Mobile Advertising As A Future Payment Option

Let's talk statistics. Did you know that out of all the people who see a billboard advertisement only three percent will be affected enough by it to buy the product? Amazing isn't it, all that money spent on advertising and only three people out of every hundred are affected. The number is a little higher when you go on the web though. Bearing in mind that I don't have current statistics in front of me, for every hundred people that see an advert on a website about eighteen people will click it to see what the deal is. Want to know what form of advertising has the highest response from consumers? Go on, have a look at the blog theme and the tag here and take a guess. Mobile ads are the way to go if you want the highest return for your investment, with an average of seventy-five percent of consumers responding to adverts that appear on their phone screens.

If you've been reading this page for a while then you'll know I create and manage this page at all levels using my phone. One of my primary tools for doing this is Opera Mini, the lightweight but powerful mobile browser from Opera, and of course you've seen that I'm using the Opera Community.

Opera have been a driving force in mobile browsing for a good few years now, where other browser companies have gone on record as stating that no-one wants to use a phone to browse (yeah, fuck you too Mozilla) before changing their tunes more recently. Now it seems that Opera share part of my vision for the future of mobile. Appearing on my feeds recently was a news story about Opera shelling out an estimated five million Euros to buy AdMarvel.

AdMarvel work to bring mobile publishers, developers, network carriers, advertising networks and agencies, and advertisers together to optimise the mobile advertising process. Chances are that any mobile advert you've seen since 2006, whether it's on a mobile web site, in an application, or through a message, is one of theirs. The joining of these two companies means one thing for users of Opera's mobile browsers – targetted adverts paying for their development.

Makes you think doesn't it. All those gigantic billboards advertising body sprays that magically make the opposite sex willing to do illegal things with custard are nowhere near as effective as a short message appearing on our phones telling us to try a new product. A lot of this is down to over saturation of billboards (they appear everywhere so we just don't see them anymore) but some is due to how we've come to view our phones. They've been so much more than a way to talk to people for so long now, with each increase in functionality making us rely on them more and more. We've started to trust our phones like friends, relying on them to wake us early, capture moments to share with others, remind us of birthdays (I swear I'd forget my own birthday if it wasn't in my phone), play music, watch videos, browse the web. We rely on our phones, we trust our phones, and subconsciously we value their opinions. So when our phone recommends a new drink to us we treat it like any recommendation from someone we trust that much, and make a mental note to try that product out. It's a little sad when you think about it that way.

Mobile advertising has been around for years of course, with shops delivering offers via bluetooth (something that never really took off) but more recently it's started to be included as an option in packages from the networks. They'll give you free credit to your account if you consent to receive adverts on your phone that are tailored to your needs. Usually this means MMS and SMS spam messages, but a few businesses have been building applications that put the advert directly on the front screen of your phone. I believe that this is the future of the mobile network as we advance into the fourth generation of mobile technology. During this generation everything sent and received over the network will be data based, with no more seperate voice communication network running behind the scenes. As the networks enter into battle for customers they will have to start adopting different strategies to keep costs low for their customers (such as a flat rate service fee to allow voice calls instead of charging by the minute) which will cut into their profits. In order to keep their income on the rise they'll need new ways to get money that doesn't come from their customer, and subsidising their contracts and pre-pay options via advertising is one of the best ways to do this. So we find cheaper deals coming in from the networks and deals provided by advertisers appearing on the frontscreens of our phones, with an option to ignore advertisers we're not interested in and save vouchers for later use. Win win for us, win for the networks who'll get a set income from advertisers, win for the advertisers who'll get their adverts and offers sent directly to people interested in them.

This is my prediction for part of the future of mobile payment options.

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28 thoughts on “Mobile Advertising As A Future Payment Option

  1. No ads here, except on a couple of apps. They were free, though, so I can't really complain about that. I'm not sure I'd like ads on the front page. Block Content on the Opera desktop version is my friend :D.

  2. I get ads on my phone, not on the front page though, but as text messages. I must admit that I sometimes get a little bit disappointed when I run to see who the sms that just arrived was from, and it turns out to be from the supermarket. :left:

  3. Most of the ads I got on the phone are from my mobile provider, offering me a bunch of stupid, money taking options I never needed nor asked for :irked: But I guess you are right, they will lower the costs at one point and, in order to maintain the flow of money, they will start to bring us ads. And the most annoying is that they will be on the screen of our phones probably :furious::sst: I forgot my birthday once, remembered it late in the evening when my aunt called me :doh: Even my parents forgot ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

  4. It's just business sense. You lower prices for your customers to pull more in from the competition, and you offset the costs by selling advertising space. The networks themselves just get paid by a firm like the one Opera bought (Apple bought one recently too showing they've started to get in the game and Google own one too) who in turn get sell ad space to advertisers and set up ways for phone manufacturers to allow users to decide which ads they're willing to get.The way it's been run up to now is that the user gets a certain amount of free texts and calls in return for allowing ads to be sent directly to their homescreens. The user fills in an online multiple choice questionnaire to say what sort of things they're interested in, and a couple of "other" fields to further specify their interests. Then the user gets no more than three adverts per week. That's the deal that was run in the UK and it was so successful that Orange bought the company after their first year.

  5. I'm in the middle of changing networks. I'm getting NOK 185 (ยฃ19) worth of free usage (texts, data and calling) each month, but haven't seen anything about theh possibilty of ads being sent to me.It'll be interesting to see…

  6. I was always under the impression (formed from various sources) that internet ads were at least two orders of magnitude less successful (on a hit-per-view basis) than real-world ones. How many of those viewers that click actually buy anything? I'm pretty sure ads isn't the future for anyone to make decent money, except Google and some huge sites like Craigslist.As for ads on the phones, it seems odd. By definition, the people who accept such deals are trying to save money…so are they really being suckered by enough ads to make it worthwhile?

  7. I get text with a link to a certain site. Looking at ads I score points which I can then use to enter into competitions and the the points make sure for multiple entries. Another way is you can build up your points and exchange for data, airtime or sms bundles. Of course now who doesn't want all that free and people subscribe to everything as to click on the ads and get free whatever. :p everyone wins?

  8. Did a little phone wipe and will need to wait for a text till I can get the site. Might have something in e-mail though then I'll hook ya up eh.. :p

  9. Great, my trackbacks are full of people desperate to give iPhones away, and now a drunk has stumbled onto my page… ๐Ÿ™„

  10. I want an iPhone :left:, although iPad… no flash? Really? Steve Jobs is a brilliant man, but when he gets it wrong, he does it in style.

  11. You do know the iPhone has no Flash too, don't you? And can't multitask, and can't have extra memory, and can't have the battery removed, and has awful battery life, and that Apple retains the right to remotely remove any and all applications from your phone and refuse you a refund, amongst many other problems.

  12. Yes, but they work so well otherwise. As I've said before, every-one here is getting them and are all delighted. Apps makers are starting to go html to bipass the app store, which may have wider implications, ironically for P.C.s, as web apps mean less program installations, which are no problem on a Mac, but slowly kill a P.C. But at the end of the day, they cost more than I feel comfortable paying for a moble 'phone. I'm sticking with Nokia.The absence of flash on a computer, in the web-based age, reminds me that he thought that networks would never take off; why network when you have floppy discs? Oh, well.

  13. Oh you're talking about hacking the device. Any device is fine when hacked, even the iFruit. You can turn a feature phone into a smartphone and even change operating systems. I don't deal with it here because I've got ties to manufacturers and encouraging that sort of thing pretty much guarantees I'm not getting inside info or test models again. Of course, in the case of the iPhone you need to hack it to activate basic usability.

  14. No, no, no hacking. I like warranties. Every-one who has it here is delighted.I am, by the way, writing this on my MacBook from the library. ๐Ÿ˜€

  15. I get that, I do. Really. I just like things that work too. My needs are higher than Apple has offered though – hell, I'd die without multitasking (got a funny story about that as it happens) alone.

  16. In fairness, I haven't used an iPhone. I just hate Windows, I spent much to much time making my and other peoples computers work. It shouldn't be like that. People tell me that it's improved, but I don't trust it. Windows gets one used to a very low standard. And Apple do good stuff.I have as many Nokia logos as Apple, as it happens.

  17. I agree. Mac OS in particular is a good operating system, but part of that is because it's open. The thing that gets me about iPhone OS (also used on the iPad) is that it's closed. If you want to put something new on the device it has to come through Apple, meaning they get 30% of all revenue and the final say in what you can or can't have. Furthermore they've started adding DRM to stop you swapping things between devices.Example – I have a load of e-books that will work on most bookreaders and smartphones. Likewise my music collection and applications mostly swap over as easily as swapping the memory card over. If I were to try swapping these things with an iPhone OS run device I'd have to buy them again or at least download them again. If I were to swap to a different device I'd have lost everything I'd bought, with the exception of the music. That's unacceptable to me, but a core part of Apple's strategy.

  18. It won't last, though. Apple have Google hovering over they're shoulder now. The world has changed.A lot of the D.R.M.ing and control-freakery is to keep third parties on board. A.T.&T. especially have thrown their weight around. But also, it's like Nintendo; control also means quality control. If Apple starts playing host to shoddy apps, what differentiates them from Microsoft? It's a tightrope.iTunes music, at least, is D.R.M. free these days.

  19. This is my world and it hasn't changed at all. Google are still a minor entity. The big names in smartphones are Symbian and RIM. Both offer many things Apple doesn't and have vastly more market share than them. The market share of Symbian is higher than the top three of their competitors put together. Apple chose their way to do things because they built a name brand where people will put up with these problems and sell their devices for so much more than their competitors that customers are too embarrassed to admit the shortcomings.

  20. I wasn't talking specifically mobile. But Google have been smart, becoming as aggressively multi platform as Opera. My Symbian 60 wasn't in practical terms usable as a surf machine with-out Opera mini, and even with mini, it's Google products that drive me to invest in a data package; otherwise I'd just be checking in here and Yahoo mail. In terms of devices, Google are small potatos, but in terms of enabling other devices, they, and Opera, have changed the playing field. In my opinion.I have to say, you have a strange bias here. I haven't used an iPhone, but Symbian is not with-out problems, big ones. Menu inconstancy (my three are all totally different, a whole new learning curve each time :bomb: ). I can't transfer my phone book from my old to my new mobile in one go; it'll only do five contacts at a time by bluetooth. I have seven hundred contacts. I can't figure out how to do it by ovi at all. One will synch with my mac, but not the other. Bluetooth vulnerabilities. No mac software. Not small issues.Nokia mobiles are great, but they are far, far from perfect.

  21. True, Symbian phones do have problems (I can probably help you with your Contacts problem by the way but I'll do it via inbox – it sounds like a branding caused Bluetooth problem but there are ways around it), but I wouldn't say I'm biased and don't mention those problems. Very recently I had a rant about Nokia's Ovi services. And if you've seen my impressions of the high end Samsung i8910 Omnia HD that I won last year, you'll see there're too many bugs in the firmware for me to recommend it to people. But the fact remains that for general all around usage Symbian based phones are the best, with more power under the hood than the other systems at the moment.Don't take me for a fanboy though. The moment I find something better I'll point it out (like I pointed out how much better Google's sign in for services is in the Ovi rant) even if it's Apple. Hell, when I started here I was against Nokia phones in general, and found Sony Ericsson models to give the best overall experience so I'm not the sort who sticks to one opinion. At the moment Symbian are the best in my opinion, followed by Android. Both are evolving and I estimated Android would overtake Symbian this year, at least until midway through next year when the new Symbian UI and OS is released. However it's been announced today that Symbian Foundation has upped their development speed and now I really don't know where things will stand at the end of this year.Opera has been a major player in redefining the way mobile web works, but you're right to recognise Google for that too. They were the first search engine to optimise for mobile devices, even back in the WAP years.

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