Mobile ad campaigns – will they kill the web?

Advertising Marketing Mobile communication

I recently read two interesting articles discussing the increasing use of mobile phone technology as an advertising medium.  This raised the question:  will mobile ad campaigns kill the web?

More Australians carry a 3G mobile device (myself included) than own a fixed broadband connection at home.  And with roughly nine million Australians owning a 3G (mobile broadband) phone, they’re increasingly likely to want to use their mobile device to access a company’s online information (Nett Magazine, May 2009). 

According to an article in The Australian Financial Review dated 18 May, the general manager of digital marketing services at Sensis predicts its business will double over the next year due to the growing demand for mobile campaigns.  This is driven by the greater reach (coverage) of 3G mobile phones, the high degree of targeting with mobile campaigns and the high response rates to advertising.

It’s likely that more marketers will jump on the mobile advertising bandwagon for a number of reasons:-

– campaigns are cheap to run

– more people own mobile phones than ever before and they’re with us 24 hours a day, which means that businesses can potentially reach customers at any time, or be reached by them

– offer greater levels of targeting and less wastage.  The “interaction” rate for mobile based campaigns is about 20%, which means that 20% of people who click on an ad go on to do something else, such as making a phone call or ordering a product, compared to 3-4% for other online ads.

– 4G phones are only 3-5 years away and will offer faster connections than broadband internet creating greater opportunities for the convergence of mobiles with other media

Critics of mobile-ad campaigns claim most people do not want to see ads when they are using their phones.  But with mobile campaigns the user can choose to respond to an ad they see on a mobile website rather than view unsolicited ads sent to their phone.  The ads are only sent when people are browsing online and don’t interrupt their use of the phone.

With consumers becoming more curious about what the mobile phone can do for them, businesses are starting to realise that it is one of the greatest ways to connect to their customers.  Whilst mass adoption is not quite there yet, the mobile phone should be seriously considered as part of a marketing strategy.

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