By Anna Bager at ClickZ:
It is finally crystal clear that mobile is here to stay. And, in keeping, we see a world in which consumers will be using mobile to executive the majority of their daily activities, if they aren't already. However, even with all of the buzz surrounding mobile, most sellers and buyers seem somewhat unclear about how they can make money from it.
What I think is the first priority - no matter who you are - is dipping your toe in. You can't wait for the mobile ecosystem to simplify itself. Too many agencies and marketers are taking that stance. While we can work together to improve the workflow, the number of devices and platforms will continue to evolve and proliferate. The longer you wait, the more complicated things will get. The time to take action is now.
In that vein, I thought I'd offer up a few suggestions and tips on how to launch a successful mobile campaign, focusing on what a marketer needs to think about when it comes to mobile.
- Avoid buzzwords in your request for proposal (RFP). When drafting up an RFP don't use every buzzword in the industry. It won't make you sound smarter and it makes it more confusing for your media provider to fulfill. It fogs up your true intent, and you need to be specific at all times. Do you have Foursquare and Yelp feeds dynamically updating in your rich media creative? Great, say that instead of the fact that you will be "leveraging social media to enhance your creative relevance." It is important for media providers to be clear that you want to target your campaign to the right properties and audience to meet your campaign needs.
- Hyper-local isn't always the best strategy. Hyper-local is probably one of the most used words when it comes to talking about mobile. It is true that users are walking around with a device in their pocket at all times, often providing you with their precise location. But, keep in mind that while a large portion of your audience has that device with them, they may not be opting in to allowing their precise location to be passed along to all their apps. Even if they are opted in, are you missing scale and reach? How many users are in that three-mile radius from your store and using their smartphone during your one-week promotional campaign? Going with a bigger local target and undertaking creative optimization may be a better option to meet your campaign goals.
- Don't get caught up in all the fragmentation. It is true that there are a lot of differences that emerge dependent upon operating system, device model, app developer to app developer, etc. However, the mobile industry has been advancing rapidly to meet these challenges to create a robust marketing channel. With so many mobile-focused companies out there mastering the fragmented marketplace, many have found ways to handle different sized screens and use MRAID to improve the right media experiences. Publishers know their apps and how they behave on different devices, so it is important to work with them and give them enough quality assurance (QA) time before the launch of a campaign.
- Don't expect the world from a test campaign. Right now, many advertisers are testing the mobile waters. They aren't clear on how the mobile channel will enhance their overall goals. As a result, they are running small test campaigns to try different strategies all at once. That won't work. Use test campaigns to test out specific goals and learn about your audience.
- Be clear about your goal. What is the real objective of your campaign? Are you driving people to a store? Getting them to sign up for something? Or are you seeking brand awareness? Being clear about what your goal is will help publishers and other media providers fulfill your IO and produce a campaign that is successful across the board, instead of just meeting impression goals.
- Mobilize your website. This is where a great number of users will first see your site. Therefore, your mobile presence is where initial perceptions and opinions will be formed and, if played correctly, it is also where a lot of business will be made. If you don't have a site optimized for mobile, your customers may look elsewhere.
This Thursday, the Interactive Advertising Bureau and its Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence will again host the annual IAB Mobile Marketplace conference and I foresee this event breaking new ground and offering up keen insights that are needed to drive mobile forward for consumers, agencies, marketers, and technology vendors alike. Throughout the day, we will bring industry leaders together to tackle mobile from all angles - and also challenge the mobile definition, as we know it.
This event is one of many things that the IAB is doing to try and answer the issues I've noted above. And, where a meaningful guideline or answer does not exist, we will try to find or develop a solution.