Nokia Launching “Ad Labs” To Educate Agencies

Nokia is trying to fix what they call “a black art, practiced in a cottage-industry fashion.” In other words; mobile marketing deployment and education. They’re introducing a series of “Ad Labs” aimed at training the staff of advertising agencies about the intricacies of mobile advertising.

The program will be aimed at integrating various mobile advertising formats together to improve customer engagement. Advertisers will be able to plan and execute campaigns, with their target audience in mind, and also be able to measure their effectiveness along the way.

Several companies like Mobiqa, Mobile Acuity, uLocate, and more have already signed up for the alliance because they provide services such as image recognition, digital coupons, mobile barcodes and location based targeting, etc.

By establishing offices in advertising hotbeds such as Boston and London, they hope to provide a catalyst to the mobile advertising ecosystem and boost knowledge and understanding of mobile marketing practices and techniques overall. Mike Baker, head of advertising for Nokia, stated…

“…with so many mobile ad technologies now available, discussions about reach and measurement are no longer relevant, but rather it’s creativity (or the lack of it) which is responsible for holding back the medium…”

While I agree somewhat that there’s a lacking of creativity behind most mobile marketing campaigns, there’s still only so much mobile devices can do right now. Beyond traditional SMS and WAP campaigns, there’s not much feature-set available for creativity. Things like Bluetooth advertising and QR-codes are making traction, but again the feature-set on most mobile phones won’t support things like barcode-recognition out-of-the-box. I’m not saying these mediums won’t be successful in the future, but for right now there’s not much available beyond SMS and WAP that will reach the masses.

Technologies like server-based image-recognition will be at the forefront only because it doesn’t rely on special mobile device circumstances like applications or special features. Creative services that utilize SMS like mobile ticketing and mobile coupons will also see a rise quickly because of the same reason.