HomeInsightsIs the mobile marketing glass 15% full or 85% empty?

    Is the mobile marketing glass 15% full or 85% empty?


    Only 15% of users have mobile marketing exposure so far

    The development of transparent and valid mobile marketing measurements in 2008 is one of the priorities of the mobile marketing industry this year, according to the EMEA Chairman of the Mobile Marketing Association. The MMA man was speaking as his organisation released consumer usage survey results that didn't exactly serve as an unqualified endorsement of mobile marketing activity so far.

    Richard Saggers, who is also head of mobile advertising at Vodafone globally, said the MMA will work to define standards for the measurement of mobile advertising metrics this year making transparency and independent validation the key. Coca Cola is heading up MMA activity in mobile marketing measurement, and brands are demanding transparency, and independently verifiable data, Saggers said.

    Other players in the industry agreed that the lack of such data has been a barrier to date, albeit one that can be overcome.

    "It's really important for mobile marketing to have these tools," said Matt Champagne, director of mobile product management for Microsoft at MSN, "There is demand and interest [from brands and media publishers]and when we get the measurements side then it will fly." Champagne's view is that because there is already confidence in ROI from web campaigns, as well as an understood language (click through, response etc), then mobile will be quicker to sort out the issues that stelled web advertising to PC users.

    Mobile advertising would also move forward with the integration of mobile teams within overall ad agency processes, instead of discreet mobile shops within larger teams, or stand alone mobile agencies, Saggers said.

    Saggers placed mobile at about where MMS was 2-3 years ago, in terms of consumer interest and take up, meaning it is on the cusp of greater adoption, even if for now there are still several barriers to entry. Those barriers appear greater in some territories than others, however.

    A market survey conducted on behalf of the MMA in five European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK), quizzing 300 respondents in each country, found significant differences between countries in willingness to be "open" to mobile marketing.

    Users in Italy and Spain were most willing to be exposed to mobile marketing (61% and 53% with high to moderate intersest), with those in Germany and the UK the least (35 and 31% ). France was somewhere in the middle at 41% expressing a high or moderate level of interest. Ian Maggs, director of technology and telecoms at Synovate, the company that carried out the research, said from the data it looked as if it was a matter of Italy and Spain having significant text usage, and users being more used to mobile marketing messages, and willing to accept it as useful.

    MMA members placed a positive spin on the results, saying that they show the potential for growth, rather than disappointing take up so far. MMA campaigns to standardise the user experience around text and shortcode campaigns would help boost consumer and advertiser confidence and drive up usage, Saggers claimed. Synovate's survey found that only 40% of users on average across the five markets were moderately or highly enthusiastic about receiving mobile marketing messages, even when they were told this would be on a non-spam, opt in basis. Yet overall, only 15% of users have experience of mobile marketing to date, and given this appeared to include votes and polls, that's a fairly disappointing number for a medium that appears to offer the twin hits of high segmentation plus good response.

    Glass half full or half empty? If the MMA acts on all its priorities this year, and can convince all players to get involved in its guidelines and standards, both on and off portal, 2008 should be the year that tells us.