Last Monday evening, Yooyung (Yoohie) Imsland, DMI’s Associate Media Director moderated June’s Mobile Monday event in Washington, D.C. This month’s topic was Mobile Marketing: What’s Working and What’s Next.
The panel included Erica Tabacoff the Regional Sales Manager for ThinkNear, Noor Nasser the Director of Mobile at Centro and Brian Kurtzman the Director of Mid-Atlantic Sales for Millennial Media.
While this discussion covered a lot of ground – from mobile location data scrubbing and creative customization to the challenges and tactics that clients manage and many more – this post will focus on three topics: what the biggest challenge is today in mobile marketing, predictions for the future, and the overall takeaway.
The biggest challenge facing mobile marketing today has to do with tracking, attribution and analytics. Clients often assume that mobile – a “digital” medium – has all the same tracking capabilities as desktop digital media placements. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Tracking and back-end systems are quite different than desktop and the tactics don’t work the same way. 88% of time spent on smartphones is in-apps. App analytics is provided through an SDK integration much like Google Analytics for a website. There are many mobile app measurement companies out there, including Google’s own mobile app analytics platform. The challenge of accessing or leveraging this data for marketers depends on the individual app, user opt-in/enabling of tracking and app networks to harness the data for advertisers.
As for the future of mobile marketing, the panel made several predictions. All the panelists agreed that mobile will continue to grow as the mobile ad space evolves, however, it won’t necessarily replace any of the alternate media channels. Instead, the pie of media channels will continue to grow larger.
Another prediction that a panelist made was about available advertising inventory in the mobile space. Placements in top-tier publisher sites/apps come at a premium, are limited in number, and are subject to marketplace shifts of supply and demand. Video (online and mobile) is already being bought up by agencies preparing for the upcoming political cycle. The panel anticipates that media buyers will need to accept less premium mobile inventory as demand pressures increase.
Another interesting topic was around content marketing (consumed significantly on mobile) and the demise of the banner ad. A mainstay in most media plans, and the main creative format in the ever-increasing rise of programmatic buys, it is being challenged. Content marketing is usually regarded as an upper funnel strategy but a recent increase in lead gen and conversions from content such as videos and web content, may see its efficacy surpass the banner which may become obsolete in the next several years. Conversions are increasing on mobile despite the inability of very limited retargeting from desktop to mobile.
Finally – the biggest takeaway from the event overall: mobile is its own bucket. And we should all communicate, design, develop and work accordingly. Once lumped in with digital, mobile separates itself more and more each day. It is its own unique platform, with a unique purpose, unique functionality, in need of unique creative… and the world needs to embrace this singularity of mobile. As their predictions stated, it’s not going to go away. It will only get bigger.
Audrey Hartland, Marketing Manager, Brand Marketing & Customer Experience