Speakers’ Corner: Mobile ads

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I’ve been a firm believer in the power of mobile from early on. This intimate device that plays such a central role in our everyday lives can easily be transformed into a powerful advertising medium.

The purpose of this would be, of course, to offer another medium for advertisers and to ensure consumers can receive targeted information relevant to their lifestyles and needs, anytime and anywhere.

Spending time in the heart of mobile markets such as Austria, Greece, Ukraine, Bulgaria or Croatia has shown me this is a universal media for advertising, and a way to reach consumers leading hectic lifestyles in a way conventional media cannot.

Mobile advertising can only work when all mobile operators pool their customer bases, to ensure maximum target audience reach for mobile advertising campaigns, and thus benefit directly by monetising their (so far) untapped opt-in customer base and available inventory.

Advertisers in turn have an all-new medium to add to their media mix: one which can help them target the right population segment for each product or promotion, and which will elicit impressive response rates (that have even reached 75 per cent in certain cases) to the advertising message and lead a direct increase in brand loyalty and sales.

Finally, consumers are not being bombarded with blanket advertising about products and services of all sorts.

On the contrary, they are being selectively sent advertising on products and services according to their lifestyle and needs, as per the requests and preferences that they themselves have opted-in for.

It is crucial to ensure all parties in this value chain receive tangible benefits, which is why we built our model based on this principle.

The key success factors for profitable mobile advertising are as follows:
a) to be relevant and add value
b) to be transparent and stay away from small print
c) to ensure ease of transaction in order to increase interaction with one’s brand
d) to safeguard the consumer’s privacy
e) to only work with opt-in, consenting mobile subscribers and to never spam.

Mobile advertising has a long, prosperous and exciting road ahead.
It seems that in the midst of the international financial crisis more and more companies see the value in mobile advertising and are shifting a considerable proportion of their advertising budget towards it.

However, value, results and accurate targeting will be key long after the crisis is over, which is why I believe mobile advertising is the new paradigm in the advertising industry.

Full article in Mobile News issue 440 (June 1, 2009).

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