Sep 24

The Mobile Marketing Industry’s Ills

We’ve been thinking and talking about the economic issues around mobile for some time. There’s a huge opportunity that’s being limited by challenges – some technical and some structural – that may impact the ultimate value of the mobile marketplace. iMedia, one of the sources of information for the marketing community, recognizes challenges exist. They have posted a piece I wrote outlining the Seven Roadblocks Facing Mobile Marketers.


I encourage you to read the story to get all the details, but here’s the Cliff Notes version:

  1. A Glut of Mobile Ad Impressions– on the InMobi mobile ad network alone there were more than 280 billion impressions available in Q1 2012.
  2. Mobile in a Global Environment – apps developed in one country are played everywhere, even more than the Web mobile has cut across geographies like nothing every before. Marketers still focus on specific cities around the world where they have operations.
  3. Tracking is Broken – this is probably the biggest issue out there. Knowing a message is reaching the intended audience is central to marketing but it’s difficult – if not impossible – in the current mobile environment.
  4. Privacy – like it or not, this can’t be ignored. Failure to come up with a credible approach to protecting consumer privacy while still being able to market effectively is a huge challenge.
  5. Fraud – this is a much bigger problem than people realize. It’s generally thought that between 20 and 40 percent of all clicks are fraudulent. Why is no one talking about it? Because it’s the advertisers that pay.
  6. Download Mania – for better or worse the industry is spending a lot of its time and energy to drive app downloads. This is because apps are a real bright spot on the mobile landscape. They’re just one use case though and marketers shouldn’t put all their eggs in the app basket.


All of these problems can be addressed; but the industry needs to think deeply and critically about how this can be accomplished. The piece in iMedia is my attempt to move this important conversation forward.