As the credit crunch takes its toll on marketing budgets across all sectors, mobile advertising is being championed as a cost effective and measurable marketing medium.

Speaking with at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, mobile advertising firm Gigafone said that mobile allows advertisers a more focused and effective use of their advertising spend and gives agencies and brands a better return of investment.

With the unveiling of its Ochre platform, Gigafone claims it has created a marketplace for agencies and brands to target consumers via the mobile.

“To date it’s been too hard to do mobile advertising, the platform was too fragmented,” said Andrew Grill, head of business development at Gigafone. Ochre claims to be a vendor agnostic platform designed to provide brands, agencies and mobile operators with a simplified view of the advertising ecosystem – campaign creation, planning, distribution and result measurement.

Measurement is the keyword. “We’re giving advertisers ways to measure the effectiveness of mobile advertising,” said Grill. “Budgets are being cut everywhere so if we can prove the effectiveness of an advertising campaign, brands will invest.”

But Grill acknowledges that the mobile requires a new way of thinking about advertising. “You can’t bring the traditional internet advertising model over to mobile, and while TV may be cheaper, mobile is measurable and around 15 times more effective,” he said.

Ochre claims to allow advertisers to choose the best mobile delivery channel for individual campaigns through an intelligent analysis and reporting facility, which ‘learns’ from previous campaigns.

It seems as though the mobile industry has been obsessed with advertising for the past year or so, hyping the medium up as ‘the next big thing’ in terms of revenue generation. But sceptics have warned that the market has become so consumed by short term hurdles that it is failing to focus on the longer term strategic issues required to turn mobile advertising into a multi-billion dollar industry. One of these hurdles is technology, which Gigafone claims to have overcome by being technology agnostic and operated as a third party service, rather than something the operator rolls out itself.

Other commentators believe that people take more notice of a mobile ad than advertising on TV or on a PC screen, and with a billion new phones being bought every year, the potential market is huge.