Giving up on the Year of the Mobile

For some time, people have ceased saying “it’s the year of mobile.”

Instead, they offer up explanations as to why it isn’t the year of mobile.

Enough is enough. This has been going on long enough, folks. It’s no longer necessary to explain away.

Why? There probably won’t ever be a year of mobile, and it’s OK. Mobile will emerge as an advertising channel as every other channel before it.

“I think mobile has had a very healthy last 12 to 18 months,” said Paul Palmieri, CEO of Millennial Media in a debate panel at the Mobile Marketing Forum in New York. “2007 has been a pretty formative year.” Palmieri and his fellow panelists agreed it may be the decade of mobile advertising.

“I think the question, if this is the year of mobile, it’s off the mark. It took 10 years to come to life,” said Steen Andersson, co-founder and VP of marketing of 5th Finger. Think of this as the decade of mobile, it takes time for agencies and carriers to realize and learn. [This is] the year of the big uptake…growth, the great time of education and growth in the marketplace.”

Dan Rosen, group head of U.K. AKQA Mobile, sees it another way. “I don’t think there’s going to be a eureka moment, the trend we’re seeing is mobile tends to be now, where entertainment meets utility,” he said. Mobile now is combining the two, where mobile meets the sweet spot.

The maturation of mobile campaigns is an indication of advertisers’ acceptance and uptake of the media, even if there never was a clear “year of mobile.” Do we need a blockbuster year? Or can we move on and cultivate a more sustainable growth?

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