GSMA leads mobile advertising initiative

2 min read Networks & Network Services
The GSMA and a task force comprising Telefónica, Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile International and 3, have unveiled the results of a feasibility study examining mobile audience metrics that will enable media and advertising agencies, brands and publishers to deliver better mobile advertising campaigns

The study, part of the GSMA’s Mobile Media Metrics programme, has created a measurement process for mobile browsing that respects the privacy of mobile users and provides rich planning information for the media and advertising communities.

Rob Conway, CEO and Board Member of the GSMA, commented: “Access to transparent measurement is essential in establishing mobile as a legitimate advertising medium. This programme will help take the guesswork out of mobile for brands, publishers and agencies. For the first time, the advertising community has access to real, aggregated mobile audience data, which offers insight into the most popular sites, ranked by number of visitors, page impressions, time and duration of visits. This will enable better planning of marketing campaigns, and in turn, will accelerate sales of mobile advertising inventory.”

The results of the study, based on a sample of anonymised data from UK mobile operators, reveal that operator sites continue to command the largest audiences, with 68% of UK mobile users visiting operator portals. Google is the top off-portal destination and Facebook is the top mobile site by time spent browsing, with other social networking sites featuring strongly. In addition to the top sites, a total of 167,648 mobile Internet sites have been measured during the feasibility study.

The output of the GSMA’s Mobile Media Metrics programme will allow brands, publishers and agencies access to rich, aggregated user behaviour data, enabling comparison with other media. For example, mobile users accessing Facebook spend an average of 24 minutes per day on the site, similar to the 27.5 minutes spent by PC users. Mobile users on Facebook averaged 3.3 visits per day versus 2.3 visits per day by PC users.

Mobile is used consistently throughout the whole day, but the early morning (7-10am) is the key day part for mobile, accounting for 22% of total mobile minutes browsed, compared with only 11% of total minutes browsed by PC Internet users in the same day part. Mobile can therefore act as an extension to media such as the Internet and TV, while it reinforces other early morning media, such as radio and newspapers.

The real value comes in the combination of aggregated site popularity and user behaviour data with independently collected demographic information, which enables more effective targeting of campaigns. Mobile is confirmed as a strong youth medium with 48 per cent of users between 18-34 years old, compared to 40 per cent for the fixed Internet and 29 per cent for the TV audience (source: BMRB’s TGI). Mobile is also more skewed towards men, who represent 63 per cent of total users compared with 53 per cent for the fixed Internet.

“The mobile phone has the potential to offer relevant, personalised advertising on a level that has largely been unattainable until now,” said Conway. “This potential can only be achieved if mobile is part of a sophisticated, integrated approach to advertising. The rich data delivered through this programme will enable advertisers to create truly comprehensive, cross-platform media plan and campaigns.”

In the feasibility study, the GSMA worked with comScore as its measurement partner and ABC Electronic its media audit partner, as well as key industry stakeholders including JICWEBS and its member associations. The next phase of the programme will see the commercial launch of an audited mobile measurement service, expected in the second half of 2009. The GSMA will establish three further working groups, one each for advertisers, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. These working groups will confirm the measurement and reporting needs of the media industry, gather support for the proposed measures as a ‘common currency’ for mobile audience measurement, and establish how best to integrate this valuable information into existing cross-media business processes and tools.