Commentary

It's A Mobile World

The mobile sales landscape is accelerating. Just look at Christmas Day 2014, when mobile sales were 8.3% greater than mobile transactions on Christmas Day 2013. With no weakening in sight, in 2014 there were around 4.5 billion people worldwide using mobile phones, with 1.75 billion of those being smartphones. For 2015, it is forecast that the number of mobile users will be greater than the global population. If you're not engaging in mobile-first strategies, you're missing an enormous opportunity and chances are you simply won’t be seen.

It is shocking how many companies have yet to create their strategy for mobile marketing. Research shows that a majority of brands didn’t create mobile-specific marketing campaigns in 2014. Where’s the disconnect here? Over the past few years, mobile marketing and advertising have grown substantially — enough to suggest that mobile represents the future of the industry.

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Yet many businesses still prioritize other channels over mobile as a resource to reach their target audience. With the rise of mobile engagement increasing at a remarkably rapid rate, a business without a mobile strategy is almost guaranteed to fall behind its competitors and miss out on valuable opportunities to connect with consumers and increase sales.

And that’s the real risk — that your competitors “get it” and will reach that audience that is growing in both size and engagement, while you are left behind.

One factor that may be holding brands back from going all in on mobile is the continued difficulty of measuring ROI for mobile display ads. How effective are they? Are people clicking through? Are they buying? Some experts suggest that mobile ads may be more valuable for building brand awareness to encourage conversion further down the line.

Another way to address that is to reframe the mobile ad type — it’s a fairly common understanding that display ads don’t play as well on mobile, so rather than an ad that is just a smaller version of a TV spot, think of creating rich interactive ads or campaigns that offer premium access.

On mobile, campaigns have to be broader than most of the display ads we see now. It’s also much more effective to include the appropriate call to action, such as hashtags or enter-to-win contests that encourage desired consumer and business engagement.

The challenge is to be able to execute these enhanced campaigns swiftly and consistently across any landscape.

Where does measurement play in this scenario? For one, it is a primary way to assuage the trepidations of capturing ROI. There are tools available for marketers that will allow them to measure, record results and make impactful real-time changes during the run of the campaign — not after, when arguably it won’t matter anymore.

One brand that is beginning to invest significantly and doing a great job is Bud Light. The company is translating its national messaging across the Web and consistently delivering it across multiple channels, including mobile.

Whether it’s via hashtags (i.e., the #UpForWhatever campaign) or enter to win, with photos, the activations are done through mobile 90% — e.g., on Instagram, Facebook and more. The marketing team is able to track and observe consumer reactions. In short, this is a brand that realizes the importance of persistence and in improving on each one of its campaigns.

Bud Light’s effective and consistent delivery of its brand message should be the norm — businesses have to develop a mobile mindset. The brands that don’t go mobile won’t matter because, for the most part, they will no longer exist.

2 comments about "It's A Mobile World".
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  1. Bret Kinsella from XAPPmedia, February 13, 2015 at 8:06 a.m.

    Andy - you make some great points here. Too many people think about mobile through the prism of other media. In the audio space we see them thinking about mobile as if its always a visual medium and yet 79% of Internet radio is consumed while the screen is dark. Whether you are doing brand building or looking for measurable engagement that ties to conversion, you need to think first about consumer behavior on mobile. In Internet radio that means interactive audio ads that allow consumers to use their voice to respond to offers on mobile and engage with the brand since they can't see or touch a dark screen. As you say, mobile should be an integrated part of the marketing mix and marketers should leverage the best qualities each mobile experience to engage consumers.

  2. Andy Lombard from SocialWhirled, February 23, 2015 at 8:49 a.m.

    Bret - Excellent insights on consumer behavior. I don’t think many realize that 79% of internet radio is consumed while the screen is dark. Also, great advice on interactive audio ads. Appreciate the feedback, please feel free to connect on LinkedIn.

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