The Future’s Bright. The Future’s Mobile
10 October 2012
The penny has finally dropped. UK advertising on mobile devices has grown 132% in the first half of this year – and it’s been a long time coming. In recent years, the UK has trailed behind the US and other European countries in their understanding and execution of mobile advertising.
With a global sales prediction of 49 million units of the iPhone 5 from December 2012 to February 2013 and with smartphones opening up more possibility for creativity (a richer user experience, faster load times for content including video and rich media executions), there is no better time than now for brand marketers to adopt mobile-centric strategies. The impending 4G roll out across the UK will also support this, as increased data speeds and better connectivity offer a brand safety measure, to a degree, and makes mobile less of a risky option for brands and hence, a more desirable recipient of marketing spend.
Historically, brands have been nervous in adopting mobile for three key reasons. First, there’s an inherent fear of among brands of customer backlash that mobile ads will intrude and interrupt their daily lives. Second, there’s a lack of understanding about the unique differences between online and mobile and the ROI capabilities of each, which often results in marketers treating it as an ancillary piece of their marketing strategy and unsuccessfully, replicating and shrinking their digital campaigns to fit mobile device screens. It’s not that simple; it won’t deliver key metrics that matter, such as ROI and sales. The third challenge standing between marketers and mobile success is the belief that a brand’s message cannot be translated beautifully and creatively onto a mobile device, when compared to many of the elaborate 60-second TV spots we see from brands. I challenge all three of these mobile deterrents.
The last 12 months has shown us that times are changing and brands in the UK are getting braver with how they deliver their marketing messages to an audience who uses smartphones and devices first and often simultaneously with other media channels. The opportunity for generating rich engagement and increasing share of voice through mobile advertising cannot be ignored any longer. Just last month, our recent special 5-Year Anniversary of iPhone Report found that 71% of UK iPhone users are more likely to interact with mobile ads that are based on their previous browsing history. What this tells us is that personalisation should be a key factor in creating mobile ads that generate views, clicks and, most importantly, convert into sales.
Mobile isn’t a one trick pony – I’m hoping that more and more brands will start upping their advertising budgets towards the channel. Investing less than 1% of a brand’s overall advertising budget does not make for a successful media buy. Brands must move away from a direct response always being the main aim of mobile. Yes, it’s important to deliver a call to action, but we as consumers expect a rich, immersive, personal brand experience on our mobile devices first, even before we get it from TV and digital ads.
Whilst the mobile industry still has work to do in getting its house in order, if you compare it to the evolution of online, or better yet TV, we’re still in a good position. TV took 50+ years to get to where it is in terms of innovation. Digital had its fair share of ups, downs and naysayers. Those who fail to integrate mobile as an integral and primary element of their overall marketing mix will suffer. Those innovating and looking for new ways to challenge the old-school definitions of “creative” and “creativity” across mobile devices will be the brands that stand out not only in the eyes of the all-important consumers, but will find their bottom line impacted greatly.
Amy Vale, vice-president, global research and strategic communications, Mojiva