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GSMA and Mobile Operators Join
To Measure Mobile Advertising

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Today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the GSM Association and five of the world’s leading mobile operator groups made a major announcement that will have a long reaching impact on the future of mobile advertising.

The GSMA announced that five of its members: Vodafone Group, Telefonica O2 Europe, T-Mobile International, FT-Orange Group and 3 (Hutchison Whampoa) have formed a working group to define common metrics and measurement processes for mobile advertising as part of the GSMA’s Mobile Advertising Programme.

• Read an in-depth interview with Henry Stevens, Director of Media and Entertainment, GSMA about the details and background of this project.

• Read what key players in the industry are saying about this topic.

• Read the full press release from the GSMA.



Key points of the announcement

  • The initial test market with be the UK – it is a very significant advertising market, plus many of the world’s largest mobile operator groups have operations there.
  • The first project of the working group will be to define a range of metrics that will describe the mobile audience and measure the effectiveness of mobile advertising. The working group will do this in consultation with members of the overall advertising and media community.
  • The second project is a proof of concept for collecting and delivering information from the 5 UK operators, in order to investigate what is feasible, what is the best way to run such a system.

What is the significance?
Whenever you speak with someone from an advertiser or an agency about mobile advertising, one of the biggest barriers they discuss is the lack of measurement capabilities. They say they just don’t have the information needed for either planning or reporting purposes, and this puts mobile advertising at a disadvantage when compared with other advertising media channels.

There are a couple of facts which have made this a very difficult problem to date.

  • First, mobile advertising is quite new, so there is not a wide understanding of what sort of measurement data is required and appropriate for the channel. It is also not completely clear what information can feasibly be collected and distributed.
  • Second, in order to be useful, the information will need to be cross-operator, cross-market, and also include both off-portal as well as on-portal sites.
  • Finally, there is no central organization that is set up to collect, deliver, or audit this type of data.

Clearly the GSMA and these large operators have been listening to the market, as this working group directly addresses several of these concerns. The GSMA is well positioned to spearhead and lead such an effort, as it has an history of facilitating operators working together (which is not always an easy task when dealing with a group of successful, multi-billion dollar companies).

While clearly this is not a complete solution and there are still a lot of open questions – such as who in the longterm will collect, deliver, and audit the information – this is a major step in the right direction by the one organization that is best positioned to make this sort of initiative work.

Rob Conway, CEO of the GSMA said “The working group and the GSMA will facilitate crucial engagement between mobile operators, advertisers and agencies, to help ensure that mobile advertising realises its full potential for the benefit of all players in the ecosystem.”

And from an operator’s perspective, Richard Saggers, Head of Mobile Advertising at Vodafone said “Vodafone is participating in the UK project with a view to developing a common framework for mobile advertising measurement and metrics that can be replicated in other markets as well.”

For more information on this announcement:

• Read an in-depth interview with Henry Stevens, Director of Media and Entertainment, GSMA about the details and background of this project.

• Read what key players in the industry are saying about this topic.

• Read the full press release from the GSMA.



11.02.2008   
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