Predictions about the growth of mobile advertising flow like cheap champagne at a wedding. Yet amid the bubbles and laughter and occasional falling over there is a serious threat to its success. The threat comes in two forms – one in the form of ad-blockers, the other in the form of customers opting out. They go hand in hand.
The predictions, predictably, vary by several billion dollars. According to eMarketer the mobile ad spend more than doubled last year to $8.41 billion. North America saw the largest growth, driven by mobile mobile search and display ad spending. By 2016, the mobile ad market will be worth $37 billion, according to them. Gartner measured the market differently, reporting that it was bigger last year – at $9.6 billion but will not grow as fast and be worth $25 billion by 2016. Perhaps Gartner has factored in the risk involved.
The risk is that customers will switch off the ads. Ad blocker Eyeo, the company that allows customers to block pop up ads on desktop browsers has launched its product on mobiles. This gives customers the tool they need if they find mobile ads intrusive.
We know that a mobile device is an inherently personal space. The relationship between a person and a mobile is more ‘love’ than ‘like’, according to Ericsson ConsumerLabs. Invade someone’s personal space and you will be thrown out of it.
The challenge for Marketing is to get customers excited about ads. Engagement and relevance are keywords. Bundling and value are others. Billing will increasingly allow intuitive bundles to be offered in a way that entices customers to ‘get involved’. Location based offers will also play a part, and we would be wise to watch the masters such as Coca Cola and see how they do it at events like the Super Bowl.
What is certain, though, is that brash, crass, ‘in your face’ advertising is very dead indeed and now that the customers have an ‘off switch’ they will use it if we do not get creative and relevant and get everyone working together to engage the customer.