By Stephen Jenkins
Mobile advertising is becoming big business. Last year in the UK alone it was reported to be worth £1bn according to the IAB, a figure that’s set to double in 2014. What’s more, the trade association says that UK smartphone and tablet penetration is set to hit 75 percent and 50 percent respectively.
It’s not just this growth that is exciting. It is also the attention that mobile demands from consumers.
Smartphone owners check their devices up to 150 times a day according to some recent reports, whilst tablets have become “lean-back” devices that consumers will engage with for substantial periods of time.
Mobile’s prevalence is increasing to such an extent that brands from all walks are scrambling over each other to declare themselves a “mobile-first” organisation. Why so? Because increasingly, consumers are using mobile devices as a first port of call for engagement.
For example, Britain’s most popular online newspaper MailOnline now gets about half of its traffic from mobile, whilst P&O Cruises recently revamped its website after a four-fold rise in access from mobile devices in the past 12 months to 35% of all traffic, with tablets alone accounting for 26%.
However, despite this impressive growth on both sides, there are still some marketers that perceive mobile to be difficult, uncertain about how to best reach the mobile audience. So how do brands connect to consumers in easy yet powerful ways, across multiple screens, while delivering meaningful results?
The portability of smartphones and tablets, and their always-on connectivity, is giving brands the opportunity to see where their audiences are and what is peaking their interest at a specific point in time. Mobile is a highly personal device, and consumers are willing to receive content and messages from brands that are relevant to them at any specific point in time. Advertisers must target consumers at the moments that matter most, through valuable real-time data such as location, age, gender, income and more – increasing relevancy for both consumers and brands.
Advertisers must also ensure that the type of content they push to consumers is relevant to them at that point in time. The intimacy and immediacy of mobile creates new interactions not previously possible with traditional media. In turn, brands have an opportunity to create more memorable consumer experiences through rich media like video and gamification. They should also look to offer companion or sequential messaging on different devices and screens.
As well as relevance, consumers want to be entertained, and mobile has some unique native capabilities that can help create impactful creative solutions for both marketers and consumers. To capitalise on the benefits of a mobile society, brands must look to leverage the unique location, touch, voice and feel – such as vibration – functionalities of mobile devices.
Have you considered asking a consumer to use their lips in a campaign for instance? I bet not. But the clever people at Maybelline did, and they created an entertaining interface which you have to kiss to activate. The ad then vibrates when you kiss it for user feedback on the right shade of lipstick for you.
Rich media solutions including gamification and video can also help to enhance brand messaging and create more memorable consumer experiences.
Finally, marketers need to look to mobile to close the loop on their marketing campaigns to understand the true value of engagement in this mobile society. Mobile has moved from an “experimental” to a “strategic” phase in the last year especially, proving its ROI through superior results delivered against typical performance and brand metrics.
However, the next step will move measurement into the physical world, allowing advertisers to track conversions beyond device interactions. As marketers become more sophisticated, the ability to identify and understand attribution against bottom line metrics will become key to brand owners.
At the core of digital advertising
Mobile, as ever, remains arguably the most exciting domain in digital advertising. We can expect to see the continued growth, development and opportunity as brands no longer ask ‘why?’ but ‘how?’ when it comes to mobile. For organisations yet to embrace mobile, the time to capitalise on this technology and truly benefit your customers is now.
About the author
Stephen Jenkins is VP Marketing, EMEA, for leading independent mobile ad platform Millennial Media.