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Agencies grapple with new mobile tools

5 February 2013
LONDON: Media agencies in the UK are facing difficulties in dealing with issues like real-time advertising and near field communication as they try to make the most of mobile, new figures show.

The Internet Advertising Bureau, the trade body, polled more than 350 executives at leading media agencies, and found 53% had "no experience" of responsive web design and mobile privacy.

A further 49% of interviewees said the same for real-time advertising, while 48% lacked prior knowledge of near field communications.

More positively, chief executives and managing directors said they are "driving the mobile agenda" at 38% of firms, a total which had increased from 25% in 2011.

"The fact that 38% of CEOs are driving the push for mobile is really exciting," said Alex Kozloff, the IAB's senior mobile manager.

"But it's clear to see there are still a number of key areas that mobile experts are struggling with that we will look to address this year."

Similarly, the amount of agencies which reported that insufficient in-house resources was restricting mobile spending stood at just 17%, down from 33% in 2012.

Tracking and measuring mobile campaigns remained an issue for 31% of respondents, versus 54% in the last round of research. Client education is another on-going problem.

Among the core new technologies getting the most interest from the panel were near field communications, augmented reality and the possibilities of serving mobile ads via 4G networks.

In a further indication of the sector's maturation, Vodafone, EE and O2 - the UK's three biggest mobile operators - are working together in a joint venture to help popularise several mobile tools.

Weve, as this entity is known, will offer mobile payment, advertising and marketing services, with an opt-in database of 15m users.

"We have actual first-party data - not assumed data," said Alison Reay, Weve's commercial director. "With a scale of 15m you can start building confidence among brands and agencies and say 'we can deliver this.'"

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff

 
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