By Peter Young
Mobile marketing is often been forecast as the next big thing, however it has often been the case of ‘always the bridesmaid and never the bride’—as mobile marketing campaigns often failed to deliver.
However in 2008, we have started to see a change. Mobile marketing investment is certainly on the increase. Many organisations previously have been reluctant to invest or merely dipping their toe in the water, now have seen increased traffic volumes and ad networks establishing themselves with media buyers.
Certainly the surge in popularity of more complex and intelligent handsets such as the Apple iPhone have been a driving force behind this—followed more recently by similar product offerings from both Blackberry and LG. However the ‘second coming of the iPhone’—with 3G (or faster) and GPS technology and with the incredibly infectious iPhone App Store providing a multitude of products and applications—has been nothing short of phenomenal to the point where even Microsoft has developed an application for the phone—something even the biggest Apple fan couldn’t have foreseen.
Other organisations have been equally as quick to exploit the opportunities these Mobile V3 devices can offer. Companies such as Electronic Arts and the Associated Press have embraced mobile marketing heavily and Google themselves have been equally as quick to respond by allowing AdWords campaigns to handheld devices with full HTML browsers (phones such as the iPhone and its own G1).
Google says these phones can handle standard AdWords ads and landing pages without requiring modification or other special action by marketers—and as such provides a significantly larger potential audience to its full inventory. Additionally, AdWords advertisers can create campaigns which can be exclusively targeted to iPhone and G1 owners. Separate calls to action can be created for all mobile users, or even for the users of individual devices.
Other networks have been equally as enthusiastic to exploit. Platform-A for example has begun serving ads optimised for the iPhone, similarly AdMob—and more and more advertisers are embracing the mobile medium as a mainstream advertising channel.
2008 has seen a surge in popularity, and with more and more capable handsets enter the market. Certainly a recent study by Pew Internet suggested the landscape in 2020 would be mobile based. As more and more people become more mobile in terms of the internet capabilities and the potential audience and ROI greater, this is only likely to become more and more competitive.
Will 2009 be the year mobile finally goes mainstream? I would suggest it has already started.