Vodafone, T- Mobile, Orange, O2 and 3 have joined forces with the GSM Association to standardise parameters for the measurement of the effectiveness of Mobile Advertising.The announcement made at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on 11th February, marks the first step in a collaborative effort to counteract Google’s growing popularity on mobile.
The UK is an important advertising market, and most of the big mobile providers operate there. The initial testing of this project will therefore be carried out in the UK. The aim is to set up a television-style rating system for mobile ads. The working group will set out a range of metrics to decipher exactly who the mobile audience is and what their areas of interest are. The group will also collect and deliver information from the UK operators to analyse the feasibility of the measurement system.
Advertisers will benefit from this project as it will help in judging the effectiveness of mobile ads. So far the lack of availability of concrete data backing mobile advertising has been a major stumbling block, as advertisers obviously want to know whether or not their ads are reaching their target audience.
Providing good quality data has been difficult so far because mobile advertising is a relatively new field, and operators still do not know exactly what data is required by the channels and how the relevant data can be collected and disbursed while maintaining client confidentiality.
Information collected as a result of this initiative will have to be made available across different operators. The data may also need to be audited by a centralized body to ensure client privacy is not breached. The GSMA, which represents over 700 companies across 218 countries, is ideally placed to lead such a project and should be capable of uniting the normally rival organisations.
Rob Conway, CEO of GSMA says, “The working group and the GSMA facilitate crucial engagement between mobile operators, advertisers and agencies, to help ensure that mobile advertising realizes its full potential for the benefit of all players in the ecosystem.”
While most see this as a positive step forward for the mobile telecoms industry, Julien Theys at Screen Digest thinks this is a “defensive strategy” by the telecom companies to one-up Google.
According to eMarketer the mobile advertising industry will rise from $i.5 billion in 2006 to $12 billion by 2011. Phil Chapman, director of marketing T-mobile UK, says “The power of the mobile as a marketing tool can only be realized if advertisers can clearly see and understand the benefits compared to traditional media.”
Read the official press release by the GSMA