BtoB

The Big Questions: Bob Carrigan, President, IDG Communications

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Q. How can the b-to-b media take advantage of mobile advertising?

A. The advertising opportunity in mobile is similar to the early days of the Web. What is different is the proliferation of mobile devices today compared to PCs connected to the Internet in the mid-1990s. Now is the time to experiment with this new channel. The technology exists to render content for mobile screens. Sponsorships rather than fixed format ads may work best in these early days. In this trial and error phase, it may be best to partner for access to mobile platform technologies, syndication and sponsorship/ad sales. … It's too early to say whether mobile advertising will reach the growth rates of online, but now is the time to find out.

Q. What are the challenges in developing mobile advertising?

A. We are in the early days of mobile Web, so screen size, graphic quality and network connections are not ideal. But I'm betting that users will accept the temporary drawbacks to obtain information they want wherever they are. Marketers will see a mobile device universe that is becoming greater than the number of PC users. Similar to the early days of the Internet, advertisers will try banners and site sponsorships. As the experimental phase winds down, the technical limitations will begin to disappear. Higher quality, pervasive wireless will set the stage for multimedia ads that will rival anything on TV.

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