Will Emerging Mobile Marketing Evolve to Measure ROI, Deliver Passionate, Relevant Users and Reporting?

By: David Dalka, Emerging Technology Editor
September 2007 Communication

It’s 1997 again! No you’re not in a time machine! Take a look at some of the mobile ad startups out there and what do you see? A counter for ads served. No ROI, no relevancy just a mad rush to push out ads to anyone, anywhere at anytime. Remember counters? Back in 1997 they were on every web site on the Internet and people would try to inflate them. This unfortunately seems to the current state that we find ourselves in today.

At the same time marketplaces and a new breed of people who understand that new metrics need to be created across all interactive media are coming onto the scene. Not surprisingly these industry leaders of the future, many already in key execution roles come from financial services backgrounds where they’ve invented metrics, revolutionized both technology and customer result communication. The biggest question of all is how can you create relevancy when the mobile carriers seem determined to never steer the promise of their user data to actual usage.

Will contextual advertising function effectively on a mobile complaint site? The small amount of text available on a mobile compliant site suggests that this will present unique challenges to the quest for relevancy. If we think about the fact that many legacy Internet verticals lag delivering useful monetization and relevancy is it reasonable to ponder what new data points will allow in this arena.

Will interactions with print, billboards and other traditional media finally create connectivity between mediums that is not only engaging but also productivity enhancing to the consumer? This is a multi-Billion dollar question that is looking for an answer. How will the data models change and who will react quickly to take advantage of this?
There are the conflicting standards and the iPhone thrown into the mix, all at the same time. Eric Chan, a lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University, mobile industry veteran and author of the blog asks “why is it an iPhone era?”
Eric stated the following to me via email: “If nothing else, the launch of the iPhone validates a trend of having palmtop computers slowly replacing more functions from a laptop computer. The fact that the iPhone uses many web standards for display and technology rather than mobile standards is not necessarily a shift but an ability to use existing knowledge workers who build web applications and extend them to another type of device rather than worry about converting to mobile standards, load the web page, transcoding text or augment layouts. The fallacy of this is the expectation that the networks are faster, more efficient and always available while the computing platform has lots of compute cycles, storage, and amazing battery life. All of this has yet to really mature, even for the heavily touted 3G networks and lithium ion powered mobile devices.”
Eric and I later shared a conversation via phone. This focused around the promise of a mobile device, it’s about instant gratification as well as instant consumption – there is an added sense of urgency to get it done faster than wait for the services, content or application to catch up. It also means that the presentation of the “call to action” must be integrated into the eventual solution. I look forward to this journey, continuing this discussion and becoming part of a team that creates these world-changing solutions. It’s going to be so much fun.

About the author

David Dalka, Emerging Technology Editor, is a mobile search and mobile advertising thought leader and advisor to startup, venture capital and private equity firms. David was a member of BlackRock during it’s 80 to 800 person growth phase and is an alumni of The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business MBA program. His current contact information is on the about page of his presently Chicago based marketing blog. He will be attended Search Engine Strategies San Jose August 19-23, 2007. Please reach out if you’d like to discuss these issues in detail in person.

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