The pinnacle of a brand is when it becomes an experience and in this unchartered territory one thing is for certain, the difference between mobile advertising and mobile marketing is fairly straightforward: mobile advertising happens before the click and mobile marketing happens after the click focusing on the more long-term process of driving value from mobile customers. However, knowing and doing are two different things.
Even though tablets and smartphones account for 10% of Internet traffic today the mobile market is a fragmented landscape with few shared protocols and standards along with multiple industry layers CMOs have to sift through. On the bright side mobile is no longer a testing ground, it’s a budget item and while mobile advertising only accounts for over 1% of total advertising spend ($4.5B), 90% of big brand CMOs will be allocating digital ad budgets to mobile in 2013/14. And here’s the kicker for agencies, mobile marketing can create more revenue than mobile advertising.
In this age of digital primacy mobile makes the impersonal personal with tremendous cross-generation appeal. Therefore, after all the rumination, mobile marketing represents an opportunity for CMOs to engage the consumer in multiple ways that were not possible before. Consequently, CMOs are embracing the concept of weaving mobile seamlessly throughout the purchase pathway and all other touch points to entice awareness, interest, engagement, purchase and loyalty. Ultimately moving from static banner ads to more rich interactive full-page units where sight, sound and motion are a critical component.
Mobile marketing offers new territory for CMOs to orchestrate, motivate and facilitate increased time spent with the brand by the consumer from ambient accessibility that offers connected and branded presence to customers friends and family; mobile personalization with user selected preferences that enables connected pleasure through to the advent of media sharing such as passing the tablet. Mobile professionals are also increasing as they buy more apps that make their lives easier and at the other end of the spectrum digital Moms are heavy users for show rooming, health and as the miraculous pacifier for kids!
Local advertising is difficult for mobile and it lacks the technical synergy that enables ad targeting, delivery, and analysis to work fairly seamlessly across the sprawling desktop world. Therefore, event participation, check-ins, loyalty points and geo-fencing – where the promotional proximity is targeted where the customer is – are going to be powerful components driving mobile marketing. Simultaneously, physical proximity of something is going to influence the customer experience. For example, one powerful tool for CMOs and retailers is augmented reality as it allows brands to pluck the benefits of physical stores without incurring the costs.
Retrieval of real time, valid, relevant and actionable behavioral data and analytics is made possible by Apps that are now mainstream. Therefore, mobile’s greatest untapped resource is its morass of customer data, but the gulf between hype and fraud is best shown in the numbers: 40% of click rates are fraudulent and 60% of mobile ad clicks are accidental besmirch the credibility of the category.
“The mobile ad market is just not fully formed yet,” said KC Estenson, Online & Mobile business executive for CNN.
Answering the CMOs need for valid and relevant data is RTB (real time bidding), but for media agencies RTB threatens their profit model and therefore, response has been desultory as they quietly fulminate over its looming presence. However, as RTB provides munificent real time data it will be important to CMOs, especially as post-installation events are far more important for brands including the third of customers who order online pick and up their goods in stores.
Evidently we’re also close to the end of fixed place marketing and appointment content consumption, but even though we’re amidst new rituals and desires no one wants a half page of advertising plopped on their mobile device. Further compounding the issue for CMOs are that the rules of mobile marketing change with different operating systems and combinations of brands, device and wireless operators defending their turf along with manufacturers creating new form factors for mobile devices including tablet, flexible, wearable and hybrid designs.
Competitiveness in this category needs regulation, innovation and infrastructure, but as consumers spend more time and undertake more research than ever on their mobile devices (40% of emails opened on mobile devices) competition will escalate. Even brick and mortar retailers are paring space and building up on mobile technology to focus on how to win competitive advantage. So any CPG brand or retailer that stands still on Main Street and doesn’t like change will like irrelevance even less. To break out of the pack CMOs brand building communications will have to work harder. Therefore, it’s foolish for the CMO to communicate a single Omni-channel message across all mediums – it needs to be designed for mobile.
Mobile marketing is something you do not something you wait for, but many CMOs have shown a pusillanimous response to mobile advertising and still haven’t fully caught onto mobile marketing because it’s a train wreck of decentralization; it’s okay to be engaged by mobile marketing today and choose to test it for now, but to avoid mobile marketing and ignore it is dangerous strategy.
Success in mobile marketing is about attitudes not skills so even though budget allocation might be the picture, it doesn’t change the issues. To shatter the complacency, successful CMOs need to build mobile marketing initiatives in formats and with key words that are tailored for each consumer segment and device – not more ‘spray and pray’ like the mobile ad networks hitherto offer. Why? Mobile marketing should not be treated as a distinctly separate marketing channel (that can generate more revenue for agencies than mobile advertising alone), but the brand in the hand that can wield immense power for the CMO, i.e., don’t be frightened by Possibility, she makes a great mistress.