Mobile advertising is a sector of the advertising industry which is ready to explode. Given that nearly everyone owns a mobile phone these days, the future of mobile advertising is very bright. While SMS based advertising was the first step, Mobile internet advertising has much more to offer due to its ability to tap into the user context and show ads in a non intrusive manner. For e.g. if a user is browsing a sports site on his mobile, then the user could be served with an ad from Reebok. The power of the mobile advertising stems from its ability to serve extremely relevant ads to users.
Experts around the world believe that the industry is only at its infancy and is poised for phenomenal growth in the emerging markets like India and Pakistan. The reason is the low PC penetration and limited wired internet availability. Mobile web is providing the first internet experience to most users. Mobile operators are accelerating the market growth by providing low-cost reliable internet connections. mKhoj, the leading mobile ad network in Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa recorded a traffic growth of 200% in Pakistan during the 4th quarter of 2008, the highest in the region.
So what makes mobile advertising so tempting? The answer lies in the inherent advantages of mobile as a medium. The reach of the mobile medium is tremendous and has spilled well beyond the larger cities. Brands tie up with ad networks to leverage this ability to reach out to the masses and increase their brand awareness. Mobile ad networks like mKhoj are constantly trying to improve the tools and technology used to provide users with relevant ads. Ads vary depending on the economic status of the user like a watch company advertisement showing an uber-cool trendy watch for youth and more sophisticated elegant watch for an adult. Similarly parameters like operator, demography, handset capabilities, user profile etc provide ways to be able to deliver contextually relevant ads to the users.
This brings us to the question of what more can the industry offer. Naveen Tewari, Founder & CEO of mKhoj believes that ad formats will soon start taking into account the available bandwidth and screen size to improve its display. He says,
“In the very near future campaigns will be more mobile device-centric and will fully leverage the capabilities of the device. For e.g. the ads for a video ad will only be shown on mobiles which have the capability of video streaming and other phones will be served with banner ads. User patterns and preferences would be the key to ad relevance keeping in mind privacy concerns of the users. Imagine passing by a movie theatre and your mobile page will have an ad showing the trailers of the movies running in the theatre… At mKhoj, we believe that the future of mobile advertising lies in creativity, innovation and technology coming together to enhance the user experience.”