Mobile has been hailed as marketing’s Next Big Thing for at least five years. But finally, mobile really is coming into its own. The ubiquity of 3G and advent of 4G, coupled with a boom in smartphones (and, more recently, tablets), mean mobile is ready to earn its marketing stripes.
More than half of the UK’s mobile users own a smartphone, and 28 per cent of UK internet usage is via a mobile phone. But we do stuff differently on mobile phones and tablets, and marketing campaigns are starting to reflect that. We don’t put away our mobiles to watch TV, for example – a Nielsen report revealed that 78% of smartphone owners in the UK use their device while watching TV (known as ‘multi-screening’).
This has led to a mindset change among brands, who’ve realised it’s no good just diverting their ad budgets to mobile – the real payoff is in integrating mobile to the bigger marketing picture, in the same way that we’re integrating mobile into our everyday lives. For example, if you’re thinking about TV advertising or sponsorship, you should also be thinking about incorporating an interactive mobile element for your campaign to really take off.
The trick to a cracking mobile campaign is to ‘think mobile’ – put yourself in the mind of a mobile user – not just design an ad that fits one of the (new) standard ad formats for a phone. It’s not enough to do it just because everyone else is. Mobile is a dynamic platform and the best campaigns reflect that.
Five things mobile campaigns need:
1. A proper budget
Mobile isn’t just an add-on. It’s a crucial part of the marketing mix, and this should be reflected in your budget for the platform. Make sure you factor in mobile optimisation too.
2. Creativity and relevant content
People expect different things from different devices. What draws people in online may not have the same impact on a mobile, when they might be multi-screening, or doing something else (even walking down the street) at the same time. You have to hit them with creative, relevant content to grab their attention: we expect instantaneous actions from mobile apps, and rarely hang about if the creative doesn’t get a move on. And don’t forget the importance of localised content – according to Google, half of all mobile searches have local intent.
3. Make campaigns easy to share
From a marketer’s perspective, one of the best things about social media channels is their immediacy and exponential reach. Come up with a gem of mobile campaign and people will spread the word for you.
4. Think beyond stand-alone mobile campaigns
Explore where mobile sits in the bigger picture. Look into where and how it can add to people’s experience of your other marketing activities. Integrate mobile into all your marketing activity.
5. Think about what you want people to do once they’ve seen your creative.
Is there a clear call to action? Are you sending them to a website (and if so, is it optimised for mobile)? Don’t waste great creative with a poor user experience. This extends to the purchasing experience: if you want people to buy your stuff using their mobile, make the process of doing so simple and fast. Or it could be a while before they bother trying again.
Mark Cluer is the owner and managing director of digital creative agency, PMA Digital (www.pmadigital.com).