It’s clear that the old school approach to media buying is behind the lack of commitment to mobile spending. I am not a true believer in the idea that traditional media strategies (banners and rich media units) will ultimately work in mobile, but before the riddle is solved one thing is certain: we need more data in the channel to figure it out. Since no brands are offering free placements, there needs to be a much greater level of spending to definitively see what works and what doesn’t. Until then, these drips and drabs of trickle-funds will not yield anything compelling enough to open the floodgates. We are at a strange inflection point in mobile marketing, where virtually all brand marketers finally agree that mobile is real – hell, critical – but no one really knows the “formula” to unleash its power from a ROI perspective. So, brands wait for the money to return and keep one toe in the water until it arrives. What’s needed is something that won’t likely happen: an industry consortium of brands across verticals who collectively agree to spend another 10-20% of their media and marketing dollars to mobile in 13 Q4 and 14Q2/2 to flood the channel with campaigns (as well planned and strategically sound as is possible of course) to generate some real data that can be evaluated by mid-year 2014. Someone will make it through the glass ceiling. This will never happen. Brands will continue their Hamlet-like approach to mobile – pontificating, philosophizing, ruminating, doubting and waiting for their money to return.
Just posting a video from a panel discussion I was on at the App Nation Conference in San Fran last year that dealt with the lack of dollars dedicated to mobile marketing. Was watching this and marveling at how little progress has been made since then on this front.
More mobile accounts are being activated than ever before – more mobile web traffic is being reported than ever before, and brands that are mobile savvy are seeing direct ROI from mobile marketing investments – but still, crickets out there from the majority of mainstream brands.