Mobile is definitely the hot topic of the moment. Not only is Mobile World Congress upon us, but rumours that Facebook will be launching its mobile ad platform in the coming weeks are rife. It looks as though mobile is on everyone’s radar, given the opportunities it presents.
There is no doubt that the mobile ad space is only going to flourish in 2012, with spending estimated to reach $1.23 billion this year, according to eMarketer. However, taking into account this massive investment, we thought we’d highlight a rather pressing point for the industry – digital bombardment.
What we’re asking is whether consumers have reached their saturation point in terms of advertisements and marketing messages? Is mobile simply the next frontier to target and bombard consumers with unwanted promotions?
If we look at the number of messages consumers are receiving, there has been staggering growth over the past fifteen years. Looking back to 1996 the total number of ad impressions per year was on average, 127 billion. But moving ahead to 2010 the approximate number of impressions per year was over five trillion, thanks to advertising opportunities on digital platforms! At the same time, consumer response rates have been steadily falling.
We need to ask, is blindly putting our faith in a tirade of mobile promotions the right way to go? The reduction in ad prices by both Apple and Google has successfully got marketers excited, but the pivotal question is, with all the advertising white noise present, are consumers going to listen to yet more ads? In fact, are we stepping into a territory where marketers and advertisers are turning consumers off, rather than engaging with them?
With rumours flying that the launch of Facebook’s mobile ad platform will be as imminent this month and the announcement predicted to happen at its Facebook Marketing Conference (fMC) in New York on 29 February, we’re not sure how Facebook’s 425 million mobile users will feel if or when they begin to see ‘sponsored stories’ or banner ads on a platform they’ve enjoyed using without intrusive advertising.
Ahead of MWC, we conducted some consumer research with YouGov, the Upstream Digital Advertising Attitudes Report, finding out what makes consumers tick in the realm of digital and what they are happy to receive and actively respond to when it comes to brands’ promotions. While keeping the results under our belt until the show, there are certainly some interesting implications for mobile.