Future of ads is in tracking location, mood

23 Oct,2012

By Mini Joseph Tejaswi


We are heading into a world where the moment you update your status on Facebook or tweet about it, algorithms will track your mood and your location and serve you text or video ads relevant to you at that point.


The technologies already exist, but concerns about privacy , spam and the absence so far of a good revenue model have prevented such location-specific ads from exploding. But many believe it’s only a matter of time before it does.


A study by research firm Gartner says ads will increasingly become location-centric and will be designed specially for the target, “after mining the mind, mood and money power of each customer”.


As of now, revenue for social media is direct, which is through website advertisements.


This will continue, but Gartner says that by 2016, social media companies will see strong emergence of additional revenue streams, of which location-based mobile advertisements will be a prominent stream.


Neha Gupta, senior research analyst at Gartner India , says, “Social analytics, including real-time web monitoring, is going to be a critical marketing and sales weapon for global brands to reach out to their customer targets more effectively and successfully .”


Pankaj Dugar, founder of Treetle.com, a location-based internet portal, says the location-based mobile ad market has the potential to grow exponentially in the near future, but no stakeholder has clarity yet on how to get to customers on their mobiles in a way that benefits both parties.


The challenge is that the ad should be relevant enough for the customer to feel he’s not being spammed or that his privacy is not being assaulted. A lot of conversations are currently happening among app developers , digital ad firms, consumer product companies, telecom service providers and internet/social media companies to understand the space and arrive at an agreeable business model.


Mahesh Murthy, founder of Pinstorm, a digital brand management firm that assists brands to reach out to customers on their mobile phones, notes that Facebook is now accessed more on mobile phones than on desktops. “The mobile phone offers an unmatchable reach, though size of the screen could be an issue,” he says.


The mobile phone’s small form factor means there’s less space to push an ad into an app. And even if you manage to squeeze an ad in, customers may be less inclined to click on that ad.


However, an army of app developers is working to find solutions to the small screen and visibility issues. Some are developing apps for full screen ticker flashes and iconfree screen displays. Mumbai-based mobile ad network Vserv has recently developed a full-screen in-application for mobile advertising. Vserv’s ad platform gets over 6 billion ad requests every month and serves ads in over 200 countries.


“A lot of intelligence is being built to gauge the mood and to make ads less intrusive. Some are talking about introducing an opt-in mechanism for users. This will prevent people getting unsolicited offers ,” says Treetle’s Dugar.


Atul Satija, MD of the Apac operations of Bangalore-based InMobi, whose mobile advertising network serves 94 billion ads a month, says the only way the market will scale up is through stronger mobile app product offerings that users like to engage with.


Source:The Economic Times

Copyright © 2012, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved


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