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Brands Optimistic About Mobile Advertising
Report from Vodafone Mobile Marketing Seminar

Vodafone recently sponsored an international Mobile Marketing seminar that brought together 100 specifically invited delegates from 70 major brands and agencies. This report recaps the key themes from the event, discusses the results of a delegate survey on mobile advertising, and provides a link to view the presentations from the event.

vodafone_mclaren.gifThe opening dinner was held at the McLaren Technology Centre outside of London – it is a great place to visit if you ever get the chance, especially if you are a Formula One fan. The dinner was highlighted by a speech from Vittorio Colao, who has subsequently become CEO of Vodafone. Vittorio emphasized his support of mobile advertising as a long term business for Vodafone.

The seminar itself consisted of presentations from several key companies in the mobile advertising arena, including:

- Ovum (Eden Zoller)
- Tomi Ahonen (read the MobiAD Opinion piece by Tomi)
- M:Metrics (Herve LeJouan)
- Brand in Hand (John Hadl)
- Korea Digital Portfolio (Jim O’Reilly)
- AKQA Mobile (Dan Rosen; read the MobiAD interview with Dan)
- R/GA (Craig Patton)
- Marvelous (Jon Carney)
- Iconmobile (Steve Griffiths)
- Visa Europe (Mary Carol Harris)
- Vodafone (Richard Saggers and David Wheldon; read the MobiAD interview with Richard)

Key Themes
There were several important themes which emerged during the day’s discussion, themes that were examined and reinforced from several different presentations. These key themes included:

  • There are many flavors of mobile advertising and marketing, but we shouldn’t underestimate the power of SMS – everyone has it, everyone knows how to use it – so it can be very effective.
  • Mobile is most effective when part of an integrated, multichannel campaign. Remember, “Generation-C” is not necessarily a mobile focused generation, they are a multichannel generation.
  • There is a lot of power in social networks. They are viral, they can lead to “contagious” advertising. We may not know yet exactly how to harness this power, but we need to be thinking about it.
  • The line between advertising, content, and services is rapidly blurring. Sometimes the best way to successfully promote a brand may be to offer a value added solution to a consumer problem.

Some Video Highlights from the Seminar


Delegate Survey Results
As part of the event, Vodafone conducted a delegate survey to better understand their views on mobile advertising. Here are the top line results.

  • Mobile advertising is still seen as a low priority for businesses at the moment, with 70% say they allocate less than 1% of total budgets in this media.
  • However, according to the research, the majority of brand respondents expect their organisation to wholly embrace mobile advertising in the next few years, suggesting a surge in importance & activity around mobile advertising in the future.
  • 29% of brands think mobile is a top/high priority for their marketing strategy. Indeed, more than a quarter (26%) of brands expect to see mobile advertising taking 2% to 5% of their overall marketing budget in the next five years.
  • The biggest barriers for brands? The delegates cited three key barriers for brands when embracing mobile advertising
      • Lack of Evaluation Tools/Metrics for campaign planning,
      • Resistance to free up budget from traditional routes,
      • Lack of measurement for judging campaign success.

Overall, this was a very interesting seminar and a great group of people that Vodafone assembled. Hopefully this event will be repeated, and we can continue to bring you updates from future sessions.

Event Videos





Videos of several of the presentations are available. To get the download link for the videos, please enter your email address here:



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17.10.2008    Tags: , ,
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