Posted March 21, 2007 12:24 pm by with 1 comment

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We’ve been talking a lot about mobile marketing lately. If you’re not sick of the subject yet, eMarketer has some more data on mobile marketing opportunities (as always with eMarketer, free for a limited time only). Yes, I said data. I love . . . well, you know.

Highlights from their data (all emphasis added):

  • 90% say that they are not at all interested in getting ads on their mobile phones, according to Harris Interactive.
  • Right now, mobile is the only interactive medium where the typical user pays for both the cost of network access and the content it delivers. Mobile operators and content providers are finding that besides early adopters and enthusiasts, it is tough to find buyers for paid mobile music downloads, let alone video and games.
  • Over a third of [all] adult mobile phone users say that they are willing to accept incentive-based advertisements.
    • Of these, 78% say the best incentive would be cash.
    • Other incentives that resonate include free minutes, free entertainment downloads and discount coupons.
  • As for ad formats, over half (56%) of those who are at least somewhat interested in receiving ads on their cellphones say they would prefer to receive them as text messages, while 40% would like to receive them as picture messages. Less than a quarter of adults would choose to receive them as videos, while others would have them sent as e-mail, voice mail or something else. [Kind of like Virgin Mobile’s test incentive plan]
  • eMarketer estimates that mobile ad spending in the US will reach $4.8 billion by 2011, up from $421 million in 2006 [which is a lot more reasonable than the numbers they were reporting from other analysts in December ($77 or $38 billion)].

Of course, as Andy mentioned this morning, “the majority of TV viewers hate commercials, yet we still have that format.” Just because 90% of mobile users aren’t interested in receiving advertisements doesn’t mean that we won’t accept the model eventually. Unfortunately :\ .

  • Dean

    Mobile is unique for a number of reasons which make the advertising model a little more challenging. One BIG reason users won’t accept ads (as mentioned) is because users do “pay” for those ads, typically in plan minutes or text message fees. Imagine if Time Warner charged you .05 cents eveytime an ad played on your TV.

    I think the model that is evolving that has the best chance in the near term, is the user accepting some level of advertising in exchange for free or subsidized phone service. Given the high cost of mobile phone plans, I think many would “tolerate” some level of unsolicited ads if they got a significant discount on their monthly charges. I think even opt-in advertsing would stil require a spiff on the part of the advertiser to the user.

    The problem would come when conversions on mobile advertising, which to date are abysmal, are not support the subsidy offering discounted service.

    So there you go Google…give me free phone service and that phone your not working on ;), give me opt-in, targeted advertising and we got a deal…otherwise LEAVE ME ALONE!