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Mobile Advertising Hype Train on Full Steam

The number of wildly different takes on the "success" of mobile advertising is dizzying. But the big lesson appears to be that while somebody is selling something, it's probably not to consumers through their cell phones.

Take a look at this array of pronouncements and findings about the state of the mobile advertising industry:

So, we have total mobile marketing being $2.15 billion in 2010, or more than double that by 2014, and yet with the bulk of the ads being specifically local mobile advertising. All while a dropping percentage of marketers are thinking of adding mobile to their mix.

This completely incoherent collection of guesses and expectations reminds me a lot of another trend I heard about back in the late 1990s: mobile commerce. Remember when every company was going to make a fortune by advertising and selling over cell phones? What happened? Nothing, that's what happened. I'm not suggesting that mobile advertising won't grow, or that it won't be successful. But I get a whiff of the hyperbole blossom, as it expands in the warmth of what people would like to believe.

Locomotive image via stock.xchng user hisks, site standard license.