Mobile companies spent over £78 million on advertising campaigns last year globally, however sales of mobile devices were flat.
A study by Neilson found that mobile marketing budgets increased by 10 per cent on 2008, but figures by Gartner suggest that the hike in marketing spend did not positively impact on sales volumes.
In the third quarter of 2009, sales were strong at 1.21 billion shipped mobiles, which was largely helped by grey trading. Year on year this was only an increase of 0.67 per cent, Gartner claimed.
The smartphone market, however, increased by 23.6 per cent year on year and accounted for 14 per cent of the total mobile sales. Gartner said by 2013, the smartphone market is projected to increase by 38 per cent.
Last year, Western Europe was the second-biggest sales region, after shipping 186.9 million mobiles and it is expected to ship 198.4 million this year.
INQ Mobile marketing director and co-founder Jeff Taylor (pictured) said marketing did not help to lift sales because businesses have been relying on “dull” campaigns, which were not enough to attract end users.
“To date, the mobile industry has pretty much just thrown money at the problem of attracting people through advertising,” said Taylor.
“Last year’s £78 million plus spend in the UK will rise again this year.
“The problem though, is that by and large, the campaigns are dull and workmanlike and do a pretty poor job of exciting customers, capturing their imaginations or generating stronger emotional connections to brands.
“The mobile sector, for all the money it spends on advertising, seriously lags most other categories when it comes to innovative, edgy or engaging creative.
“Some players will (hopefully) see the error in this and work to spend less, but deploy far more cleverly to genuinely connect with the audience they are targeting.”