Facebook’s IPO last year didn’t exactly catch the world on fire as expected; but if social media didn’t turn in an Oscar-winning performance in 2012, venture capitalists and other startup gurus have got mobile advertising in their sights as the potential big star of 2013.
Ted Schlein, one of the bigwigs at venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, says:
“I do think 2013 should be a time for people to try to figure out how to make money on mobile.”
His colleague, Ch-Hau Chien, was even more bullish, boldly asserting “Somebody will be the Facebook and the Google (GOOG) of mobile.”
Why going native makes sense
Dan Greenberg, who heads the successful video-advertising startup Sharethrough, thinks he knows how mobile advertising agencies can make a killing in 2013. Noting Facebook’s and Twitter’s successful new advertising tactic of letting marketers slip their messages into users’ daily activity streams, he said, “Native is the answer to the mobile ad problem.”
Greenberg believes that, for mobile, old-style banner ads are passé. Targeted posts from marketers are showing themselves to be a much more effective means of mobile phones advertising.
Smartphones and tablets will let advertisers and markets “cookie” people on the hoof in the real world, according to Ross Fubini of venture firm Canaan Partners. When people walk through city streets, their phones are constantly passing through a multitude of cellular towers, he explains, allowing mobile advertisers and carriers to track the moving signals and pinpoint where a user actually is at any one time. They can then target him or her with services like e‑coupons for nearby stores, traffic warnings or restaurant suggestions. Mobiles, in other words, are marketing machines.
A mobile ad explosion in the making?
The explosive uptake of mobile devices will continue through 2013, according to Stanford engineering professor John Cioffi (yep, that’s him, the father of DSL), doubling during the course of the year. This trend lends credence to a forecast from digital advertising agency Solve Media: based on a poll of over 200 media buyers, the firm believes that a double-digit growth in spending will occur in 2013.
Mobile advertising, if it plays its cards right, looks set to be the Next Big Thing in 2013.