OPINION: Mobile Is Personal. It’s Time Advertising Is Too

OPINION: Mobile Is Personal. It’s Time Advertising Is Too The following is a guest contributed post from Shekhar Deo, co-founder and CTO of EngageClick.

We’ve all heard and read about the importance of mobile time and time again, and it’s a message that is continuously underpinned in research, surveys, and studies.

The undeniable truth is that mobile is personal. We keep our device of choice in our pocket and under our pillow. This means opportunity exists like never before for brands to reach the consumer on their terms. People take their device everywhere, which means now advertising opportunities are everywhere too.

But, there’s more to successful mobile advertising than just knowing that the door is open. Consumers put a lot of thought into choosing their devices. They like different interactivity and different hardware features. Now more than ever, brands need to rise to the challenge of providing a sophisticated level of personalized engagement in order to be successful.

What we’ve done in the past isn’t working

Our industry has come a long way since the very first days of desktop banner ads, but what worked then isn’t working now. The desktop is many things, but unlike mobile devices, it isn’t laden with personalized features and there are no location benefits.  Desktop devices (and the content on them) are quite simply, living in a different world.

While mobile is becoming the platform of choice for personal entertainment, desktops and even laptops are being relegated to work activities. Past methods have led us to try and get consumer attention the wrong way at the wrong time. Brands need to be able to engage the consumer with rich interactivity, and to grab them at the precise moments when they’re paying attention.

Brands who have taken on the challenge have showed success

The mobile marketing industry is without a doubt growing. Some brands have embraced mobile advertising and have met with success. But, while there has been some successful adoption by pioneering brands, there are still a vast majority of others that lag behind.

According to a recent Pew Internet Research report, 63% of adults use their cellphones to go online, while 34% of cellphone Internet users go online mostly using their phones – not their desktop or laptop computer. Audience presence on the Internet is clearly moving to mobile. It is also clear that by not moving their advertisements to mobile and creating a mobile-specific strategy, brands are losing out. By choosing to be on smartphones and tablets, brands can create a meaningful technology investment by being on multiple portable devices.

imageCoca-Cola recently launched an interactive mobile campaign called the “Ahh Effect”, which features 61 microsites and content geared at teens and their favorite platform: mobile. The sites features games, GIFs and videos and visitors are encouraged to interact with the various content. The results showed 4 million consumers visited the affiliated sites in just four months, and each individual stayed for an average of over two minutes. What does this teach us? Although consumers already have their devices in hand, it’s clearly up to marketers to figure out how to target consumers and different audiences with creative appeal.

How ads can be better suited to mobile

There are a few simple ways that content can be made to not only better fit within the parameters of the consumer’s mobile device, but to also use that content to the brand’s benefit. Brands can attain a better ROI by investing time and research into what people enjoy engaging with on their mobile phones.

  • Mobile devices come pre-loaded with more capabilities

Use mobile device features like the accelerometer and touchscreen to engage the consumer in novel ways. The same basic interactivity, shaking, peeling, and tilting, to perform a task such as revealing an offer to the consumer makes use of mobile devices, and allows for multiple different and creative advertisements which are proven to engage the user.

  • Mobile devices are location friendly

Brands can provide relevant and targeted messages. National brands can aim for local consumers, and local businesses can reach individuals nearby.

  • In terms of engagement – mobile behavior is different

Engagement behavior can be used to generate data that technology platforms can leverage to deliver highly targeted messages. Everything from the desktop can be brought over to mobile, but used to improve the consumer experience.

  • Make use of data-driven, machine learning technology

Brands can integrate proprietary consumer engagement platforms that make use of data-driven, machine technology to improve ad engagement, and deliver mobile ads in real-time that are appropriate to the individual.

Personalized, meaningful interaction and mobile campaign success can be a reality. Advertisers and brands simply need to use smart creative combined with the tools and technology that’s already available to them. Mobile is personal. It’s time advertising is too.