What I believe is seriously missing in the mobile space, with respect to advertising, is the fact that unlike other forms, where you are increasing brand awareness or selling an image, mobile advertising has to accelerate the purchase decision or consumption of the intented task. This is where I think the hidden value my lie. If you can’t compete in the Operator’s WAP deck, or believe that “Pay For Placement” is a zero-sum game, then maybe mobile search and mobile advertising could become star-crossed lovers to enhance the user experience. It is already known that Mobile Publishers and Mobile Operators have created a store with limitless shelf space in a compact and convenient travel size, the problem is that address the “Long Tail, Short Tail” is impossible given the current state of things. Thus, advertising needs to be one driver in making mobile commerce quicker and less painful. A Wacom Group study performed showed that “76% of mobile data users give up [in using or finding digital content] because search is too difficult” is one of many data points to validate that we cannot simply repurpose content and business models for mobile and expect them to stick.
Even more apparent is the fact that mobile phones have become such personalized devices that a feature might even come along where subscribers might even pay to not have advertising. Hmmmm. Sounds strangely familiar to XM and Sirius satellite radio. So Mr. Mobile Operator, dabble and experiment with mobile advertising — it might be worth a serious look when your ARPU numbers are starting to take a nose dive.