IAB study reveals key mobile challenges

New IAB Agency Snap Shot study reveals NFC, HTML5 and mobile privacy are among the key challenges for media agencies. The study also shows that nearly 40% of CEO and MDs are driving the mobile agenda in media agencies in the UK.

The IAB UK's snap shot study explores the current state of the mobile industry amongst media agencies. The research reveals that the level of mobile understanding remains at a steady pace. However the key challenges currently facing the industry are responsive web design and mobile privacy with 53% claiming to have no experience in these areas. Meanwhile, 49% of media agency employees said they lacked experience in real time advertising and 48% of respondents said that they had no Near Field Communication (NFC) experience.

Access the full research here (IAB members only)

The study (which is the fifth annual survey) was carried out in partnership with research agency, Work to assess agency approaches to the mobile advertising industry over the last five years. The survey which was conducted in December 2012 was completed by over 350 leading media agency employees.

The majority, 64% of the industry respondents stated that they felt they have good access to industry research and 48% felt there were sufficient case studies available to them. However tracking and client education remains a barrier to increasing advertising spend on mobile. The study revealed that mobile is less often siloed within media agencies, and that the medium is increasingly sitting across more departments such as communications, web and SEO teams. Encouragingly, the perceived lack of internal resource has nearly halved year on year, with only 17% claiming this is what is holding spend back. This figure is down from 33% in 2011. Tracking and measurement is still an issue amongst agency experts – however this has also reduced since 2011 from 54% to 31%.

Reassuringly more senior employees are taking mobile seriously with 38% of CEO and MDs driving the mobile agenda within agencies, this has risen in the past twelve months (up from 25% in 2011) reflecting the maturation of mobile media.

Looking ahead, the industry said they were most excited about augmented reality, 4G and NFC. Yet with more and more techniques and devices emerging all the time the need for agency employees to become as skilled up as possible was evident – with respondents stating that training was key to improving their knowledge of the medium in 2013. The IAB’s Training Manager, Joanne Bolger agreed saying; “This desire to skill up has been reflected in a surge of interest in training opportunities for mobile and tablet marketing, as well as more inquiries about highly technical topics from brands, agencies, ad networks and platforms.”

The IAB’s Senior Mobile Manager, Alex Kozloff comments, “This study is always enlightening – it’s a crucial planning barometer for the IAB mobile team, to ensure we are aligned with industry needs. The fact that 38% of CEOs are driving the push for mobile is really exciting but it’s clear to see there are still a number of key areas that mobile experts are struggling with that we will look to address this year.”