Here’s a long eWeek piece raising the question, "When o when will users take to the mobile Web in earnest?" Indeed, until they do there can be no effective mass mobile marketing.
My belief is that the user experiences that drive real adoption will determine what ad models ultimately work in a mobile context.
According to Forrester’s data (cited in the article): 65,000 U.S. households, some 15 percent of mobile services subscribers accessed the Internet from their devices in 2005, compared to only 6 percent in 2004.
At that rate we’re years away from any meaningful adoption. But there are lots of mobile marketing initiatives going on now. That’s why we’ve set up the panel "Mobile Ads That Work Today" at Drilling Down ’06:
Mobile Ads That Work Today
We keep hearing about wireless/mobile advertising and its potential. But The Kelsey Group argues that potential can't be realized until there's substantially more usage to create real value for those marketers. It's a version of the chicken-and-egg problem of local search two years ago. MSN's Erik Jorgensen said at ILM:05 that the majority of local search may be conducted on wireless devices in the future. In the meantime, how are carriers, device makers and ad networks dealing with the many challenges of the current wireless environment? Are there ad models that will actually work today or next year, and what sort of user experience will make them viable?
Here’s third-party data compiled by eMarketer on mobile usage in Japan and Asia. Of interest is that 76 percent of Japanese wireless users access the Web over their mobile phones. However, there may be cultural and historical factors here that prevent direct extrapolation to the European and, especially, U.S. markets.