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A big chance for fledgling ad agencies: go mobile, get rich

Online pub­lish­ing agen­cies are fail­ing to cap­i­tal­ize on the bur­geon­ing mobile mar­ket, accord­ing to the lat­est Con­tent and Trends Cen­sus from the Asso­ci­a­tion of Online Pub­lish­ers (AOP).

While more con­sumers than ever before are access­ing con­tent via tablets and smart­phones, ad rev­enues sim­ply aren’t mov­ing to mobile at a com­men­su­rate rate.

The news should make stir­ring food for thought for any inno­v­a­tive account man­ag­er, art direc­tor or copy­writer, espe­cial­ly those work­ing in fledg­ing agen­cies look­ing to boost their company’s for­tunes. The biggest obsta­cle to rev­enue growth from mobile, the Cen­sus found, was atti­tude – many ad agen­cies have been con­cen­trat­ing on tra­di­tion­al online plat­forms to the neglect of smart­phones.

Want­ed: a change of atti­tude

The find­ing should come as a time­ly wake-up call.  The trends, and the poten­tial­ly lucra­tive rev­enues, are plain to see for those will­ing to look. As we report­ed recent­ly, 72 per­cent of small-to-medi­um-sized enter­pris­es in the U.S. are plan­ning to main­tain or increase their spend­ing on mobile adver­tis­ing in the com­ing year. And those intend­ing to increase their ad bud­gets plan to do so by as much as 30 per­cent.

The good news is that if any­one is capa­ble of chang­ing atti­tudes, it’s the cre­ative tal­ent pop­u­lat­ing inno­v­a­tive ad agen­cies. Capa­ble of lend­ing their for­mi­da­ble inven­tive­ness to any prod­uct, even bone mar­row, a switch of focus to mobile should be well with­in their imag­i­na­tive capa­bil­i­ties.

A mobile gold rush beck­ons

91 per­cent of the pub­lish­ers sur­veyed in the AOP Cen­sus iden­ti­fied tablets as the biggest source of rev­enue growth in the next twelve months (85 per­cent iden­ti­fied smart­phones). Well over half (62 per­cent) said they would opti­mize the major­i­ty of their port­fo­lio for mobile over the next year as a result.

AOP’s Direc­tor, Lee Bak­er, said, “We are going to see some fun­da­men­tal changes to the mobile ad mar­ket over the com­ing year as ad agency atti­tudes catch up with pub­lish­er invest­ment and mobile audi­ence size.”

Once ad agen­cies rec­og­nize the mobile market’s poten­tial, rev­enues are pro­ject­ed to explode, dou­bling with­in 12 months. Pub­lish­ers will increas­ing­ly turn to tech­nol­o­gy that auto­mat­i­cal­ly adapts con­tent to dif­fer­ent plat­forms rather than cre­at­ing for­mat-spe­cif­ic con­tent and, with the rise of sophis­ti­cat­ed new micro pay­ment mod­els, third par­ty dis­tri­b­u­tion plat­forms such as NYT and Flip­board will facil­i­tate “con­tent snack­ing” more wide­ly.

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