More than a decade has passed since the first iPhones and Android’s hit the market. Yet for many, mobile marketing remains a singularly unexplored venture.
It’s constantly changing and growing at an exponential rate, offering marketers an enormous opportunity. But few Australian marketers are taking it. It is time to ask – what’s holding back mobile marketing?
Marketers are sceptical and a little scared of mobile, and apparently unsure how to use it and how it can work for their brands. It’s that inexperience and fear that’s holding mobile back.
Mobile is the first device we look at in the morning and the last one we look at before going to sleep. It runs our lives and follows us everywhere.
We spend so much time on it that it is arguably one of the most important means of reaching audiences.
Let’s start by clearing up a misconception — an ad appearing in a news feed on Facebook is not mobile advertising.
Instead, mobile advertising requires specific strategies and tactics to effectively reach audiences and provide relevant – and engaging – mobile experiences. Reaching people on mobile just because they happen to look at Facebook on their phone is just a lucky coincidence when a large majority of time spent on Facebook is on a mobile.
Real mobile advertising takes into account the mobile environment and leverages the information that only mobile devices can supply, like location, to deliver personalised and contextual experiences.
Let’s speak a harsh truth. The reason many marketers stay away from mobile; They’re not very good at it and they are unsure on how to get better.
What are the factors that contribute to this resistance and ultimately hold back the necessary development of expertise within marketing departments? Here are two we commonly encounter;
- Creatives are shrinking to the occasion. Currently, the quality of creative for mobile marketing is underwhelming. In a sense that is to be expected. Remember, we’re still at the wrong end of the hockey stick, and creative needs time to learn what works and what doesn’t. Likewise todays clunky experiences will improve over time.
- Cost and measurement are also current challenges for mobile marketing. Measurement will be solved as more marketers commit larger portions of budgets to mobile. While costs for mobile media will come down as experience and knowledge increase. Everything becomes easier when you spend time investing in making it better. low investment only results in stagnant progress and persistent problems
As with any new strategy, objections are overcome as understanding increases. If these roadblocks sound familiar, they are. Measurement, cost and creative were all problems that plagued social marketing at one point. All of which were overcome when marketers stopped dragging their heels.
And that’s the point. Marketers need to get started — something they can do immediately. But even getting started is tough, when there’s a discernible skills shortage.
The Tipping Point
Only a few people in this market know how to do mobile really well and since the channel is not yet an ingrained part of how media is planned, there’s no pressure to up skill quickly. It may be the case that a lot of marketers are waiting for mobile to mature, and hoping they can jump on board and build teams that know how to use the channel.
However while this might seem like a conservative strategy it is actually a risky approach. Mobile marketing leaders are already starting to emerge, stealing a lead on their rivals and by the time you are ready to jump you might find the gap has opened too wide for you the leap back in.
Nimble digital natives have demonstrated the best use of mobile often comes out of businesses that were born digital and set themselves up at a time when mobile was not a question of if but how.
They are pioneering innovative ways to deliver exceptional experiences. As we approach the tipping point for mobile marketing, the onus is now on the rest of us to catch up.
About the author
Andrew Dixon is the Head of Sales for Amobee ANZ. Amobee is a corporate member of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit. Members provide their insights and analysis for the benefit of our readers. Membership fees apply.