Mobile Advertising: More Flash Than Cash

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lightning.jpgADOTAS — Online marketing researchers eMarketer released a report that casts aspersion on overzealous mobile-marketing boosters. eMarketer argues that mobile marketing – despite the launch of the iPhone and other “under-the-hood” improvements — is not in fact the new hot thing.

“2007 was not the ‘year of mobile marketing’ that it was advertised to be,” John du Pre Gauntt, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the report Mobile Advertising: After the Growing Pains, told eMarketer’s newsletter. “And 2008 won’t be either.”

A wet blanket may temporarily douse some industry players’ enthusiasm about the mobile market, but the fact remains – it is still growing, it’s just not booming. Spending will reach $19.15 billion worldwide by 2012, the vast majority of which ($14.17 billion) will be allocated to mobile message advertising. (The U.S. will see about $6.5 billion worth of action).

Compared to other forms of interactive platforms mobile still has a long way to go before it gains a serious slice of the pie. Alternative advertising, which encompasses social networks, interactive advertising and yes, mobile, is expected to grow by 20.2% in 2008 to $88.24 – in the U.S. alone, according to PQ Media.

So what’s holding mobile back? It may be privacy issues.

“A clear bone of contention involves customer information,” Gauntt said. “All parties agree that better targeting will happen, given the personal nature of mobile phones, but the question of how to use customer information to improve ad targeting while respecting privacy remains elusive.”

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