It is the claim that has been made year after year – to the point of becoming an industry joke. So when did the ‘year of mobile’ really take place? 2007, when the iPhone was first released? 2012, when many markets first began benefitting from 4G data speeds?
Daryl Lee, global chief executive of IPG Mediabrands agency UM, has a different answer – and one he is aware may incite a smattering of ridicule. “Every year we say this, but I think it is true: this will be the year of mobile,” he says.
Hear him out. With audiences drinking in information and entertainment by the gallon on their smartphones, and the likes of Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook focused on developing mobile video products, Lee argues that 2017 will be the year that agencies must prove mobile advertising works – both to marketers and sceptical consumers.
“I don’t want to go down as the person who always says, ‘It’s the year of mobile,’ but I haven’t said it before. I think it will be this year, and we will have to prove that mobile will be good for marketing, and not just a utility that provides you the last offer you need before you move into a store.”