Mobile Advertising a $25B Opportunity? What’s not being said…

Hootsuite’s article and their tweet makes the case for increasing your mobile advertising budget by citing Mary Meeker’s findings in her 2015 internet trends report.  But there’s much, more in this encyclopedic analysis of the changing state of the internet.  Not the least of the news is what isn’t said about the challenges of siezing giant-size opportunities.  Let’s take a look.

Hootsuite tweet

Mary Meeker notes that global mobile adoption is at 76% of all internet users…and at that high rate, adoption is slowing.  One might have expected that mobile platform advertising would have risen right along with the adoption rate, but that hasn’t happened.  Why not?  Why are so many advertisers who are so hungry for new customers leaving $25B of opportunity on the table?

Maybe it’s because that opportunity is actually a sheepskin cloaking a wolf’s worth of technical challenge and downside customer acceptance risk.  Puzzled?

I still have a landline phone in my house.  I’m fed up with unsolicited phone calls trying to sell me new doors and windows, chimney cleaning, offering to fix my Windows computer (I don’t have one), etc.  Ad blocking services don’t work.  More than once I’ve asked myself why I still have that distracting dinosaur.

My smartphone is a potential problem times four.  There’s the potential for annoying, intruding voice… and text… and visuals.  Finally, if I’m on a bandwidth-limited subscription service, I have to pay for those unwanted intrusions.  Effectively, my smartphone has made me a social media hand grenade just waiting for unwanted advertising to trigger a net-spread flame.

Any smart advertiser lives in fear of showing me the wrong thing at the wrong time and making me pay for it.

Here’s the mobile scenario.

I’m in aisle B of my local supermarket, staring confusedly at 5 different brands of … younameit. My phone beeps and my screen displays a little comparison chart show me why the younameit in the bright blue box is safer for my kids… even safe for my dog. Newly comforted, I buy blue.

Sounds great… as long as it appears in the right location, at the right time.  The underlying technical challenge of mobile advertising is to sense that moment and respond; that’s one hard challenge.

Until mobile advertising advocates identify the set of information that can be delivered to me in the midst of my buying decision,  $25B of opportunity is just that… an opportunity.

Awhile ago I wrote about imagineering as a way to seize opportunity.  That’s what’s needed here to surprise and delight potential customers instead of annoying and alienating them.







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