As we have said in the past, watching mobile advertising is curiously like being drunk. With revenues already over $5.3 billion and growing so fast that analysts are hurrying to update their guesses, what could possibly go wrong? Informa believe that mobile advertising will be worth $24 billion within five years.
Facebook is now immersed in a mobile social experience. Last quarter users spent more time accessing Facebook through their mobiles than through their desktops. The new Facebook Home effectively makes Android phones into social networking devices.
As we have said in the past, mobile advertising needs to be personalized not targeted. Not only is that a huge challenge that will need Big Data, Big Analytics and Big Attention to Detail, but it is already going wrong.
While Sheryl Sandberg is in the UK promoting Facebook Home and telling us about the advertising revenues – $1.33 billion in the last quarter alone – there are tales of Dove cosmetics finding themselves linked to an area called Raping. Other companies are complaining about finding their adverts next to even more repulsive sections on Facebook, which are labeled as controversial humour.
However big Facebook may be, they are still vulnerable. Facebook, unless they solve the personalization issue fast will become the replacement for the shotgun advertising that TV now knows is a thing of the past. Personalisation will happen partly through smaller, more specialized sites that bring together communities with a particular bond or interest.
Personalisation is an opportunity for telcos. AT&T and Telefonica are signing up millions of customers to their location based deals services. They know where their customers are, they know the weather, they know the local restaurants, shops and outlets. That is compelling for customers. But hearing stories of big brands being linked to dark places in Facebook’s universe will make people switch off.
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