Will Emerging Mobile Marketing Evolve to Measure ROI, Deliver Passionate, Relevant Users and Reporting?


Tim J. Smith, PhD
Founder and CEO, Wiglaf Pricing

Published September 1, 2007

It’s 1997 again! No you’re not in a time machine! Take a look at some of the mobile ad startups out there and what do you see? A counter for ads served. No ROI, no relevancy just a mad rush to push out ads to anyone, anywhere at anytime. Remember counters? Back in 1997 they were on every web site on the Internet and people would try to inflate them. This unfortunately seems to the current state that we find ourselves in today.

At the same time marketplaces and a new breed of people who understand that new metrics need to be created across all interactive media are coming onto the scene. Not surprisingly these industry leaders of the future, many already in key execution roles come from financial services backgrounds where they’ve invented metrics, revolutionized both technology and customer result communication. The biggest question of all is how can you create relevancy when the mobile carriers seem determined to never steer the promise of their user data to actual usage.

Will contextual advertising function effectively on a mobile complaint site? The small amount of text available on a mobile compliant site suggests that this will present unique challenges to the quest for relevancy. If we think about the fact that many legacy Internet verticals lag delivering useful monetization and relevancy is it reasonable to ponder what new data points will allow in this arena.

Will interactions with print, billboards and other traditional media finally create connectivity between mediums that is not only engaging but also productivity enhancing to the consumer? This is a multi-Billion dollar question that is looking for an answer. How will the data models change and who will react quickly to take advantage of this?
There are the conflicting standards and the iPhone thrown into the mix, all at the same time. Eric Chan, a lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University, mobile industry veteran and author of the blog mobileslate.com asks “why is it an iPhone era?”
Eric stated the following to me via email: “If nothing else, the launch of the iPhone validates a trend of having palmtop computers slowly replacing more functions from a laptop computer. The fact that the iPhone uses many web standards for display and technology rather than mobile standards is not necessarily a shift but an ability to use existing knowledge workers who build web applications and extend them to another type of device rather than worry about converting to mobile standards, load the web page, transcoding text or augment layouts. The fallacy of this is the expectation that the networks are faster, more efficient and always available while the computing platform has lots of compute cycles, storage, and amazing battery life. All of this has yet to really mature, even for the heavily touted 3G networks and lithium ion powered mobile devices.”
Eric and I later shared a conversation via phone. This focused around the promise of a mobile device, it’s about instant gratification as well as instant consumption – there is an added sense of urgency to get it done faster than wait for the services, content or application to catch up. It also means that the presentation of the “call to action” must be integrated into the eventual solution. I look forward to this journey, continuing this discussion and becoming part of a team that creates these world-changing solutions. It’s going to be so much fun.

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About The Author

Tim J. Smith, PhD, is the founder and CEO of Wiglaf Pricing, an Adjunct Professor of Marketing and Economics at DePaul University, and the author of Pricing Done Right (Wiley 2016) and Pricing Strategy (Cengage 2012). At Wiglaf Pricing, Tim leads client engagements. Smith’s popular business book, Pricing Done Right: The Pricing Framework Proven Successful by the World’s Most Profitable Companies, was noted by Dennis Stone, CEO of Overhead Door Corp, as "Essential reading… While many books cover the concepts of pricing, Pricing Done Right goes the additional step of applying the concepts in the real world." Tim’s textbook, Pricing Strategy: Setting Price Levels, Managing Price Discounts, & Establishing Price Structures, has been described by independent reviewers as “the most comprehensive pricing strategy book” on the market. As well as serving as the Academic Advisor to the Professional Pricing Society’s Certified Pricing Professional program, Tim is a member of the American Marketing Association and American Physical Society. He holds a BS in Physics and Chemistry from Southern Methodist University, a BA in Mathematics from Southern Methodist University, a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Chicago, and an MBA with high honors in Strategy and Marketing from the University of Chicago GSB.