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Luxury brands are gasping for air. Automotive doesn't seem to know where its next metaphorical meal is from. And the fabled Year of Mobile has not yet dawned. Yet despite it all, Jaguar and Land Rover have together committed $1.6 million to US mobile advertising.
That's a big, big buy. And it represents only 60 percent of the automakers' total mobile budget.
Mobile ad network AdMob will be running the campaigns, once they stop jumping for joy at company HQ. Earlier this month, the company got a C round cash infusion of $12.5 million.
As an article in Ad Age points out, this level of commitment to the mobile platform borders on the unprecedented. Mobile is still very much in the sandbox of digital spending, accounting for only a small proportion of experimental marketing budgets -- and who's experimenting with money these day?
The report cites TNS Media Intelligence data indicating Land Rover spent $63 million on domestic measured media in the
It's not all doom and gloom when it comes to ad spend forecasts. The Kelsey Group is bullish on local mobile advertising over the next five years.
OK, so we've all heard this year will be "the year of mobile" for seemingly as long as "next year in Jerusalem" has been intoned at Passover seders. Nevertheless, Going Mobile: The Mobile Local Media Opportunity makes some interesting predictions.
US mobile ad revenues are predicted to grow from $160 million last year to $3.1 billion in 2013, a compound annual growth rate of 81.2 percent.
Kelsey splits ad spend into three distinct categories: display, search and SMS messaging. Last year, $21 million was spent on display; $39 million on search, and $100 million on SMS.
By 2013, search will reign supreme, according to the report, accounting for $2.3 billion in spending. Mobile display ads will account for $567 million, with SMS advertising accounting for $270 million in spending.
Other interesting findings include these tidbits:
Down, down, down. Some major analysts have recently revised their projections of ad spending for 2009, and it comes as no surprise that the original projections of double-digit growth have shriveled into the low single digits for the sector.
UBS Equities recently downgraded its ad spending forecast to 1.4 percent growth, compared to the company's previous estimate of a 10.4 percent rise in spending.
Veronis Suhler, meanwhile, broke digital media spending out of its overall forecast. While overall US advertising is now projected to decline -0.4 percent, versus a previous forecasts of 4.9 percent growth, online will fare better.
— Internet and mobile spending are projected to grow 9.1 percent, down from previous forecasts of 15.5 percent.
— Mobile content and video games will grow 34.2 percent and 19.5 percent respectively.
— Traditional media: newspapers, TV, magazines, and radio ad spend is forecast to plummet -16.2 percent, -9 percent, -8.5 percent, and -7.2 percent respectively.
Mobile users are quick to discard iPhone apps, with just 30% of buyers using them the day after buying and downloading them from Apple's App Store, according to a new survey.
The drop-off rate is even higher for free apps, with just around 20% using them the day after download, and less then 5% 30 days later, with games apps the most durable category.
I wrote an article about the quality of shopping comparison sites on mobile a few weeks ago, and was disappointed by the quality of most of them.
Reevoo and Kelkoo both had useful iPhone versions, and Reevoo has further improved its app by adding price information and transactional functionality, but most were less useful than they could have been.
I've been looking at another entrant into the market, Sccope, as well as talking to CEO Douglas Orr.
The mobile user experience on most websites, even when accessed on the best devices, leaves a lot to be desired, and companies need to optimise their sites for the small screen.
This is usability guru Jakob Nielsen's verdict in his latest Alertbox column, and having accessed a lot of websites on mobile recently, it's hard to disagree with this point of view.
DVD rental company LoveFilm launched a mobile version of its website earlier this month, allowing users to browse through titles, read news and reviews, and view trailers.
The site is not fully transactional yet, though this is something that is planned for the future, but it does provide an opportunity to promote the LoveFilm service to mobile users, as well as providing advertising space.
The Telegraph released an iPhone app last week, the first to be developed by any of the UK's newspapers, though others will surely follow.
In an area where few of the UK's newspapers excel, The Telegraph had one of the better mobile versions of its site, so has it managed to create a decent iPhone app?
Thanks to growing adoption of the iPhone and other smart mobile devices, an increasing number of Americans are logging onto WiFi networks to access the internet on the go.
Growth is heaviest in the heavily metropolitan West and Northeast sections of the country, together with Texas. California led the way with 18 percent of usage, followed by New York with 14 percent and Texas with 8 percent.
The findings come from mobile ad network AdMob's Mobile Metrics Report.
Worldwide mobile ad requests increased 8 percent month over month in January to 6.8 billion, led by double digit growth in Western Europe and Asia, but ad requests remained flat to negative growth in most of North America.
ITN has just launched a news app for the iPhone and iPod Touch, which provides the latest news and sport in a more accessible format.
News organisations in the UK have been pretty slow to adapt their mobile sites or provide apps for smartphones; FT.com has a useful mobile site, with an iPhone app on the way, but others, like the Guardian, need to improve the user experience on mobile.
I looked at price comparison websites on mobile yesterday, and found many of these sites were not up to scratch, have not released versions for smartphones, or in many cases have not even developed mobile sites.
Of the five mobile shopping comparison sites I looked at, Reevoo's was one of the best, and has now improved its mobile offering by adding pricing information from retailers.
For mobile internet users shopping offline, mobile price comparison sites should provide a useful service, allowing shoppers to look up reviews and see what kind of value they are getting.
Mobile users are using their phones to access product reviews and compare prices when shopping instore, so how well do price comparison sites cater for this consumer behaviour?