Make the Most of Mobile Advertising

AdTruth James CollierIn 2011, more than 1.5bn mobile phones were shipped worldwide, while over 70m tablets were sold, all of which adds up to an unprecedented opportunity in mobile advertising, writes James Collier, regional MD, EMEA at AdTruth. In fact, recent statistics show that between 2011 and 2013, brand marketer mobile budgets have soared by 142 per cent, a number that reflects the mass consumer trend for browsing on mobile devices.

So with marketers directing more of their budget to this channel, the pressure is on to get it right. Yet despite the inherent opportunity in mobile, many are failing to realise its full potential. With this in mind here are four tips to consider when looking to serve mobile ads more successfully and maximise ROI:

1. Embrace globalisation
Mobile offers substantial global possibilities, which is why it is important to plan, buy and measure globally in the mobile channel. Such organisational change has to come from the top and must have buy-in across all levels and partners. Yet, for those who make this change, the efficiency in creative development, media planning and measurement is huge.
Consider using a mobile specialist agency that is focused on the nuances of the channel, or alternatively, create a smaller internal team who will be able to accomplish more on mobile; their work will allow them to cover more countries with regional changes rather than having to facilitate entirely new plans and operations.

2. Engage and measure
One of the biggest challenges facing mobile is measurement. Cookies don’t work and UDID or Android IDs have their limitations. Other approaches include IP targeting, but this is also not without its problems. The industry needs to promote the use of a universal tracking solution that is scalable, while still protecting the consumer.

Understanding mobile engagement when interpreting mobile analytics will help identify when and where consumers are interacting with a brand’s mobile efforts, as well as how their behaviour differs from their traditional and online interactions. Moreover, this data is vital in helping marketers to evolve the mobile user experience to ensure relevancy and ultimately drive greater traffic and engagement.

When measuring engagement, marketers must remember that impressions and clicks are merely functional, and do not capture the full breadth of mobile. Social media and sharing, gaming, apps and content consumption all need to be measured – small numbers can have a huge multiplying effect and the reporting technology is there to monitor this. Basic track-ing aspects of reach frequency and clicks still apply, but the incremental nature of mobile opens up new challenges (and measures).

3. Understand the differences between mobile and desktop
For Mondel?z International’s (formerly Kraft Foods) vice president of global media and con-sumer engagement, B. Bonin Bough, “Mobile is more important than ever, as it allows us to deliver at the ‘zero moment of truth’. For our recipe sites, we see a spike in usage when the consumer is in the grocery store. You can’t get closer than that to the consumer.”

This is at the heart of what makes mobile such a compelling prospect for advertisers, but to be successful marketers need to understand the crucial differences between how to advertise on mobile, compared with desktop.

Mobile arguably provides one of the best mediums for creativity since TV, yet marketers are still using it for flat 320 x 48 banners. Not only does the advertising need to be more dynamic and personal, but marketers need to remember it is a 24/7 medium, where context is key.

Unlike desktop, mobile is about real-time, and lends itself more to social. It is highly conducive to consumers sharing purchases or good and bad experiences with brands, and the industry should be much more responsive to this. Simply running display ads repurposed from desktop won’t impress today’s digitally-savvy consumers.

Applications should only be used if they truly add value. Most marketers will try to have ‘an app for that’ but end up with an inferior product that receives little to no engagement with the target audience. Those that can’t build it should consider sponsoring a more compelling app instead.

4. Get creative
Mobile offers inherently more creative opportunities than desktop. It is down to marketers to take advantage of the unique characteristics that mobile offers by developing new and creative campaigns and approaches. For example, consumers can shake, click, swipe, point, pinch, play, message, Facebook, tweet, map, buy and more, so marketers must design campaigns that take advantage of this.

Smart devices are increasingly offering the practical functionality of traditional computing platforms, which are better suited to direct response marketing. Combine this with the more lean-back entertainment and social uses of mobile devices, and there is an incredible opportunity for both brand and direct response that could surpass desktop.

Mobile devices are deeply personal, always on and within arms reach at all times, so they have the power to do incredible things. It would be extremely unfortunate if marketers limited their capabilities by implementing display advertising alone. Marketers must take advantage of the fact that unlike desktop, mobile isnt static, so advertising strategies should be aligned to the main purpose of these devices – to communicate, connect and live with us wherever we go.

James Collier is regional MD, EMEA at AdTruth