Mobile display ad provider Admob is today nuzzling comfortably in the bosom of Google after being offered NZ$1 billion of precious stock. And Kiwi mobile marketers are dancing a celebratory jig in response to the news.
Jono Tucker, from digital mobile marketing company Run the Red, sees the purchase as a catalyst for the mobile marketing industry around the world and in New Zealand, simply because Google's involvement is likely to increase the medium's legitimacy and remove any hesitancy about it in the business community.
"It's great news for the industry. It's great that Google are looking in that space and it signals their intent," he says.
Cellphone-based advertising is set to grow at a much faster rate than internet ad revenues in the coming years, but he doesn't call mobile marketing the new dotcom (too many negative boom'n bust connotations, he says).
Even so, there are similarities between the two realms and he thinks businesses will be criticised if they're not in the mobile internet space soon, just as they were criticised if they didn't have an online presence.
"I think brands are going to take more notice of their mobile internet presence [as a result of this]," he says. "We are in a position to help brands mobilise," he says, and Google and Admob can help drive traffic.
He doesn't think mobile internet marketing spells the end of SMS campaigns just yet (despite their spammy overtones), however.
"They're still the broadsword of engagement," he says. But as data prices fall and mobile internet becomes more commonplace, he says mobile is slowly heading in a more targeted, relevant direction.
Derek Handley, founder of mobile marketing company Hyperfactory, told he NBR that "mobile is not online ... and that if the king of online needs to buy their way into mobile, it further underscores the difference between the mediums".
Omar Hamoui, Founder and CEO of AdMob said in the Google press release: "I think people underestimate how important ads have been to funding the development of innovative content on the Internet. Our goal all along at AdMob has been to make it possible for developers and publishers to bring their products and ideas to mobile with the same business model."
And, according to the release, this is what will change:
The deal will help Google in its efforts to develop more effective tools for creating, serving and analyzing emerging mobile ads formats. As this ecosystem continues to grow, the company expects these new marketing media to offer significant benefits:
Users will see more relevant ads and ultimately get access to more ad-supported content and applications – improving their mobile experience. Advertisers will be better able to engage mobile users with AdMob's ad formats. Publishers and developers will be able to monetize their content more effectively, which has benefits for the wider mobile ecosystem.
Check out this story based on results from Nielsen's bi-annual Mobile Advertising Report in the US to see how the mobile marketing sector is stacking up.