Monetisation through Advertising

momlondon.pngLast night’s MoMo London, at Thomson Reuters, was on Monetisation through Advertising. There were presentations by Ray Anderson (Bango), Shan Henderson (Vodafone), Claire Valoti (Mindshare) and Russell Buckley (Admob).

Here are some points I took away from the event…

  • From an advertising agency perspective, there are currently too many layers/parties needed to get things done.
  • The current high click throughs are similar to what happened on the Internet’s early days and which declined later.
  • What happens after the click/coupon etc. is just as important. e.g.. Vendors must know about coupons and clicks must be to compelling content.
  • The end result needs to add value for the user.
  • Measurement is currently not mature, not standardised nor aggregated or audited.
  • Vodafone can now target adverts by age, gender, postcode and handset. Location, session length and behaviour coming soon. Can’t currently slice more otherwise number of people becomes too small to be usable.
  • Even for successful campaigns, it’s difficult to get the end clients to reveal the results publicly.
  • Admob is currently serving 2.5 billion ads/month.
  • The availability of fixed rate data pricing reflects (mobile web) usage by country.
  • Search position is complex to comprehend as it depends on many factors including network operator tweaks – need to get many parties to talk to ensure your adverts (in search) end up being shown.

I came away thinking that much of what was said was related to serving adverts in (mobile) web pages. I can’t help but think there might be too much emphasis on getting something that’s working on the ‘normal’ Internet, working on mobile web browsers that inherently provide a poor/slow user experience.

Maybe we should be starting to think differently. With the introduction of new technologies such as widgets and Android, in the future we might be more inclined to think about more tightly embedded advertisements that play on key uses of the phone. Some companies are already doing this on todays platforms, for example MyScreen Mobile who I am doing some work for at the moment.

Also, it’s sometimes possible to pre-select consumers rather than rely on filtering all users by criteria that are difficult to measure. For example, offering an application or service via just one network operator might ensure the phone has the correct settings/facilities to provide for something extra special ‘after the click’. Offering and promoting a service only within a defined geographic area or town might actually be more important to an advertiser than say their phone type, age or gender. The great thing about mobile is that a fraction of the very large market is still a large number.

Finally, at the other end of the scale, I think there’s still much more mileage left in coupons and SMS text based promotions that work well on today’s rather than tomorrow’s phones.