Commentary

For Brand Campaigns, Mobile Must Be More Than A Delivery Mechanism

With mobile ad spending expected to be twice the size of the desktop market by the end of 2017 (according to eMarketer), it’s safe to say that every advertiser has (or will have) a mobile component in place for every campaign they run going forward. 

But now it’s time to do more than simply place ads on mobile devices. It’s time for advertisers to “think mobile” and actually develop a mobile strategy that leverages the interactive capabilities and captures the deep personal connection of the channel.

If mobile adoption is no longer an issue, then the lingering concern is that many advertisers view mobile simply as another online delivery mechanism, rather than a distinct channel that requires a unique strategy and creative planning.

“Going mobile” isn’t about serving ads on mobile devices. It’s about tapping into that personal connection to spark interaction and unlock an emotional response from consumers. That requires leveraging rich media to create ad units that the consumer can touch and interact with.

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Mobile is personal, and it sparks interaction. If you don’t agree, then I encourage you to unlock your phone, hand it to the closest person, and tell them that they are free to go through anything they want. The thought makes you uncomfortable, doesn’t it?

By failing to take this into account and differentiate mobile from the rest of online advertising, the industry has treated it as a depository for the display ads that advertisers run on the desktop Web. These are the same display ads that have been referred to as broken or ineffective for years. In 2016, there’s no reason to be recycling poorly performing ad units on an innovative platform, especially not when there are forms of rich media that encourage far more interaction.

The best mobile advertisers today are combining all the possible data points and research they have, and using those insights to build intimate ads that will appeal to the consumers who see them. Actively participating with an ad is better than seeing an image for a fraction of a second -- that’s simple science.

When I was a media planner, I used to regularly argue with one of my colleagues about how our brains respond to different forms of media. I’m a big proponent of digital, while my colleague supported TV.

While it would be foolish to say that either channel is ineffective, there is something different that happens when a consumer sees an ad on a mobile device compared to watching it on TV. Facebook proved as much last year in a study that found that consumers were more attentive and had more positive feelings about messages presented on a smartphone than on a TV.

The ability to touch delivers a far greater emotional impact than simply watching a commercial, scrolling or looking at a print ad. In fact, we’ve seen that when consumers touch an ad, it increases spontaneous recall by 28%. Those are the kinds of metrics that advertisers are actually looking for from their branding campaigns.

Mobile consumption is not going to slow down. And while it’s a great sign that advertisers are focusing their spend toward mobile channels, the time has come for them to fully commit to campaigns that are born of a mobile mindset. Advertisers who start building mobile rich-media campaigns now will reap the rewards of higher ROI, and will be well ahead of their rivals in an increasingly competitive mobile landscape.
1 comment about "For Brand Campaigns, Mobile Must Be More Than A Delivery Mechanism".
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  1. Leonard Willis from Thee Creative Agency, April 22, 2016 at 10:15 a.m.

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