Here at Forrester we continue to see a lot of industry excitement around mobile marketing. In a recent survey more than 60% of mobile marketers told us they'd continue to increase their spending on the channel despite the bad economy. And according to our latest ad forecast, mobile marketing spending in the US will more than quintuple over the next five years.
There's just one problem: SMS is the only mass-reach mobile marketing channel, and no one -- not marketers, and certainly not users -- seems to like it much.
In Q1 I met with an SEO automation vendor called Altruik. Under development since 2006, Altruik launched in January and provides a technology solution to help dynamic (and static) sites get top search engine rankings.
Before Altruik, I'd had a spate of updates from search marketing automation tools (Marin Software, Kenshoo, Omniture Search Center, Coremetrics), but all focused on the paid search side. Altruik was the first enterprise-level technology I had met dedicated to SEO.
During my presentation at Forrester's Marketing Forum on April 23, I previewed Forrester's latest forecast of interactive marketing spend. We expect marketer spend on display media, search, email, mobile and social media to reach nearly $55 billion by 2014.
I had breakfast last Friday with Robert Tas, CEO of Sportgenic an ad network and advertising management platform focused on targeting advertising to sports enthusiasts. He was in Boston meeting some agency partners (although he did manage to catch game 7 of the Celtics/Bulls series while in town!)
He shared a few observations based on ad sales at his business so far this year:
Many recent innovations in the mobile space are led by new entrants such as Apple or Google. However, let's be fair with telcos. They invest significant amounts of money in R&D and have very creative staff. There has been some skepticism in the industry on selected Orange services such as Pikeo, Djinngo (ex Bubbletop) or Soundtribes where Orange was trying to "reinvent the wheel" without partnering with the right Internet players. However, these services have never been really marketed and does not prevent strategic partnerships to be signed. Orange in particular has many Orange Labs worldwide and is driving innovation.
I saw recently some interesting demos of products and services to be launched by Orange:
The theme for my speech at Forrester’s marketing forum on April 23-24 in Orlando this year is that the down economy is actually the *right* time to catalyze marketing change.Instead of hunkering down and trying just to maintain marketing status quo, my assertion is that marketers should actually take risks during the recession.
Last week, Jeremiah Owyang, an analyst on the Interactive Marketing team that I manage, caught flak for comments that he made on his personal blog about the community vendor Mzinga. As you might expect, we both have been communicating with Mzinga's Chairman Barry Libert and other members of his team. At the same time, Jeremiah has been reflecting on the conversation begun by the post. So have I.
I recently had the opportunity to speak at the mobile 2.0 conference in Paris. There are lots of events of that kind but this one was all the more interesting as there was a European start-up contest, showcasing how innovative mobile is.
What stroke me is that all the themes and roundtables were focusing on online trends expanding in the mobile space. From social networking to widgets via m-commerce, this is all about web ideas being reinvented in the mobile space.
Definitions of web 2.0 vary quite a lot. For mobile 2.0, this is all the more difficult as I think it is the result of a constantly evolving process: the convergence between web and mobile.
The result is yet unknown as mobile is a new and complementary channel / media with its own specific rules.
There are no doubts though that this market is evolving quickly despite the economic crisis.
Forrester recently fielded a Technographics survey in Europe: Mobile Internet penetration now stands at 24% among Europe online users on a monthly basis. Forrester will soon publish a report with detailed analysis on how the European mobile Internet space is evolving.
You can continue to ignore mobile 2.0 but at your own risks. Not having a mobile presence nowadays is a bit like not having a web presence circa 1999 / 2000.