Monday, October 10, 2011

Future of Mobile Advertising

Mobile devices are everywhere today from smart phones to tablets. The media is full of success stories of how different mobile devices break sales records every time a new one arrives, latest case in point is the Apple iPhone 4S with 1 million phones pre-ordered in first couple of days. According to Gartner, worldwide mobile advertising revenue is forecast to reach $3.3 billion in 2011, more than double the $1.6 billion generated in 2010. By 2015 it will reach $20.6 billion with search and maps delivering the highest revenue, while video/audio ads seeing the fastest growth.

What makes advertising on mobile special? Mobile devices seem to be much closer and personalized to the users so mobile ad targeting can be made very effective. In addition these devices can tell the exact location and movement of the user. User searches for product and services using mobile devices tend to be more focused and immediate thereby success rate of actually making a sale would be higher.

Traditionally the most common form of ads have been simple text, images and banners. This is hardly engaging but is changing rapidly. With mobile users spending more and more time on social networking, games and other interactive apps advertisers are getting more creative in getting their attention. Applications like Shopkick use user's location to provide them with real time incentives in terms of virtual cash, offers and promotions for visiting nearby stores. Augmented reality apps like Layar using the mobile phone's camera, GPS and compass feed are delivering the technology that can be used to provide more targeted ads based on what you are viewing. Wayin uses a clever gaming platform to allow the advertisers to gauge customer behavior by pushing entertaining real time polls, again rewarding the users by virtual points to vote. These are just few of the examples.

In next 5 years it is estimated that the online searches through mobile devices will trump those through the desktop. This indicates that mobile marketing space is crucial for companies in the coming years and we will see lot more innovations in how we engage the consumers.

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