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'Mindset' Tips for Effective Mobile Advertising

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 03 September 2013 17:37

In business, just because you've done something for a long time does not mean you're good at it.

Take advertising. Most real estate brokerages and professionals pump out hundreds of advertisements each month, but that does not automatically mean they're good at creating effective ads that generate the results they should.

When advertising moved online, advertising space went digital and allowed lots of "room" for digital "bells" and virtual "whistles." If you weren't aware how to create on-point, on-target advertising in print, you may not have been - and may not be - as effective online and with social media as possible. Advertising has now moved to smartphones and other small-screen mobile devices, and the concept of advertising spacehas changed again.

One significant context change related to this advertising shift is the inherent intolerance of users for anything short of terrific, personalized, relevant, benefits-laden content. Small screens and growing competition for user attention on these reduced "vues," all squeezed into shortening time frames, dictate that advertising mustbe on-point and on-target to even earn a chance to be viewed, never mind acted on. Eliciting the desired user reaction requires even greater target knowledge and communication skill.

Earlier this year, the Canadian Marketing Association and Marketing magazine presented Mobile Day 2013, showcasing international mobile communication leaders in an innovative program that emphasized practicality.

In a session titled "Connection & Courtesy: Finding the Right Mobile Ad Balance with Consumers," Cesar Zea, Director, Client Service, Millward Brown Canada, an international research-based consultancy, presented a mobile advertising report that snapped the mobile challenge smartly into focus. The point was that mobile strategyfor many businesses is a display ad, but a display ad is not a strategy. Mobile advertising "needs a continuum which is excellent at every stage." This includes great display ads to drive people to the brand, and much more.

A lot of what the internet has brought to business has been at the expense of the advertising industry. It's noteworthy that mobile computing may represent advertising's turnaround frontier. Brand marketing is at the core of this history-making opportunity to connect with consumers on the move - which may evolve to being continually connected.

For practical insight into the true mobile opportunity, this journalist recently engaged in an email-interview with Zea to learn more about Millward Brown's 40-year investment in BRAND dynamics and its 86 office-56 country depth and breath of marketing effectiveness research.

My focus was the short-sightedness of businesses and professionals who undermine the value of new technology by using it to do the same old thing. When I asked, "What are 3 key ways that mobile changes how companies can benefit from and use advertising? ," Zea responded:

  1. With the use of mobile devices, advertisers can now reach out to their target audiences 'on the go.' Although this has a great upside for advertisers, they also need to realize that consumers have a very unique mindset while using mobile devices and advertisers need to develop mobile campaigns accordingly.
  2. While consumers are not yet favorable towards mobile advertising, its acceptance is growing, which will enhance its reach and efficacy. Advertisers need to understand the medium and use mobile devices in the right context in order to enhance the effects of a multimedia campaign. The role of the mobile campaign needs to be defined from the beginning.
  3. Mobile advertising can enhance brand equity and be very precisely targeted, but advertisers need to deliver value and deliver a very relevant message. Mobile advertising is by nature very intrusive (only less intrusive than telemarketing), hence advertisers need to develop campaigns specifically for this medium - making sure that the value offered or the relevance of the message offsets the intrusiveness of mobile ads.

Zea stressed that mobile is poorly used when it is repurposed from online or another medium, and does not take into account screen size or how mobile is used differently.

  • This is true not just in display ads, but also video - mobile video is not the same as TV (just as a mobile banner is not the same as a digital banner) - and mobile needs to be treated and measured differently.
  • Because of mobile's lower CPI (cost per impression), it's better to just run mobile ads and see what happens, without testing or consideration in advance.
  • Mobile messaging and advertising is general and brand focused. There are expectations that mobile has built-in intelligence - it knows who I am and can send me content based on that.
  • When content is general and not personally relevant, not only is the advertising viewed negatively, those negative feelings are imputed on the brand. This misconception derives from a failure to truly appreciate how much more personal mobile is than any media that has come before it.

When asked to offer three tips for professionals who want to add their mobile touch or specific target relevance to their corporate mobile brand, Zea contributed the following "think mindset, not device" suggestions:

  1. Make advertising personally relevant - target very specifically so that the offering is relatable to the audience viewing the ad.
  2. Offer something of tangible value in exchange for your audience's time, whether that's a coupon or unique content. Mobile audiences appreciate and reward an exchange of value between audience and marketer.
  3. Be competent. Make sure advertising takes into account device type, how users are using that device at the time they're served the ad, and that there's always a straightforward way to opt out.

Where is mobile advertising headed with respect to brand marketing?

"Companies that are ahead of the pack are those that care about how their audiences use [various] devices, at different times of day, in different settings, on different platforms," Zea said. "They are companies that understand their audiences' expectations, and have tested and vetted their advertising content enough that when audiences see it, it's the best that that brand has to offer."

The better you are at putting yourself "in the shoes" of your "on the move" target prospects and clients, the better you'll be at going mobile.


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PJ Wade

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