Japanese mobile advertising expects to grow from the current $328 million to over $1 billion by 2011. This growth is possible because of the cohesive nature of the mobile industry in Japan. Advertisers are not burdened with the problems associated with segmented carriers and divided services like in the USA. Instead, advertisers benefit from the uniform platform standards that allow their ads to be seen by all mobile consumers. Japanese mobile users are among the highest ad consumers in the world. 54% of Japanese mobile users consume ads and 44% actively click on mobile ad links. With the introduction of new and more sophisticated phone models, we can expect to see carriers and advertisers take advantage of the increase connection speeds, rich media and Flash presentation and 3G terminals to push highly interactive and better converting ads. Yahoo Inc. launched a mapping service that combines search with location based technology. Whenever a user enters a keyword into the Yahoo mobile search, advertisers registered with the Yahoo data pop up on a map that the user can easily click on for further information. Offline retailers are also tapping into the power of the mobile phone to help reach more consumers. Japanese TV spots regularly feature a short mobile URL on screen to allow the viewer to either order or seek more information about a product. Special mobile bar codes that can be scanned and read by almost any phone in Japan can be found printed on everything from Subway posters to name cards and magazine ads. Users simply scan the bar code and they are instantly connected to the advertisers mobile site without the need to manually input a URL. Advertising networks that target mobile users continue to enter the market in Japan. One of the fastest growing among mobile networks is Smart-C owned by Adways. Smart-C specializes in affiliate programs for the mobile platform, not unlike what Commission junction does for the Web in the States. Currently, Japan has over 80 affiliate network providers servicing both the web and mobile space. These providers allow any retailer to easily create and manage a mobile based advertising campaign while paying only for actual transactions and not just traffic. The mobile affiliate providers all offer sophisticated tracking and reporting features that rival what is found on many web based platforms. Japan is definitely the market to watch for mobile advertising and marketing trends.
A bright future for mobile advertising in Japan