from “old” outlets like print media toward “newer” outlets like the Internet and other Web-based outlets. The big challenge now is to convince those advertisers that mobile needs to be included in that discussion.
The dilemma of mobile is that everyone on the media planning side wants to do something new, said Michael Bayle, VP of monetization and marketing at Amobee Inc. during the same discussion panel at MWC. To get any real return on their investment or worthwhile engagement though, scale matters most, he added.

Mobile assuredly has unsurpassed scale on the whole, but reaching across wide swaths of that user base similar to how print, TV, online and radio do is still almost impossible to imagine and difficult because of many legitimate reasons, like privacy, customer experience and others.
The traditional direct-marketing approach that the advertising and marketing worlds have built their empires upon does not apply to mobile, Kershaw said, and therein lies the problem. Mobile companies not only have to encourage a purchasing shift among digital marketers, but also a mindshift. Therefore it’s incumbent upon mobile companies to help redefine the rules of marketing under the mobile lens – an entirely different animal than even its digital brethren in online media.
“It’s just understanding where we compete and where we might collaborate,” said Tim Sefton, customer director of Telefonica O2 U.K., adding that areas of collaboration should run along the lines of what the marketing industry needs to justify spend. Those include reach, targeting, engagement, results and measurability and loyalty.

SMS still king

These rifts explain why nearly 60% to 70% of all mobile marketing spend is via SMS. Sefton said SMS will definitely grow as the entire pie of mobile marketing grows, but the “amount of customers that are actually engaging in SMS advertising is quite small.” Indeed, richer formats will drive more engagement, he added.
Kershaw jumped in to add that SMS marketing is very sophisticated outside of the Western world, particularly because those markets are less careful about the type of engagement they want to have with their customers.
But, the real challenge for SM-based marketing, and all marketing in general, is relevance. Mobile advertising is only welcome if it provides a value to customers, and if it fails to do so it’s considered spam and will leave consumers with a bad taste in their mouths.

So is 2010 really the year?

Obviously there are still numerous challenges to overcome before mobile advertising and marketing can fulfill their lofty expectations, but with the pieces slowly falling in place and those with the deep pockets seemingly willing to invest, it appears that success is set to rise.

This is a shorten version of the article; 2010 has legit shot to be the year of mobile marketing. The article is written by RCR Wireless News : Intelligence on all things Wireless. Please click here to read the original article.

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