5 Keys to Mastering Mobile Advertising - And Why It's Most Like TV
Mobile advertisements have been around for years, but have failed in the past to reach their true potential. In 2012, mobile ads may finally turn this corner, which will be primarily driven by the mainstream adoption of the smartphone. According to a Pew Internet report, one third of American mobile phone owners have a smartphone, which means more and more users are able to interact with advertisements in a meaningful way. In addition, mobile ads have also changed—advertisers have created more intuitive campaigns to match the advanced capabilities of smartphones and tablets. As a result, successful mobile ad buys should combine these three key elements:
- Know the Difference Between Handsets and Tablets
Tablet behavior is different than average handset behavior. At Roundarch Isobar agencies, we're seeing tablet session times that are three to 10 times longer than desktop sessions. Brands are also seeing e-commerce ROI that is three to five times better. Brands that design specific ad units to take advantage of the increased session times of tablets and the behavior of tablet surfers will win.
- Leverage Rich Media Efficiently for the First Time
In the past, fragmentation across handset OS and ad network support made benefiting from rich media very inefficient. In 2012, the rise of industry standards like Open Rich Media Mobile Advertising (ORMMA); network consolidation; and cross-platform development environments from companies like Celtra, Velti, Crisp Media and others will efficiently power engaging video and rich media ads for brands that can afford to deploy their mobile ads on a large scale.
- Context and Usefulness
In 2011, "deal-sites" such as Gilt and Rue La La became mainstream. Great mobile ads will soon be based on location, allowing consumers to walk down the street and suddenly walk into one of these deals. These ads will be directly relevant to consumers and will change what successful mobile ads look, feel and act like.
Once these elements have been established, mobile advertisers can turn the focus to real-time targeting. The best mobile ad opportunities will be bid on like keywords in search engines. According to Econsultancy's Online Publishers Survey Report, real-time bidding is currently used by 49 percent of American publishers. This means that, for the first time, ads will be able to be specifically tailored to inventory based on time and place, making them more impactful, relevant and engaging.
In addition to real-time targeting, there is another option that few brave planners will recommend and fewer CMO's will accept: getting a TV-like impact through massive reach buys.
Mobile has more in common with TV than any other medium. It has 100 percent share of the screen like a TV, and the consumer is deeply engaged when using, since there is little room for distractions from other mediums. Although mobile can offer the scale that TV provides in terms of audience size, nobody is currently buying it that way. Demand side platforms (DSPs) have reduced online to targeted ad buys, but the industry is quickly learning that mobile can provide consumers with the same simultaneous shared experience as TV. The brave planner who can push through buys for huge reach blocks may also see a big return on their investment.
In mobile advertising, there are two key things that need to happen in order to ensure positive results:
- Measure How Mobile Metrics Stack Up
A key measure of success in any mobile campaign is a brand study. As an aggregate, we're seeing lifts of key brand metrics across the board like we have never seen before. Looking back at prime time TV from the mid 70s (based on aggregate studies using 68 GRPs), there was nothing comparable to mobile. Recently, a report from Insight Express looked at media mixes compared to mobile as a standalone; mobile still won almost across the board. There has never been a channel like mobile before.
- Location, Location, Location
It's time to stop using those value-add landing pages and get your clients to realize that mobile is their most valuable channel. To do this, brands need to create useful mobile web experiences that take advantage of time, location and users to generate relevant experiences. Mobile demands a different content strategy than online—time to embrace it.
With eMarketer anticipating U.S. mobile ad spending to grow 80 percent to $2.61 billion, mobile advertising will become a critical tool for brands to reach consumers. Understanding how to utilize a smart device to share quality ad content while creating useful mobile experiences that meet brand metrics will be key to mastering mobile advertising. And for those brands that are truly on the cusp of innovation, they're already embracing the ease of use of near field communication (NFC) technology in their advertising campaigns. With the iPhone 5 rumored to have NFC technology, mobile marketing will probably change as we know it.