The test phase is complete and 2010 will go down in history as the "year of the budget." Amielle Lake, chief executive officer at Tagga Media, told attendees at OMMA Global in San Francisco on Wednesday that this is the year we will prove enough case studies to start dollars flowing into the space.
Still, online ad budgets have this line item that just says "mobile," but it doesn't mean SMS messaging or display advertisements, Lake says.
Today, the majority sit at about $100,000, says Patrick Collins, chief executive officer, 5th Finger. Likely spurred on by the approximate 60% of subscribers who now have data plans, according to Dan Lee, director, mobile audience measurement solutions, The Nielsen Co.
Keeping up with consumers who rely on mobile isn't easy. Some are beginning to use the handheld device as a shopping tool. A mobile strategy might not fit in well for all companies. For us we look at the objectives of the client and collectively what will become the best strategy," says Tina Unterlaender, account director mobile, AKQA.
Most clients, about 75%, want to do mobile, but the remainder requires a lot of hand-holding and explaining, Unterlaender says. "It's not a scary thing any more," she says.
The stereotype that suggests the brand comes to the agency and says "I want it all" doesn't work. Agencies need to take a step back and examine the client's marketing mix, rely on analytics, and determine whether the goal will become to produce a direct response channel or a branding. campaign.
"Every client wants to see their brand on an iPhone," says Niles Lichtenstein, director, of mobile strategy and integration at Ansible, who says the agency is working on a concept of "no phone left behind."
Lake also suggests companies need to start optimizing Web sites for mobile phones. "How many people have a busienss card with a Web site address on it that isn't optimized for a mobile phone?" she says.