Zagat’s launch of zagat.mobi, the mobile, ad-supported version of its reputed reviews site is in tune with recent trends which reflect a more positive outlook for mobile advertising. The handheld zagat.com aims to be a convenient resource on hotels, restaurants and nightlife along with links and listings.
A recent report on hospitality trends by Jason Price & Max Starkov also mentioned mobile advertising as a promising avenue in the coming years as the handheld becomes a ubiquitous device in US households (70% with atleast 1 mobile subscriber). Companies are still figuring out effective ways to market an offer through a cellphone and mobile advertising pioneers are still experimenting with adformats to monetize “content”. The travel industry has more to benefit from this trend than others – using a web-enabled cellphone to look up hotels, maps and directions seems like a natural thing to do and travelers are less likely to be irritated by offers from companies sponsoring useful info like weather alerts, hotel reviews & local events. Mobile advertising is bound to take off as soon as technology delivers the handheld web as smoothly as the Blackberry delivers corporate email.