2013 – Time for mobile to find its place in the multichannel mixby
Gustav Mellentin, CEO at Adform, discusses why mobile needs to find a home in the wider marketing mix in 2013.
Every January a flurry of articles emerge from the marketing industry’s leading voices, reflecting on how the sector can jump on some of the best innovations that have come to fruition over the past 12 months. In recent years, a keen eye has always been firmly set on the evolution of mobile as a marketing channel - where smartphone technology has evolved significantly, so has the hype behind the channel as a means of connecting brands with their target audiences.
Mobile’s role in the marketing strategy of many businesses is really maturing – now turning the hype about its potential into a reality. The growth in popularity of smartphones and tablets has meant that mobile advertising spend doubled in 2012 to £500 million – four years after the sector spend was closer to £25 million.
The ample opportunity that the mobile revolution brings is exciting, but the industry should take care not to misplace its enthusiasm. Put bluntly, mobile is another screen over which customers are subjected to promotions. It has its own nuances and holds an important place in the marketing mix – but this doesn’t make it anything different to any other major marketing medium.
The main reason to get excited about mobile’s evolution in 2013 is that it offers another weapon in the marketer’s armoury. No doubt, mobile’s maturity and significant power as a means of engaging with customers should not be underestimated – it will surely take a prominent position in the marketing ecosystem ongoing. But as is the case with any other channel, mobile needs to be absorbed into the wider multi-channel marketing strategy as something complementary – not as a separate entity.
What’s more, the integration of mobile initiatives into marketing strategies should be approached in measured steps. Yes, there are a whole host of case studies emerging about its positive impact on certain businesses – but identifying its appropriateness for your business and how it fits into the marketing plan is what is key.
This is right in line with how marketers would ideally like to manage their digital marketing campaigns – be it dynamic creative optimisation, product re-targeting, exchange buying and campaign optimisation across any channel. They want to run campaigns out of one place. Where mobile’s own parameters as a channel should be respected, whoever is running the campaign does not want to become embroiled in having to deal with specialist vendors for every element of a campaign. When we asked attendees of ad:tech London what they wanted to see in the next five years – nearly three quarters (73%) said they would hope to use a fully functioning single platform to run all elements of their display marketing campaigns.
Mobile will no doubt continue to flourish as a happy home for advertising throughout 2013, but considering how best to maximise return on investment over the channel will be borne out of an understanding of how it will truly benefit the brand in question, while complementing every other aspect of a marketing campaign.
Gustav Mellentin is CEO at Adform.