by: David Polinchock
If you want to know what's wrong with advertising and why it has so many problems, take a look at the list of reasons that mobile advertising isn't working. You'll notice that not one person mentioned there's no real value for the consumer. That's why mobile marketing isn't working right now.
Once again, for all of our talk about the consumer being in control, we're looking at mobile as a tool that the consumer can't control. Because all we're trying to do is things like forcing bluetooth messages down people's throats. Take a look at this discussion going on at Retail TouchPoints: New Mobile Device Apps Impact Marketing & In-Store Experience - Retail News. Look at how people in the retail industry are talking about using mobile devices. None of the discussion is about how the audience uses it. It's all about how we can use it like traditional advertising.
Take a look at The Problem with the Advertising Model, a piece we wrote back in 2006. The advertising model is simple -- take content and place it on things. You used to place the content in print, radio and TV and it was a pretty simple gig. And today, the industry mainly keeps coming back with advertising placement ideas, not advertising engagement ideas.
So we find a new medium and we simply want to see how we can place advertising on it. We don't really spend enough time trying to think about how we can use these new mediums to create better experiences for the consumer.
So, as we get ready to take mobile advertising and set it's adoption back by several years by forcing a lot of bad ideas onto the consumer, why not take a look at what we can do to use mobile to create a better consumer experience. If the consumer is really in control, then their POV is the first one we should be seeing whenever we look at a new medium.
If you want to know why, here's what I heard today:
From Evan Neufeld of m:metrics: "what is driving us forward and holding us back"
Pricing: consumers are getting nickled and dimed to death for data.
Devices: need better devices to spur usage.
Bandwidth: consumers want to drink from the hose.
Subsidization: Largest audiences for text messaging, a low value ad play.
From Jeremy Wright of Nokia, formerly of Enpocket. "Why isn't mobile advertising bigger today?"
Fragmentation. Buyers say it's hard to make a deal.
Measurable ROI. Reporting isn't great.
Engagement post-click. Lack of ecosystem partners and campaign integration.
From David Verklin, CEO of Aegis Media Americas. "The biggest barrier to mobile advertising."
Speed. 2.5G isn't fast enough.
But most marketers don't even know what we're talking about, 2.5G, 3G and so on.
We need to use mass media to drive people to concentrated places, i.e. from TV to web.
Manish Jha, CEO of Vantrix (and formerly of ESPN Mobile).
His company deals with interoperability issues - they have a database of 13,000 phone types. Think about it. You may have enough of a headache building your website for PC and Mac. Or just on PC, for IE and Firefox. Or just in IE, 6 vs. 7. Think that's bad? Try 13,000 phones.
Verklin actually came out and said it: 2008 isn't the year of mobile. 2009 is.