Mobile Advertising Starts to Take Off

One of my predictions for 2006 was that we’d start to see a real thaw in the mobile marketing winter. Finally, more and more brands would begin to use the marketing channel after the chill of the last 5 years.

Three months on and I still think this is the year, as there’s both a lot of talk and some real action in the market.

According to emarketer, a survey by Marketing Sherpa found that mobile tied with video in the top spot in a list of tactics that marketers would like to experiment with. This beats RSS, blogs and podcasting, for instance.

Interestingly, creating branded content was towards the bottom of the list, which is where many agencies are currently focusing their plans to rescue themselves as the 30 second TV ad dies. Maybe branded content is the wrong lifeboat for this sinking ship and just perhaps mobile may be the one that’ll get you to the shore.

When the same people were asked about actual spending, a slightly different picture emerges – the survey happened in December actually.

Mobile again goes to the top in terms of what they would be spending money on (the red bars), alongside such things as in-house and sponsored Podcasts, with current mobile spending losing out to blogging and RSS.

The survey was featured in MagnaGlobal’s report into mobile – MagnaGlobal are on of the big media agencies and part of Interpublic. Interestingly, their conclusion was that mobile video advertising would be the winner (although I haven’t seen the original report). As David Wiser explains:

“….we expect that advertising will ultimately play an important role in the mobile video world. The best opportunities to market to consumers in mobile environments will be through integrated mobile communications devices, and the industry will likely require ad-support to reach the widest possible audience.”

I’m sure mobile video and subsidised content will be important, but I would argue that it’s only part of the answer. There are other techniques that will have a place at the table and to see mobile as a small TV screen, as a medium and a business model, could be dangerous.

Declaration: I’m currently in talks with several mobile marketing/ mobile advertising companies about joining them. This hasn’t influenced this post in any way, but you should know the background. I’ll let you know if anything happens.

—–>Follow us on Twitter too: @russellbuckley and @caaarlo