When you look at the amount of time
consumers spend consuming an individual media channel and the
amount of money advertisers invest in it, there are some incredible
While press earns far more than
consumer time appears to warrant, mobile is at the other end of the
scale. Spend is low compared to the increasing amount of time that
consumers spend with the phone.
That's unfortunate because empowered
consumers are increasingly exercising their opinion and brand
choices via the device they carry with them at all times: their
Mobile provides instant
The mobile is giving them instant
power to comment on their brand experiences, communicating with
their friends and getting immediate price comparisons on products
and services. Brands that aren't there will ultimately fail.
The picture is, of course, patchy.
Some brands are gaining a competitive advantage via sophisticated
usage of the space, while others seem almost paralysed with fear
about taking steps to make mobile work for them.
And it's not just that some sectors
have worked it out (although automotive and financial services can
take a bow) and others haven't. Even in the same sector you often
find a huge gulf between competing brands. Car manufacturer
Volkswagen, for example, has a very sophisticated approach, but its
rival Ford is much less evolved.
One reason why I believe that some
brands have failed to adapt to mobile is its complexity and the
fact that the marketplace differs from region to region and country
to country. With so many handsets, so many software platforms and
so many new advertising formats - Facebook display, in-app ads,
branded mobile sites, WAP sites plus search and optimisation, for
instance - it's perceived as a very expensive place to operate.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
There are ways that you as advertisers can learn and evolve your
presence in this space in ways that needn't be technically
challenging or budget busting.
The first thing you can do is
add response mechanisms such as QR codes to your more
traditional advertising. This will give you great insight
into how and where consumers are seeing your messages. It will tell
you age, gender and responsiveness of key segments of your target
audience as well as helping you measure your current media
investment. In many cases you can even get the location where the
consumer has scanned the ad.
The second simple step is to
ensure that you have a dedicated mobile site for a
new campaign. It doesn't have to be all singing or all dancing but
you need to have an optimised destination for mobile traffic.
A small campaign site with the most
relevant material that's adapted for all handsets will form the
missing link for companies that haven't been active in mobile
This will allow you to use the other
elements in the mobile toolbox (such as search and display), with
all traffic directed to this destination. This will help ensure a
far better return on investment as mobile messages are based within
an overall strategy.
Success in these two areas will give
brands the confidence and proof they need to start evolving their
mobile strategy across other fields and address potential
involvement in apps and similar options.
The important thing to remember is
that mobile doesn't have to be the unspoken monster of the
marketing department. There are ways to develop a strategy that can
be slowly and profitably rolled out across all elements of your
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