Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mobile marketing with mobile TV

There is no money in mobile advertising. At least not enough to fulfill the promise of reaching millions of subscribers. Advertisers have so far not been convinced about the medium. Mobile phones until now have had small screens, poor video playback not to mention streaming - factors inhibiting big advertisers who want to tell this story about that product. In an impression-creating industry mobile handsets are seen as non-immersive medium.

There have been a few innovations in mobile advertising like using 2D bar codes and QR codes to make a physical world connect ( through the phone camera), but these have so far not stood up to the advertiser's requirements. The problem with such approaches is that they involve the user to initiate the engagement before getting any meaningful information.

Again hopes are now raised about mobile TV fulfilling the needs of advertisers. Before making any progress on mobile advertising, handset makers would have to seriously think about increasing the screen sizes of mobile phones and improve multimedia capabilities. Apple's iPhone is surely a step in this direction and other handset makers are expected to follow this design cue of better images, better streaming and better audio. Even without size, BlackBerrys have had good viewing aesthetics and the new BlackBerry Bold is a step in this direction. Nokia's E Series have it right but the N Series are not there yet.

Mobile TV providers would need to innovate frameworks for mobile ads like idle screen content through advertiser-bought bandwidth. Advertisers may be thought to be paying for their bandwidth, but however what advertiser-bought bandwidth essentially means is that advertisers would buy bandwidth for streaming content that is not dependent upon user initiation. Without such frameworks there would not be any incentive for the user to get engaged with the advertiser. Handset makers and telcos should think of starting programs aimed at mobile advertising.

Related reading:
Frank Dickson on Call-to-action advertising in RCRWireless
P.S.: Mobile advertising might actually pick up because advertisers would relate to the "TV" in mobile TV :-)

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