Brands Getting Engaged in Mobile

The second session of todays IAB Mobile Engage event saw a lot of big names take the stage. The Financial Times, Marks & Spencer, Unilever, Debenhams, and Dominos Pizza.

We began with a rather grim of the publishing industry, courtesy of online product management director Mary Beth Christie – the newspaper market which has shrunk 43 per cent since 2000, and last year the losses in print outpaced gains in digital revenue by a ratio of 10:1. She also explained the FTs recent move of abandoning its iOS app in favour of a HTML5 web app.

Painting a sunnier picture of the impact of mobile was Unilevers director of global media innovation Jay Altschuler, in conversation with Guy Philipson, IAB chief executive and our MC for the morning.

Altschuler did his best to bust some of the myths discussed in the last session, particularly that mobile advertising lacks scale, pointing out to the statistic that around the world mobiles are more widely available than clean drinking water, or electricity – raising the question, perhaps, of how those people charge their phones – but the highlight was a series of case studies.
Among some impressive iAd stats, Altschuler showed a  Cornetto campaign from Turkey which let people use their mobile to control a game projected onto a building, and a South African loyalty campaign for OMO detergent, which saw sales increase 20 per cent, and repurchase grow 60 per cent.

“Mobile has unlocked a new canvas,” he said. “With TV, we get 30 seconds to tell a story. Users can spend 70 or 80 seconds actively engaging with a mobile campaign, and that gives us the we have the ability for deeper and richer storytelling.”

The session wrapped up with a panel on mobiles place in the high street, featuring Rosie Srao, mobile business development manager at Marks and Spencer; Dominos Pizzas multimedia manager Nick Dutch; and Sarah Baillie, Debenhams mCommerce manager.

Dutch revealed that, although 20 per cent of its sales come via mobile, Dominos is more interested in using mobile to drive customers to its stores than to its site, and Srao revealed that M&S had seen mobile revenue increase 300 per cent over the past 12 months.

“Mobile offers us the ability to augment the customer journey, from discovery to delivery,” said Srao. “We dont think of it as just one component, but in terms of how it can fit in the whole journey.”