Mobile Ads Will Go Big By 2010: IAB UK Survey

Mobile advertising will become a mainstream medium over the next three years, according to results of a newly released survey (warning: PDF link) from the Internet Advertising Bureau in UK. The IAB surveyed its members and garnered responses from 41 companies, with just over half of them coming from agencies. While it’s not a deep pool of responses, it does give some indication of how companies active in internet advertising view mobile. The full report can be downloaded here. Among the findings:

— 41 percent of respondents say mobile ads will be mainstream in 2010, and 27 percent believe they’ll make it to the mainstream in 2011, while 20 percent believe it will happen in 2008.

— The ability to create one-to-one marketing relationships because of the personal and intimate nature of mobile phones is cited as the most popular reason why mobile ads will be successful. The ease of response, and the ability to target and make ads very relevant were also mentioned. More after the jump.

— The main barrier to the respondents’ use of mobile ads was a lack of evidence of the success and effectiveness of the medium. While the demand for a clear-cut ROI is understandable, this is a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation: until mobile ads become more widely used, there won’t be a huge amount of data about their efficacy. The push isn’t just solely for volume, though, as marketers are also looking for standardized and consistent measurements.

— Many of the same issues were cited as barriers to growth of mobile advertising, along with the issue of reach. Advertisers are looking for volume in mobile, just like in other media.

— It’s unclear what role operators should play. Some people believe operators shouldn’t be involved at all. Others say they should play a supporting role, while some believe they should take the lead. This is a big question hanging over the sector. While plenty of big names and small companies are moving ahead with their plans, so too are operators, many of which see mobile advertising as a huge potential revenue stream. Both sides seem to be headed for a collision here, and the uncertainty of what operators will try do, or what they’ll allow could be holding back some marketers from embracing mobile ads.


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