A recent report by eMarketer projected mobile ad spend to reach nearly $2.55 billion by 2014, a six-fold increase from 2009. (BTW: the word “six-fold” inspired my alliterative headline, in case you were wondering.)
As a newsletter summary of these projections highlighted: “Numbers aside, just take a look around you. Know anyone who isn’t an arm’s length away from his smart phone? (Neither do we.)”
But, there’s a problem that accompanies this growth opportunity in mobile. Many of the ideas that initially start as clever, mobile, interactive ads are increasingly growing in scope. And, with the scope increase comes a sophistication in the ad design that begins crossing over into app development.
When a mobile, interactive ad is really an app, it’s important to reassess the conditions necessary to support and maintain it. Unlike a one-time use or single-function “toy” for which it’s acceptable to run in isolation or occasionally break at a high volume of use, an app has to be secure, maintainable, and extensible.
As more ads become apps, marketers must start expecting more from their development partners. More re-use, more edge-condition testing, more mission back-end system integration.
In fact, I anticipate that the corporate marketing executives from large enterprises will increasingly turn to partnering options for their mobile initiatives that are with design & development studios first and foremost.
Likewise, I also expect to see more outsourcing of mobile development by traditional ad and interactive agencies to companies that specialize in mobile platforms that include technical skills, like speed and sound optimization, and that provide mobile infrastructure tools and capabilities which most agencies simply can’t afford.
This relentless, continued growth of mobile apps, as well as the simultaneous maturation of techniques, tools, and customer expectations, points to an irresistible opportunity in mobile software and services.
To that end, my announcement is a stake in a new venture called Appconomy. Newly out of stealth, but still under the radar, Appconomy is 100% focused on mobile business apps. You’ll be hearing more about the venture in the coming weeks, but in the meantime you can follow Appconomy on twitter.