It’s odd to want to make the mobile Web more like the PC Web, but when it comes to media metrics, that’s what mobile marketers are clambering for. The latest GSMA initiative suggests someone’s starting to listen.
Media buyers want to know what they’re buying into – statistics about a site, its visitors, their demographics and behavior. Fair enough, it’s what they get from a PC Web site, so why not from a mobile site?
Whether it stems from privacy, secrecy, immaturity or a combination of all three, the lack of metrics available on the top mobile destinations is regarded as a big hurdle to the take-up of mobile advertising. The Mobile Marketing Association for one has been calling loudly for operators, big sites and advertising networks to start talking, ideally in the same language. See Laura Marriott’s comments in this interview.
So it’s good news that the GSMA’s year-long feasibility study with the big five UK operators has come up with a measurement process for mobile browsing that respects the privacy of mobile users while providing rich planning information for the media and advertising communities.
Launch is expected in the UK in the second half of 2009. It is unclear if the GSMA and the carriers, Telefónica, Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile and 3 – all international players – intend to take this initiative abroad.
Now let’s not give the UK undue credit. In some countries, operators and media buyers already co-operate fully and it works.
“In Sweden and The Netherlands the picture is very different to the UK. Operators and publishers openly share their site stats and these are openly communicated to media agencies and advertisers. This is really driving the market forward,” Ashu Mathura, CEO of European advertising network MADS told mobiThinking.
But now the UK operators have signed up, advertisers in the US – potentially the world’s largest mobile advertising market should not accept no for an answer from the US operators, especially as T-Mobile and Vodafone, part-parent of Verizon Wireless, are committed to co-operating in the UK.
Commenting on the news, Jonathan Mew, head of mobile, at the UK-based Internet Advertising Bureau told mobiThinking: “Without doubt this is a friend to everyone. It is accurate usage data of the mobile internet for the UK, so for an ad network it provides a really invaluable source of data.”
“It will provide site popularity stats and user behavior data from each operator (which aren’t currently published by all) and combine it with independently collected demographic information. It will cover on and off deck and will provide actual usage figures for every site used in the UK, so ad networks would be able to utilize the data,” he added.
The GSMA treats us to a taste of what should be, providing some stats on the UK market aggregated from the operators and 167,648 UK mobile sites. We’re told that 7-10 am is the peak time on the mobile Internet. That 18-34 year-olds are almost half of total mobile Internet users and a far more dominant force than they are on the PC Web or TV. While almost two-thirds of mobile Internet users are male.
Mobile operators’ sites dominate the top 10 mobile sites, with Google, Facebook, Yahoo and the BBC leading the off-deck destinations. From these we are given a snapshot of Facebook, where mobile users spend 24 minutes each day, slightly less than PC users, but visit more often at 3.3 times versus 2.3 times.
“I am happy to see that UK operators start to see that they are not working in a vacuum (as they did 12 months ago) and that there is clear need for standardized reporting across all sites based on the same definitions,” added MADS’ Mathura.
However he was particularly disappointed to see that the announcement quoted Facebook figures rather than data on the portals of the five UK operators who signed up to the initiative.
“From where we stand UK operators will have to start practicing what they preach and come up with a monthly overview of available inventory, demographics, etc for the UK market,” added Mathura.
mobiThinking has asked the GSMA and the operators if there are plans to role this initiative out abroad – we’ll let you know when we hear – however we hope that it won’t be necessary, as operators worldwide should already realize that co-operation is in their interest.
Meanwhile here are the top mobile sites vs. top internet sites for the UK.
|Top 10 mobile sites (UK)||Top 10 PC Internet sites (UK)|
|1||Mobile operator sites||Google sites|
|2||Google sites||Microsoft sites|
|6||Apple Inc. sites||BBC sites|
|7||Microsoft sites||AOL (inc. Bebo)|
|8||Sony Online (inc. Sony Ericsson)||Amazon sites|
|9||Nokia||Ask Network||10||AOL (inc. Bebo)||Wikimedia Foundation sites|
Source: GSMA Mobile Media Metrics; comScore Media Metrix (PC data)
What would better mobile metrics mean for your campaigns? Comment below or email editor (at) mobiThinking.com.