Countdown to Mobile World Congress begins! #MWC12

In a week’s time mobile gurus and enthusiasts will all be flocking to the Mobile World Capital -Barcelona. For one week only, Barcelona becomes a home to Mobile World Congress (MWC) and to all of the industry’s major players, coming together to share the latest innovations on all things mobile. The mobile channel is one which continues to evolve and develop, transforming the way we connect and communicate. Every year at MWC we are witness to new exciting advancements in this space and this year will be no different. 

In particular, it will be interesting to see the reactions of mobile operators to the communication shift that’s taking place via free programs like Skype, BBM and iMessage and also, we can expect to hear some interesting discussions around HTML5 and its ability to generate richer mobile content. However, a big talking point at MWC this year is likely to centre around mobile trends such as mobile payments, coupons/daily offers and MCommerce.

For marketers in particular, mobile provides an abundance of new opportunities to innovate on campaigns and represents a way to interact with customers on a personal level. The intimate and time-sensitive nature of the mobile device can translate into a higher potential impact and cut through, and its instant easy interaction makes a direct response much easier for consumers.

However, with more and more businesses recognising the opportunities that lie within mobile, it now seems as though everyone wants a piece of the mobile shaped pie. Without a doubt, the mobile space is a lucrative one. The opportunities it offers have meant that spending on mobile ads is now expected to reach $1.23 billion this year [1]. This is in line with increases to digital advertising budgets, where 68% of marketers have stated that they plan to raise budgets dedicated to digital channels [2]. In fact, we could argue that the monetization of the mobile space represents a trend in itself for the industry.

Yet, the massive rise in the number of advertising impressions consumers are exposed across all digital channels, means that when it comes to promotional messages, marketers need to be aware of consumer saturation levels. Some figures illustrate this perfectly. In 1996, individual consumers received 16 advertising messages per year, but this year this figure will reach at least 750 messages! Furthermore, in 1996 the total advertising impressions stood at 127 billion, yet in 2012, this number has leapt to 5 trillion.

Ahead of MWC this year we conducted some consumer research with YouGov, the Upstream Digital Advertising Attitudes Report, which reveals consumer attitudes to digital advertising and the role of mobile in this mix. Specifically, the findings take a look at consumer turn-offs when it comes to digital promotions and uncovers the most effective channels and devices marketers need to be aware of in order to achieve conversion on their promotional outreach.

While we will be keeping the results under wraps until the show, one thing that is abundantly clear is that businesses and brands should be wary of conducting excessive promotions messages and marketing strategies which are based on a the volume-game. In fact, digital bombardment represents a serious threat to those who continue with inundate consumers with marketing communications. At the show we will be discussing the consequences of this and what actions businesses need to take in order to be heard above the advertising white noise.

We’ll be keeping you posted with our findings and will be sharing the insights we have gleaned from the research, so watch this space. But for those of you going to Barcelona come and say hola to Upstream executives and get a sneak peak of the results. Adiós for now!

If you’re going to Barcelona, you can visit Upstream at Hall 7, Stand 7D61, where you can learn more about Upstream’s Marketing Communications Suite - a powerful proprietary technology platform built on billions of real customer interactions across all continents, designed to help businesses every digital sales proposition reaches its true market potential.

[1] eMarketer (2011): ‘US Mobile Ad Spending to Top $1 Billion for First Time in 2011’

[2] Econsultancy (2012): ‘Marketing Budgets 2012’

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