Friday, July 27, 2007

Mobile Advertising: Easier Than You've Heard

AS GOOGLE HAS SO SUCCESSFULLY shown, if you make media buying intuitive and easy, the advertisers will come. And not just the mom and pop retailers, but nearly every major marketer is now involved in some form of search marketing, if only to protect its own flanks from aggressive competitors. So, how does this translate to mobile advertising? There is still a nagging feeling out there that mobile advertising is hard to do. That it will require yet another agency specialist like search does or a fully mature mobile site, but it doesn't.

Let's start with a few facts and figures: there are three times more mobile handsets in the U.S. than PCs. In fact, 76% of U.S. households own at least one mobile phone. There are twice as many more mobile subscribers than there are Internet users. Data usage is doubling every year.

Simply put, the mobile phone has become an indispensable device giving marketers access to target audiences 24x7. It doesn't take an economist to project that marketers cannot afford to ignore this channel for long.

Mobile advertising campaigns have gone far beyond the voting campaigns we're all familiar with from American Idol. Ads delivered to mobile devices can have direct response mechanisms such as calling a 1-800 number or entering a telephone number or email to receive more information, or drive traffic to an existing mobile site.

Targeting can be set by language, country, category or by search behavior (and in some cases, combinations of various targeting parameters.) And, contrary to popular belief, a mobile site is not necessary to run a campaign. Running a campaign is exceedingly easy. With online self-service features, it takes only three online steps: entering or uploading ad creative, setting a maximum cost per click and determining the call to action required of users.

Rather than thinking of mobile as a "new, unapproachable" channel, think of ways to tie it in to your current online or search campaigns. Most companies whether brand or direct response have found ways to intelligently and easily incorporate the mobile channel into their marketing mix. Some use it as a call to action on TV, print or online to drive mobile brand interactivity while others are simply driving interested audiences who happen to be on their mobile phone to a core sales-driven action such as calling a 1-800 number, driving subscription to an online newsletter, or to a mobile alert.

While seemingly in a nascent stage, the fact is mobile advertising is projected to grow from $1.5 billion in 2006 to $13.9 billion by 2011 (eMarketer, January, 2007). The reasons are simple: mobile advertising that delivers relevant and useful ads gives users immediate answers that are regarded as valuable content; advertisers can influence their audience during the "last mile" at the moment just before a purchase in the real world. The level of targetability and reach that mobile advertising can provide will become points of success for marketers and we're well beyond the early adoption stage.

Don't be the advertiser left behind.

Source: MediaPost

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Marketers optimistic on future of mobile ads

The prevalence of cell phones has marketers seriously considering the future of mobile. There is already an 85 percent cell phone penetration in the United States, according to pay-per-call company Ingenio. That surpasses landlines, which have 72 percent penetration.

“There is a lot of hype about mobile marketing and where it is going,” said Neil Strother, an analyst at JupiterResearch, which estimates mobile reach will be at 2.9 billion by 2011. Today, mobile reach is at 171 million.

“The ad model will take off as soon as consumers don’t have to pay fees for the mobile Web,” said Marc Barach, chief marketing officer of Ingenio.

According to Barach, one of the most promising ad models will combine search with mobile.

David McCarthy, vice president of advertising and business at vertical search engine Miva, agrees with Barach.

“The mobile market has the advantage of learning from the online world,” he said. “That market has been dominated by search and I expect the same to be true of mobile.”

Some think the launch of Apple’s iPhone will speed up adoption of mobile marketing as a monetization channel, but not everyone agrees.

“Mobile-marketing adoption will increase but not because of the iPhone,” said Jeff Hassemer, director of product marketing at Responsys Inc., in a DM News blog post. “Even if the iPhone meets its astronomical projections, that is still less than 0.5 percent of the market.”

He also wrote that Blackberrys and other phones already match many iPhone functions.

Advertisers need to optimize their Web sites for small mobile screens. Mobile Ready Entertainment Corp. created a Web site development service to convert sites for use on mobile platforms.

“Our service helps businesses make their Web site accessible to the hundreds of millions of mobile surfers around the world,” said Mike Magolnick, co-CEO of Mobile Ready.

Source: DM News

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The U.S. Mobile Search Market

eMarketer estimates that by 2011, mobile search will account for about $715 million, or close to 15 percent of a total mobile advertising market worth $4.7 billion.

In April 2007, iCrossing reported that three-quarters of mobile Internet subscribers access mobile search services.

The U.S. mobile search market is expected to have some growing pains over the next two or three years as the major operators, portals and mobile search start-ups compete to be the mobile search leader.

eMarketer Senior Analyst John du Pre Gauntt said, "Mobile search in the US has all the right parts on the table: a huge online advertising ecosystem, the world's leading content industry, massive portal players, major league mobile operators and a host of VC-backed start-ups."

"In other words, it'll be a bloody mess over the next few years sorting out the center of gravity for mobile search, as each player tries to convince the others to follow its lead. The good news for marketers is that there's enough of a prize for the winner(s) that resolution will come."

Source: WebProNews