It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mobile World

By Aaron Goldman, VP of Marketing & Strategic Partnerships

2 weeks ago, I attended the eMarketer Chicago Breakfast during ad:tech. The topic was “Mobile Marketing: After the Growing Pains.” Senior Analyst, John du Pre Gauntt presented a compelling look at the state of mobile marketing today and where it’s headed.

The entire presentation can be found on the eMarketer website, but here are the key takeaways from a search marketing perspective.

Top 3 Mobile Search Categories

1. Local Listings
2. Information (eg, sports scorews, news, weather)
3. Mobile content (e.g. video, ringtones)

Source: Nielsen Mobile, January 2008

Du Pre Gauntt emphasized that this reflects how mobile is a short-term, task-oriented platform. It’s not for time-killing or browsing like the computer. As for the mobile search interface, he stressed that “people don’t want 2,000 links, they want to know where the closest dry cleaners is.”

Location-Based Mobile Search Pricing Model
Preferred by Adult Consumers in the US

49% of US adults would prefer a mobile search model that carried subscription or transaction fees but no advertising. 51% preferred an ad-supported model.

Source: IDC, October 2007

The voiceover here is that the cell phone is a very personal device and people are not willing to let it become a cluttered environment littered with ads like their email inboxes.

Mobile Search Advertising Spending Worldwide

2007 - $83,000,000
2008 - $244,000,000
2009 - $597,000,000
2010 - $1,290,000,000
2011 - $2,345,000,000
2012 - $3,773,000,000

Source: eMarketer, March 2008

US Mobile Search Advertising Spending

2007 - $35,000,000
2008 - $107,000,000
2009 - $242,000,000
2010 - $531,000,000
2011 - $910,000,000
2012 - $1,484,000,000

Source: eMarketer, March 2008

Mobile Internet Advertising Audience Worldwide

13-17: 6.9%
18-24: 28%
24-34: 37.5%
35-44: 19.5%
45-54: 6.8%
55-64: 1.3%
65+: 0.2%

Source: M:Metrics, September 2007

While the audience doesn’t skew as young as most would think, Du Pre Gauntt’s advice for marketers and agencies exploring the mobile space is to focus on the verbs (what are people doing?) rather than the nouns (who are they? where are they?) to ensure messaging is contextually relevant.

As far as what’s next for mobile, du Pre Gauntt summed it up with this Mark Twain quote -- “You can’t depend on your judgment when your imagination is out of focus.” He said, in our excitement to tackle new marketing channels such as mobile, we too often overestimate the short-term and underestimate the long term.


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