A view from the top: does mobile have a seat at the boardroom table?


Written by Jon Hook, VP of Brand & Agency at AdColony

At the MMA London Forum we took a step into the boardroom with Dan Hagen Chief Strategy Officer at Carat UK and Keith Moor the CMO at Santander, to understand if and how mobile has impacted the way executives plan and execute marketing campaigns.

How has mobile changed the way that you plan your campaigns?

As with any other medium, the starting point is always with the consumer, not a device or screen. Mobile enables advertisers to derive a real time and data rich portrait of a consumer than previously possible, in large part down to location signals (giant caveat being GDPR!). Whilst this is deeply valuable, the real challenge is where mobile sits in the marketing mix.

Too often mobile is left floundering at the bottom of the funnel, fighting for DR scraps. But what about top of funnel, brand awareness? At Santander for student accounts, the start of the consumer journey actually begins on mobile and ends in branch. The lesson here for advertisers is to pay closer attention to their audience behaviour and user journeys, ensuring their media mix modelling correlates accordingly. There is no doubt marketers are missing a trick here, mobile absolutely has the ability to build brand awareness aswell as influencing purchase intent and ultimately drive sales.

How should you communicate with consumers on mobile?

As the most personal media channel of all, advertisers can’t afford to make mistakes. A crass TV advert is one thing, you can walk out the room or fast forward. But a non skippable mobile ad, not only irritates consumers but also risk  damaging brand equity. The key is creating meaningful content, taking into account the context a consumer is in and providing value. Not interrupting an experience with an invasive ad unit. Apple and Google are now taking action blocking a variety of invasive ad units in their browser updates including autoplay video. Advertisers should also not forgot other forms of mobile messaging – like SMS or push notifications, that can provide relevant updates, information or offers for existing customers who have downloaded your app.

Are mobile apps the new TV?

Fresh from Apple’s WWDC announcement that the app store receives half a billion weekly visits to the App Store, coupled with mobile gaming revenue outpacing box office for the first time with global revenues of $40.6 billion, it would appear mobile apps are fast becoming the new battleground for consumer attention and entertainment. However the challenge for advertisers appears to be landing the right advertising experience in those apps, as simply porting desktop or mobile web experiences are not the solution. Or perhaps the bigger challenge, is in some of these apps is advertising even relevant or meaningful?

How do you measure mobile?

It has never been harder for a marketer when it comes to measuring and quantifying business outcomes from digital media. With confusion surrounding viewability, ie what the IAB provides as the minimum acceptable standard for a video view vs what social platforms consider a video view, coupled with brand safety and 3rd party measurement of “walled gardens” it is easy to understand the appeal of non digital channels. When did a TV planner ever get asked about “viewability”?

It’s clear brand metrics need to evolve on mobile, from cost per views or engagement to attention lead metrics. For performance advertisers it’s all about looking beyond the install, to measuring 2nd actions or orders.

What does the future hold?

 The theme of the MMA Forum was disruption and transformation. We can expect mobile technology and mobile apps to continue to drive these themes. Mobile apps are now the remote control for people’s lives and already account for 51% of time spent in digital in the UK. Evolving services and technology around apps – VR, AR and voice appear to be the next marketing frontier.

Santander has become the first bank in the UK to allow customers to make payments using their voice via their SmartBank app. Voice threatens to disrupt traditional advertising models as we know it, with the likes of Amazon and Google launching their smarthome products leaving marketers to ask “ how you put an advert in thin air?!”

So despite all this disruption, there is has never been a more exciting time to be a mobile marketer and define the next generation of consumer marketing.

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