I attended an eMarketer breakfast event recently, which was entitled ‘The Mobile Kingdom: How the UK is Leading the World to a Mobile Future’. The event included a couple of speakers, including eMarketer Chairman Geoff Ramsey.
Geoff presented a quick-fire presentation that included a number of different facts and figures regarding the state and play of mobile penetration, ad-spends and adopting a mobile mindset.
Included in some of the statstepss were two that stood out from all of the others regarding the rise of mobile adoption and ad-spend.
- 21 – 34% marketers look at mobile within a multi-channel strategy
- Only 11% using Geo-targeting capabilities
Given consumer reliance on our mobile phones, I found both of these stats surprisingly low.
These are further brought into context when you take into account that mobile ad-spend represents 40% of the UK digital ad-spend at £3.3bn.
Therefore, this effectively means that around £2.48bn is spent (75%) without being measured and integrated into a wider digital strategy.
Or around £2.9bn is spent without understanding and targeting where the mobile user is consuming the content. This seems counterintuitive to the point of mobile advertising!
This also represents a great deal of wasted media spend, which could be more effectively integrated into a wider multi/omni–channel strategy, given the obvious advantages that mobile has to connect offline to online.
But why isn’t this the case? Ever since 2007 onwards, and the launch of the iPhone, all marketers would hear, or say, would be this is the year of mobile! But in 2015 marketers are still not tracking or measuring effectively?
To a certain extent the level of creativity within mobile formats compared to other digital platforms is still rudimentary. This is not to say that there are not great examples of mobile-led campaigns because there are; campaigns that have used mobile bridge the gap between digital and offline by allowing for redeemable codes, or other POS offers have been the norm for a number of years.
However, I am talking about campaigns that are fully synced with a consistent brand experience and message and optimised based on the time and the place of the user, and of course, whatever they happen to be consuming the media on.
It seems that there is still a great deal of mobile ‘catch up’ being played by the brands that were slow to react to mobile optimised sites, then by extending their marketing efforts to mobile as a channel and now (lastly) viewing mobile as a fully integrated communication platform.
Mobile isn’t going away, indeed out of a global population 7.1 billion, 1.84 billion have a mobile phone and in some developing countries digital penetration is bypassing desktops and going straight to mobile.
Furthermore, mobile ad-spend is growing at an extremely fast rate with a global average at 61.1%, meaning brands are investing, but not fully understanding why they are investing aside from knowing that they should be.
So can creativity be achieved whilst delivering a consistent brand experience and fully utilising the power of the mobile? I guess it is of no surprise, but yes, it can be!
With 88% of us spending our time within mobile apps when we use our mobile it is unsurprising that we should start to fully harness the functionality and location capabilities of an app being opened along with wider behavioural data to deliver personalised ‘here and now’ brand experiences.
Creativity does not just extend itself to banners or text ads. Creativity is understanding the function of the device to the target consumer and how best to utilise to achieve the end result – sales etc.
This is something brands and marketers should do first. Start at the end and reverse engineer the journey to understand the touch points along the way and what role they play.
We are lucky in the fact that we can track the effectiveness of each of these points and, with the increasing ‘smart’ functionality of the mobile we can start to fully bridge offline and online, which will just function as just ‘online’ in the near future.
So what can and should brands do to effectively plan their mobile strategy?
Below are a couple of basic steps that should be integrated into every campaign:
- Understand your consumer journey to purchase. No, really understand the consumer journey. Work out the role in which mobile plays and reverse engineer the touch points that would happen using mobile. Once this has taken place, only then, can a strategy be developed for mobile. A mobile strategy is not a PPC extension, or programmatic blind buy. It is an experience up until the point of POS or whatever the desired action.
- Track beyond the basics – advertisers create extremely granular actions and advanced tracking parameters within desktop, but not in mobile? Blind network buys tracking ad impressions, clicks and a sale may have worked a couple of years ago but nottoday. In an omni-channel brand experience advertising plays many roles to the end game and needs to be measured for the role it is designed to do and not a blanket metric across all.
- Define KPIs on the role defined and not end result. This may sound counter-intuitive, but if each KPI is being met along the consumer journey, the end goal (in theory) should be met. The aim is to not ‘cut’ a touch point because of a blanket metric. If the end resultis not being met, work back to define the point in the consumer journey, which is not working.
- Whisper rather than shout. Again, this may sound counterproductive from an advertising perspective, but just because consumers are more likely to leave their wallet at home than their mobile, it shouldn’t be a given carte blanche to exploit with constant disruptive messaging. When executed correctly mobile advertising can be the constant that leads to purchase.
Like all digital marketing it is a case of test, learn and optimise, but hopefully these give a few pointers along the way.
What else should marketers focus on for mobile? Let me know your thoughts.
Managing Director – UK