What’s holding mobile back?

This week we attended the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona…

…and while we’ve got mobile on the brain, we asked the team:

As an always available, always-on conduit, the mobile platform represents an unprecedented opportunity for advertisers. Yet, they have been slow to utilize the medium and unlock its potential. In your opinion, what has held mobile back to date and do you see this changing any time soon?

Phone Capabilities

“Our outdated/slowly progressing cell phone network. Until you have stable and powerful networks that allow all phones to have similar capabilities, advertisers will remain very cautious.” – Pierre

“Improved networks will open the door to new marketing possibilities. It’s really a combination of the technology catching up and the price of smart phones coming down. The availability and affordability of 3G networks have enabled advertisers to offer more robust utility-based apps and richer visual experiences.” – Josh

Lack of Platform Standards

“Fragmentation and inconsistency of the platform makes it difficult and expensive to deploy a solution” – David

“Advertisers don’t want to create an ad just for Nokia phones, another for iPhones, another one for Motorola etc… They want one deployment that can be supported by all phones.” – Pierre

Help is on the way. “Mobile flash, the iPhone and Android will help ease the pain of having to develop for 10 different proprietary systems. The potential audience using phones that support those standards is growing every day.” – Josh G

“I think advertisers have long been confused about mobile. There are WAP sites, .mobi sites, and apps on platforms of all shapes and sizes, but no centralized ad-buying system. But they’re finally figuring it out. It’s not about slapping an ad on a .mobi site, it’s about creating an app (or site) that lets users interact with their brand.” – Melissa

Mobile is Unproven

“It is unproven. The vast amount of quantifiable data utilized to determine price, value and effectiveness of traditional media (TV, Radio, Print and even Digital Banner Advertising) has yet to be collected and analyzed.” – Marc

Hesitancy of Marketers to Embrace Change

“A willingness to embrace change. Traditional advertising models (especially those that are interruptive by nature) are not conducive to serving an on-the-go, value-based need. As marketers begin to realize that by providing relevant, timely and USEFUL experiences, they’ll build affinity, increase talkability and generate loyalty with their target consumers. Mobile is the perfect platform to encourage this modernization in marketing approach.” – Rich