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Media Intelligence : 2008 Intelligence
mobile feature capabilities of the end user, the base communication method – the SMS message – can be received by any mobile phone. “I think that getting a mass-market reach, you need to stick to the basics for now,”says Blakers. [Brands] need to utilise text messaging as the main channel of communication, but as more people get better handsets and have WAP and MMS settings enabled, they will be able to receive richer content. “It is all about having an ongoing relationship with your consumer base and it is all about the high level of engagement you are able to have using mobile as the delivery means,”he continues. “Rich media is coming as well – you have handsets constantly being replenished with a lot more multimedia handsets. Telstra has only recently launched the first carrier- grade outbound MMS platform in the country so now brands can actually send true MMS that doesn’t cost the consumer anything. You will start to see a lot more either video marketing and “ I’d like to say it could be 12-18 months before we see that data cost being removed.” – Ben Maudsley, MindShare Interaction messages going out, or a combination of images and text that will be a lot more powerful.” Another advantage of mobile, is the opportunity to deliver precisely targeted, relevant information which is welcomed by users. The carriers have intimate knowledge about their database, whether it be by demographic, by product usage or geographic location. This becomes a powerful and precise tool for targeting audience, however carriers are conscious of their customers and the fact that they don’t want to be bombarded with irrelevant commercial activity, with most companies using only opt-in databases. Tommaso del Re, head of mobile at Yahoo!7 confirms this. “Yahoo! is incredibly sophisticated – we hire engineers from NASA to develop profi les and help target advertising – to the point where it can get too sophisticated. Yahoo! has very stringent user privacy policies and while there is the potential to go above and beyond what we are doing, we are actually limiting ourselves in terms of what we do with targeting.” Barriers The cost of mobile to the consumer has traditionally been seen as one of the barriers preventing further market penetration. Marketers don’t want consumers to pay to receive marketing messages, and consumers are unsure of the costs of mobile data charges, however things are changing with mobile carriers capping or removing the costs to access their own portals (on- deck) although charges to access off -deck sites remain. Ben Maudsley, Business Director at MindShare Interaction says that despite carriers dropping some of their data charges, the perception of cost will still remain with the consumer. “While users on Telstra can access Bigpond for free, they will still want to go off and look at Facebook or other sites where they will get charged. It’s really at that tipping point when the carriers are thinking ‘at what point are we going to obtain more revenue from advertisers and let that data charge go?’ We are at step one already with some of them dropping the data charge off their own portals, and I’d like to say that it could be 12-18 months before we see that data cost being removed.” Tommaso del Re agrees. “Recently, carriers have been very aggressive in disclosing to the users the data cost and coming up with competitive data packages”he says. “I think in that we are seeing some very strong growth in terms of people becoming more familiar with using mobile internet and that is also fantastic news for us as publishers because as people become more and more frequent users of mobile, it helps us build an advertising platform to take to marketers.” Measurement A medium still in relative infancy, an independent across-the- board measurement system for mobile is yet to be developed, however there is guarded enthusiasm about the way mobile is currently measured. “At an industry level, we are looking at how we can have an industry recognised entity that can help us,”says del Re. “Something that we can point to in terms of measurement.