11/26/2008 4:24:00 PM
Dispelling the myths of mobile phone advertising
Mobile advertising is a huge growth area with a global compound annual growth rate of 48%, according to eMarketer. Despite the rapid growth forecasts there are still a few industry concerns about mobile advertising.
There is a view that mobile, with small screens and issues surrounding quality and delivery, is not a rich enough format to communicate messages.
Another industry assumption about mobile advertising is that push strategies are interruptive and ineffective when communicating with consumers, particularly when linked to the view that mobile advertising is spam.
Relevance and predictability make the difference when it comes to effectively using push communications strategies. The communication must be timely and linked to user behaviour, give the users priority access to information and offers, and be linked to information that helps individuals organise and plan their lives.
Push strategies used as an initial conversation entry point are effective as they open up a dialogue.
There is also some debate about the choice of technology. Some believe that SMS will become a communication means of the past and MMS and other technologies will take over. Contrary to popular belief, the use of SMS is growing. At Blyk, we already realise the importance of leveraging a predominant behaviour, and we provide brands with MMS campaigns too.
Doing it right
All of the above are, indeed, myths. Having been in business for just over one year and with over 2,000 campaigns under our belt, here at Blyk we have learned some valuable lessons about how to be successful in mobile advertising.
When it comes to advertising on mobile brands, the following should be considered:
1. Put the consumer first – mobile advertising has to take basic user experience into consideration, since mobile phones are functional and personal devices.
2. Consider timing and context – one of the beauties of mobile advertising is the timing element.
3. Do not plan mobile advertising on a reach and frequency basis. Instead, build frequency through engagement, re-engagement and relevance.
4. Mobile advertising works alongside other channels as part of an integrated campaign and should be built into media plans.
5. Value exchange – I will cite Blyk as an amazing example of value for both brands and members. For brands, we offer an effective and efficient channel to create awareness, build engagement, drive sales and gather insight. For members, we offer free communication, entertainment, social currency, exclusive content and an opportunity for them to give an opinion.
Mobile as a channel is key for reaching the youth market, which is hard to engage through traditional media. Mobile is the glue for connecting brands with young people, who have their phones with them 24/7.
Though many brands would claim not to be youth-focused, they are missing a trick.
Encouraging brand loyalty is about building relationships from an early age. Brands that only court high-spending customers will lose out in the long run. Even Barack Obama recognised this in the US and launched a mobile phone campaign to encourage young people to vote early. It worked for him.
Today’s youth are the brand ambassadors of tomorrow. What better way to ensure a long-lasting relationship with them than via the only truly personal media device that exists... the mobile phone?
Shaun Gregory, CEO, Blyk UK