I’ve been in mobile for almost nine years and have always been keenly interested in how context can be affected by mobile. At a minimum, I’m interested in things like:
- The location in which mobile is used
- How location can affect user’s modality (ranging from passive to task-driven activities).
- Which content people choose to consume
- How much content they will consume
- User’s receptivity to disruptive marketing messages
- The location awareness of the device and the opportunities that creates in terms of relevance of display advertising, search results, etc.
I’m privy to many of the question asked by agencies about geo-targeting. It has been very common over the last year for our team to be asked “Can you do geo-fencing?” This question often comes without the benefit of an understanding of the true client objective. More often than not, we are not in the room when this idea first came to mind and are not in a position to challenge many of the assumptions that drove it. Naturally scale is always an issue to consider with any targeting.
I like to go further and challenge the objective in the first place. A lot of the questions about geo-fencing ignore some basic things we already understand about consumers, how they move through the marketing funnel and the timing involved. For example, does a person move from consideration to intent just because they are 100 feet from a store? Can you affect this timing with a display ad on mobile? Is that ad best served in the same DMA, perhaps 8 hours before the consumer is front of the store? How does the process change when considering big ticket vs. impulse purchases? Much to consider.
This article is ADOTAS “Jumping the ‘Fence’ of Location-Based Mobile Advertising” by Gretchen Joyce does a good job of elevating this discussion to a more intelligent place. Have a read and let me know what you think.
Lots of new mobile ad spend and planning-related research in the past few days… Most of it is good, but some of it still points to mobile as an up-and-comer yet to realize it’s potential. Digiday says “Mobile is a lot like Harry Potter: clearly brilliant, something of an orphan and unsure what it will be when it grows up — and whether it can harness its power.” That made me laugh.
Meanwhile, Mediapost cites research from J.P. Morgan that says U.S. mobile ad spend will hit $1.2 Billion In 2011. Most of the predictions for 2011 U.S. mobile ad spend are just below or just above a billion.
I think the points made in the Digiday article by Michael Zimbalist of the NYTimes are on target. He sees mobile as a channel built for cross media opportunities and points out that consumers are jumping from screen to screen, “…using mobile devices in conjunction with traditional media outlets like TV.” (Zimbalist doesn’t offer data to back this up, but it’s out there, we’ve all seen it and I think we can agree for the moment…If I must, I’ll dig up the data and post here if anyone isn’t yet convinced.) This should certainly be seen as an opportunity for integrated buys that include highly creative, intelligent, context-aware mobile ad spend that leverages the unique capabilities of mobile devices – Not just slapping banners on mobile sites/apps. I wrote on this subject last week in response to comments made by Eric Litman, CEO of rich media ad company, Medialets. Yes there are obstacles to scale in mobile rich media and overall mobile ad spend, but those obstacles are being overcome – or tracked around – by taking smarter approaches to building and serving rich media mobile creative and measurement.
Will integrated mobile ad Spend become the norm?
eMarketer published a chart of survey data from Chief Marketer that indicates it will.
From my perspective, brands are already moving things in the right direction as they demand highly engaging rich media ads on tablets. This is encouraging for mobile ad spend as the bar is being raised above that of crappy banners and the slavish devotion to CTR’s. Smart brand integration coupled with highly engaging rich media ad units should ensure mobile ad spend reaches maturity.
I’m sure I’ll be writing more on the subject of mobile ad spend, so stay tuned!
Eric Litman makes some interesting comments to Carla Rover on mobile rich media on Digday. Litman is, of course, the CEO of a mobile rich media ad company, but his comments are on-point and not just self-serving.
I agree wholeheartedly that It’s time for mobile rich media to scale. The slapping-banners-on-phones business has become one of arbitrage…Networks buying and selling from each other like low-rent real estate brokers. The proverbial race to the bottom. Haven’t we seen this movie before?
There is an excellent story to be told about engagement rates from rich media ads on mobile. A beautiful experience with high engagement will be attractive to brands if they can get it at scale. Getting away from proprietary SDK’s and other obstacles to scale is critical to that end. Using HTML5 for mobile rich media ads should help this happen.