Mobile advertising is set to become part of the mainstream marketing mix over the next two years, according to new research from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB).
Clients and agencies believe that the medium will become a mainstay of UK marketing plans despite a current disconnect between usage and understanding of the medium.
The research reveals that 50 per cent of agencies have already used mobile advertising as part of a campaign.
While mobile advertising accounts for a small proportion of overall digital spend, 62 per cent predict that the figure will grow to become a standard part of budgets in 2010.
Mobile provides a robust and reliable mobile audience metrics such as measurement and campaign evaluation that is critical to success in marketing, according to the IAB.
Media owners are attempting to move the medium forward with 36 per cent of respondents saying they are very or slightly active. Only 10 per cent of traditional ad agencies are currently using mobile marketing in the advertising mix.
The survey asked whether mobile will be the primary medium for communicating with 12 to 24 age groups more than 59 per cent agreed. Almost three quarters (70 per cent) believe that location based ads are effective today.
Orange, said, “Orange was the first UK operator to embark on mobile advertising back in August 2006, and so far we have found there is a real consumer appetite for it. We believe that this momentum is set to continue and is well on its way to becoming mainstream. As an industry we need to create standards and to maintain trust, by delivering content that is creative and relevant while enabling people to be in control. If we continue to do this, users will be able to see the direct benefits of mobile advertising.
“However, there is certainly a need for education and to increase consumer understanding. This is something Orange is focusing on. In fact, in March 2008 Continental Research found that 60% of those who had increased knowledge levels of mobile advertising believed their knowledge had improved because of Orange."
The operator added it conducted conducted some consumer research last November, which revealed that the brands people would most like to see advertised on their mobiles included entertainment, gadget, games and sports brands.
The IAB found that the entertainment category was most suited to mobile advertising according to 91 per cent, followed by leisure and travel (57 per cent), telecoms (52 per cent), retail (52 per cent) and FMCG marketing (40 per cent).
Jim Cook, chair of the IAB Mobile Council, said, “Expectations for mobile advertising are high but actual understanding is low. The industry needs to address measurement, effectiveness and benchmarks if mobile advertising is going to reach a tipping point by 2010.
“The IAB intends to tackle each of these areas through quality research, events and collaboration with other mobile trade bodies like the GSMA and the MMA.”
Neil Andrews, head of portal advertising at 3 UK, argues that mobile advertising is already mainstream.
He said, “We have brands like Peperami, Fiat, Renault, Pot Noodle - how much more mainstream can you get?"
Marketing via mobile phones has to find a way of not interfering or being “annoying” for users, according to analyst firm Frost & Sullivan.
The firm said that mobile marketing faces the problem of unsolicited content - something that text-marketing has not managed.
3UK’s Andrew said, “Where is the evidence that suggests annoyance factor? 3 does not send SMS marketing messages to our base from 3rd parties and we get very positive feedback on video advertising and very few complaints about display."
An report earlier this year by analyst group Forrester found that 65 per cent of mobile users were annoyed when an ad appeared while a web page was loading on their handset.
A further 57 per cent said that ads appearing alongside maps were annoying, 56 per cent were annoyed at banner ads and 48 per cent found paid search ads annoying.
Mobile provides a massive platform for advertisers and has huge potential as an advertising medium. Unlike traditional media, mobile advertising has the ability to also deliver services and personalised content to consumers.
However, with the medium of mobile advertising taking off, operators will still have to adhere to a hosts of rules and regulations - just as they would have to in the print and broadcast mediums.
The IAB recently widened its remit to serve the mobile advertising industry with the five UK networks, 3, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone UK, forming a Mobile Steering Group (MSG) to oversee and advise on the trade body’s strategy to educate the advertisers and agencies about the benefits of the medium.
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