Advertising will clearly play a major role in the growth of the mobile web, both in terms of consumer demand and in terms of who are the competitive suppliers. Targeted advertisers like Phorm have already helped businesses advertise on the Internet, and it won’t be long before the mobile web starts growing in advertisers as well. Some are very bullish about the likely growth. For example in an upbeat article in the Bangkok Post, Jeff Teh, a senior research analyst at Frost & Sullivan, is quoted as follows, ”Mobile advertising has the potential to become more successful than internet advertising as the delivery medium is more immediate and personal. ‘The mobile audience in Asia is indeed larger and more immediately reachable than the online users, and with the increasing ubiquity of Internet access over mobile handsets, the web browsing experience is available to a large new audience.”
On the other hand as eMarketer points out, mobile users are easy to annoy and don’t want mobile advertising (hat-tip to Kate Trgovac). According to a study by Web Visible and Nielsen//NetRatings, nearly three-quarters of US Internet users think they are overexposed to advertising. That perception is carrying over into mobile marketing. Almost two-thirds of respondents to a Maritz Research survey of Generation Y consumers said they were unlikely or definitely unlikely to subscribe to texted retail offers sent to their handsets.
This may explain why Bena Roberts finds that Google Adsense for the mobile web does not seem to be attracting advertisers. She also points out that as of now Google is being somewhat cavalier in the way it treats its AdSense mobile advertisers. Thanks to William Slawski for bringing my attention to this expert blogger.
The present structure for mobile advertising does not seem to satisfy any of the stakeholders. Forbes has an interesting take on this in asking the question, “Will Google Crush The iPhone?” The article suggests that it is dissatisfaction with the ability of today’s phones to carry targeted advertising–rather than a thirst for software-licensing revenues or desire to build cool gadgets–that is pushing Google to take on the mobile-phone market according to industry sources. Google’s mission now is clearly to be a publisher of advertising. With its own Gphone, it will clearly be in a position to maximize revenues from mobile advertising.