Who do you get in touch with? Why marketers need to test mobile ideas

If there is one thing that hasn’t changed in the past ten years of mobile, it’s the pace of change in the industry. I have always found it hard to keep up. Working with the channel day-in day-out doesn’t necessarily mean it gets any easier.

Making mobile deliver to client objectives is still a challenge. It wasn’t long ago when you could create a really cool app, upload it to iTunes, send out some tweets, blog posts etc and get some PR for it – and you were away. 10,000 downloads minimum.

You could easily get 50,000 downloads in the first few weeks. For example, in 2009 and 2010 we did two great iPhone apps for our Ogilvy Group Christmas cards both of which totally smashed the 50K download mark without any media activation. Things have changed in the past 6 months. If we did that today (just uploaded an app and hope for the best) they wouldn’t get more than 20 downloads in total.

So what should we do? It’s simple – test and learn. The 80:20 rule is something that has been talked about a lot since McKinsey championed it. “Use 80% of your budget on media that you know is working, and 20% on new and innovative solutions.”

I think that in reality we are only putting about 2% of our budgets into new stuff. Now that the game has changed again (and doing new stuff doesn’t work by itself any more) there is a real need to put some test budget into activating mobile work. By “activation” I mean promoting the mobile work on mobile and other media. We should go further to give our text and learn strategies the correct goals and targets. Don’t just look for downloads. Look for areas that don’t work and find out why.

In answer to the question ‘who do you get in touch with’ there are so many ways that we can ‘activate’ mobile work. We could buy mobile media from Admob, Quatro Wireless, Google, YOC, Adfonic, Amoda, Buzzcity, Decktrade, iLoop, Jumptap, Madvertise, Millennial Media, inMobi, MCN, MobileIQ, Mojiva, Nexage, Nokia, Offerpal, Pudding Media, Third Screen, TMS, Widespace, Yahoo, Zestads – and many more. We could look at in-app adverts, micro point rewards (like Facebook credits), wifi locations etc etc.

My advice to anyone looking to deliver brand experiences in mobile is get some test and learn budget before you even begin building. Things are changing fast and you need to know what works for you.

Scott Seaborn is head of mobile technologies Ogilvy Group UK and is speaking at Brand Republic’s conference next month – Demystifying & Maximising The Potential Of Mobile Marketing.

The early bird discount for the BR’s mobile conference ends soon. Book before Thursday to £50.

  • Jon Hook

    Spot on Scott – a lot of brands are being distracted by the opportunity of mobile and jumping straight in without any sort of strategy.

    Mobile experiences are executed in a number of different ways – Mobile Web, Performance based media (Admobs etc), device specific apps. Therefore first up you should look at the profile of your TA and then follow this with a look at the regional market ( ie carrier speeds, device penetration, data costs).

    There is still plenty to learn but through careful planning and insight, your test&learn strategy will soon leapfrog beyond those brands simply jumping on the app bandwagon.