Sultan Khan, CEO, Admaxim.
News that mobile advertising grew by 132% to £181.5m in the first half of this year is as welcome as it is long-awaited. Until now, mobile ad spend by brands has been largely experimental, but as these figures show, the shift from experimental to committed spend is finally happening and it’s happening fast.
Smartphone ownership reaching 58% of the UK population is clearly one explanation for what IAB describes as mobile advertising’s “meteoric rise”. However other factors are also coming into play: firstly we are seeing an increase in the amount of budget individual brands are allocating to digital/mobile (at the expense of other media) and secondly more brands are investing in mobile advertising.
However mobile still has a long way to go before investment begins to impact on more traditional media, or even to reflect the time consumers spend on their phones. So how can mobile as an ad medium really drive up its share of media spend? Here are five challenges mobile needs to address:
1. Reduce fragmentation:
The structural complexity of our sector is a barrier to entry for brands; it continues to hold back mobile advertising spend because too many niche companies offering to solve part of the problem for brands makes mobile advertising costly and time-consuming. To address this we need to see further consolidation. It is happening already as we see with Inmobi’s acquisition of Sprout last year and it will gain pace as the industry matures.
2. Precision Targeting:
Mobile as a channel offers unique targeting options because mobile devices are very personal, always with the consumer, location-aware, rich-media capable and interactive. Which other media allows brands to tailor their messages to what consumers are doing/where they are/ what device they are using, in real-time, 24 hours a day?
The current set of companies offering mobile advertising solutions have not been able to tap into the full potential of mobile targeting capabilities. Solutions or platforms need to create technology that is much more sophisticated when it comes to data acquisition, analysis and the creation of actionable intelligence that can be applied to campaign delivery systems in order to achieve true precision targeting of users and segments.
3. Rich Media:
Promote the power of rich media. Rich media has the power to transform static display ads that merely broadcast a brand’s messages, into creative that is highly immersive, interactive which allows consumers to physically interact with a brand. The richer an ad’s content is, the more engaging it will be and the better it will perform in terms of brand awareness and other campaign objectives.
4. Real-Time Optimisation – Maximise ROI:
Prove mobile can deliver results and ROI. To date we have seen brands experimenting with mobile campaigns where the outcome is “x” impressions and they are happy with that. If we want to convert brand’s short term experimental spend on mobile into sustainable long term investment, we have to prove demonstrable ROI, which thanks to sophisticated analytics and optimisation technology, mobile is uniquely well placed to do.
Simplify the process of creating and managing mobile campaigns. In the next few years we will see an increase in integrated solutions that streamline the process of campaign delivery for brands and which use data driven real-time optimization to deliver better results than is possible in systems that aren’t integrated.
We also need to consistently and effectively market mobile as an advertising medium. Marketing mobile includes promoting the emerging technologies that are driving this success. For example, smart targeting and optimisation driven by algorithms that enable campaigns to “learn” in real-time and analytics software allowing campaigns to be monitored and adjusted live.
But we must learn to talk about this sophistication in language non-specialists digital marketers can grasp rather than bewildering people with complexity and jargon.