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The Industry Speaks Out In Barcelona
Agencies, Publishers, Developers & Investors Say
It’s A Difficult Time, But There Is “Careful Optimism”

interviews_6.gif During MWC in Barcelona, we met with a lot of knowledgeable people from across the mobile marketing value chain. Although everyone was clearly uneasy about the impact of the current global economy, we found a strong, underlying optimism about mobile advertising and marketing.

In order to give you better insight into their thinking, we made a series of short, one minute interviews with some of these experts: publishers, agencies, developers, technology companies, venture capitalists.

We’ve also put together a quick round up of some of the top trends we saw at the show.



Mobile Publisher: Fox Mobile

interview_harry.gifMauro Montarano
CEO
Fox Mobile

Question:
What is do you see as the future for mobile video over the next 12 months?

Answer:
It will be “the age of mobile video”, with both ad-funded unbranded video, plus streaming branded video bundled with flat mobile data plans.

Click Here for minivideo



Agency: RingRing Media

interview_harry.gifHarry Dewhirst
Media Director and Co-founder
Ring Ring Media

Question:
What are the current trends in mobile advertising that you are seeing these days?

Answer:
More and more brands are embracing mobile, and starting to invest in the channel.

Click Here for minivideo



Mobile Application Developer: Golden Gekko

interview_harry.gifMagnus Jern
CEO
Golden Gekko

Question:
What is your view on the proliferation of mobile operating systems, and “apps stores”?

Answer:
Choosing which operating system and app store is a big challenge for developers and brands, and perhaps this will lead to a resurgence of Java.

Click Here for minivideo



Mobile Start-Up Company: Mobile Acuity

interview_harry.gifChris Wade
Chairman
Mobile Acuity

Question:
What is the environment like for hi-tech start-ups these days?

Answer:
Start-up companies need to act like “grown-up” companies.

Click Here for minivideo



Location Based Services: Navteq

interview_harry.gifDavid Klein
VP, Advertising Sales
Navteq

Question:
Is there a future for location based advertising?

Answer:
Mobile will provide a strong link between advertising and retail, and therefore improve ROI.

Click Here for minivideo



Venture Capitalist: Newtonmore Group

interview_pamir.gifPamir Gelenbe
Partner
Newtonmore Group

Question:
What is the VC view of opportunities in the mobile industry these days?

Answer:
It’s been a tough business, but we feel a “careful optimism”.

Click Here for minivideo



MobiAD News Round Up

And here are some final observations about the key developments and trends that we saw during the show.

apps.gifMobile Applications Are Everywhere
The biggest change in the world of mobile marketing and advertising since last year is the overwhelming appearance of mobile applications used for marketing campaigns. Enabled by better handsets, faster networks, and the emergence of “app stores”, these have become a hot area of creativity.
(Read MobiAD article Mobile Applications: The Next Big Thing In Mobile Marketing?)


samsung-smartphone.gifBig is the new Small
There has clearly been a sea change in handset design. Everyone is now focused on touchscreen devices with smartphone capabilities. Remember just a couple of years ago when handset companies competed to see who could make the smallest phone? Those days are gone, thanks to the need to support mobile internet and mobile apps.


internet_icon.gifMobile Internet is real
A major change has occurred in just one year – the mobile internet is now for real. In the conference discussions, in product presentations, and just by watching people at the show, it was evident that mobile internet is now a standard part of people’s lives. It seems as though better handsets, faster network speeds, and the growth of lower cost or flat data plans have created a “perfect storm” which is driving the growth of mobile internet.


compass.gifLocation is still missing
Although I remain a big believer in the future of location based services and advertising, it looks as though that is still somewhere off in the future. A lot of companies are still working on services in this area and there is some uptake, but until there is an easy, reliable, consistent, efficient (ie not battery draining) way to determine a consumer’s location and then have it fed to an application, then I think we will continue to see small steps instead of the breakthrough we are all hoping for.


mobile_advertising.gifMobile Marketing & Advertising – Growing Up
Although there was perhaps less ‘hype’ about mobile marketing than last year, it seemed as though the industry may have in fact reached a higher level of maturity – more talk from agencies that brands are committed, more examples of successful campaigns, more discussions more about how to make it better (relevant, measured, less cumbersome) rather than discussing basic reasons to trial.

Another bright spot is that there seems to be a ongoing stream of new technologies that will continue to enrich the world of mobile marketing. For example:

  • QR codes seem poised to finally gain traction in the US and European markets,
  • new visual interactivity technologies such as Mobile Acuity allow for entirely new kinds of mobile marketing interactivity for consumers,
  • new sensors such as accelerometers are being built into phones,
  • the combination of advanced handsets and the mobile apps mentioned above enable a whole new level of consumer interaction and engagement.

Mobile operators are also seeming to take mobile marketing more seriously. A senior exec at a major mobile operator explained his company’s point of view, “mobile marketing has moved to the center of our planning: with data rates going down, and services like Skype poised to erode our voice revenues, we have to do a great job with mobile marketing.”


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