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We haven't quite hit the tipping point yet but it seems to be getting closer for mobile marketing in the UK...

The latest trends were discussed at a recent E-consultancy roundtable and have been written up in this briefing (free to registered users).

Here is a SWOT analysis for mobile marketing based on the discussion we had.

There is more detail in the full briefing which also contains the latest statistics and some useful resources.

(It's important to keep in mind that mobile marketing covers a range of disciplines and types of marketing including brand advertising and direct marketing but this hopefully at least gives a flavour of what is happening in this 'sector'.) 


  • Adoption of the mobile internet is speeding up and consumption of content is growing.
  • The experience of using the internet to go online is getting more agreeable all the time due to better technology, including handset improvements.
  • The 'walled garden' approach adopted by mobile operators is being consigned to the dustbin with the likes of T-Mobile and 3 signing deals with the big search engines. 
  • Fixed price 'all-you-can-eat' deals for mobile content are helping to drive content consumption.
  • There is more leadership from bodies such as the Mobile Marketing Association.
  • It is getting easier to pay for things by mobile, especially small-ticket items.


  • The mobile internet is not yet mass market which means that brands / advertisers are only dipping their toes into this rather than committing serious budget. It's where 'internet marketing' was several years ago.
  • In terms of handsets, the market is actually getting more fragmented which means that it is getting harder rather than easier to work towards a user experience which is satisfactory across the board.
  • The fact that mobile marketing is not a discrete area of marketing means that there is no body with a mandate to oversee the various constituent parts. It can be hard to know where to go for best practice, advice etc.


  • Mobile Search - there is a great opportunity for advertisers to get traction on mobile search engine listings as many brands haven't jumped on board yet. Duncan Jennings has done a great blog post on mobile search.
  • Local search / listings ... phones with GPS. Huge potential.
  • The mobile phone is a very personal device and a great opportunity to get personalised marketing messages across - if done properly.
  • Acquisition and Retention....
  • Branding and direct response....
  • Flash Lite means that more designers and developers will get on board with mobile with something which is familiar.


  • It continues to get more difficult for companies to provide a consistent experience across different browsers and the ever expanding variety of handsets and personal devices on the market.
  • Abuse of mobile marketing damages the industry (i.e. consumers being ripped off and permission marketing principles being ignored). It could get worse if the offenders are not punished properly.
  • From the point of view of the mobile operators, there are numerous threats which boil down to any disintermediation from the value chain, whether because of VOIP or the fact that consumers don't want their content.

There is more detail in the Mobile Marketing roundtable briefing. This isn't meant to be exhaustive so feel free to contribute things which have inevitably been missed...

Thanks to IncentivatedKodime, New Media Edge and Sponge for their input.  

Linus Gregoriadis

Published 1 June, 2007 by Linus Gregoriadis

Linus Gregoriadis is Research Director at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn or Google+.

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