Is mobile really *that* big a deal?
**Correction: Actually, we forecast that direct mail will be at about $67 billion by 2012. So to my comment below, the astronomical forecast of mobile at $20 billion would be closer to a third, not a half of dm spend by 2012. >Both Josh James and Shantanu Narayen, the CEO of Adobe mentioned mobile in their keynote presentations and now I'm listening to RIM also talk about the power of the mobile browser.
While I can't deny the ubiquity of mobile devices, I'm still cynical about the present marketing application mobile provides. Josh quoted a stat that $2billion will be spent in mobile marketing this year. But I can't see how that could be. That stat is certainly not ours. In fact, we place mobile marketing closer to about $560 million this year, and growing to just $1.2 billion by 2014.
As an aside, the RIM speaker just suggested that mobile advertising would reach $20 billion by 2012 (which would be larger than search marketing, represent more than half of all interactive spend and almost half the size of direct mai, BTW). Does that sound as impossible to you as it does to me?
I certainly believe in the potential value of mobile…it is an extremely targetable medium, allows for a new type of brand and community engagement. But right now the opportunities around mobile marketing still seem so focused on creating "cool" apps or ads. Which is counter to the principles we all want to embrace around other interactive media: measurability, accountability, ROI. I'd like the mobile marketing conversation to focus less on how cool mobile could be, and more about how infrastructure, data and economic hurdles in the mobile space will be overcome. I just don't think mobile marketing can advance to the degree we all want it to without it first developing some standards that marketers can count on to make their investment worth while.