Blyk: Inventory Doesn’t Make Mobile Operators Media Companies; Why Mobile Advertising Must Be Relevant

Topic: Mobile Marketing | Author: Peggy Anne Salz | Date: May 22, 2009

Today marks the end of a long week of mobile advertising webinars (including this one organized by Mobixell - password adit123) and interviews, activities which for me drove home the pivotal importance of relevancy in all we do. Like a pop song you keep hearing in your head, my ears are ringing with how many times I have heard executives at brands, agencies, and operators echo the increasing importance of relevancy. In fact, Andy Bovingdon, Bango, VP Marketing, in yesterday's interview for the Mobile Advertising Research U.K. project, was by far the most adamant to date.

In his view, mobile advertising is a form of mobile marketing that has many forms - all of which must be relevant to us. "The key across all platforms and forms of advertising - search, SMS, banners, and barcodes - is the relevance and the ability to target. Is mobile another screen, or the fourth screen, as some say? I would say it is the first screen. It's always-on and always with us, and that means we can learn a lot more about the visitors [but not individual visitor] to a site or an ad campaign. We can know more about the people who interact with advertising, and we must use this to give them advertising to interact with."

Put simply, relevancy rules (!) The message isn't lost on MSG. Almost five years ago, I wrote the first report on mobile search and content discovery, where I preached the importance of delivering the right content to the right person - better yet in the right context. And that has been my message ever since. (Also reflected in the MSG strapline: At the intersection of content and context.) It's where the action is!

And if you think it only applied to mobile content portals, then I have one word for you: App stores. This well-written and thoughtful column from Mark Lowenstein speaks volumes. He makes a plea for more personalization in application storefronts, and companies would do well to listen.

"I think the most important way to differentiate in this growing but increasingly crowded market is to deliver a more personalized, contextual applications experience. In most cases, all users launching an app store are presented with the same menu. There have been some early stage attempts to enable users to do some content configuration on operator or third party portals, sort of a wireless version of My Yahoo. But if we're dealing with tens of thousands of apps and a small screen device with limited input capability, we have to get a lot smarter about what is presented to the user, with the magic being done in the background rather than relying on the user to self-configure."

Where's the connection with Blyk? The answer is evident when we consider (in my view) a milestone quote/observation (below)from Antti Öhling, Blyk co-founder and CEO U.K.