2014: The year of mobile…or not?

mobile phones

mobile phones

The year of mobile?

Guess what? It’s the year of mobile. Yes, you thought it was the year of mobile back in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, but no, this time it’s really the year in mobile. In-App mobile spending reached 3.5 billion in 2013 and according to Juniper Research, In-App ad spend will reach almost 17 billion USD by 2018, up from 3.5 billion USD. Trumpeting the good news was this year’s San Francisco Mobile Media Summit Keynote speaker, Sean Muzzy, CEO, Neo@Ogilvy.
For Muzzy, mobile usage is skyrocketing so the question remains: when will mobile ad budgets catch up? Facebook is killing it with mobile advertising, now accounting for nearly half of its revenues. What can we learn from Facebook’s vaunted charge into mobile glory?
  • Publishers are adopting more of a feed or streaming style to their content
  • Twitter, LinkedIn, Buzzfeed, are all excellent examples
  • Desktop webpage to begin drifting away
  • Publishers creating more ad units native to their devices
Other pivotal mobile issues in 2014:
  • Privacy – Making sure opt-in protocols are in place
  • Location-based targeting:  “We’re at the tip of the iceberg,” according to Muzzy. Technology such as Apple’s iBeacon will continue to push forward retailers ability to connect and communicate with their customers
  • Mobile banner ads – Predicts they won’t go extinct (just yet)
  • Add-ons are still where the money is
Biggest trends? More advertising is shifting from paid investments to investments that drive more impressions. Money will come from better targeting by spending less in broader channels, and be more targeted.

How to achieve mobile app enlightenment?

How can a brand add value to an existing customer experience without having to build a new app? The answer depends on whom you talk to. According to Erin Simino, SVP Director of Mobility, SMG, brands think they need to build a new mobile app when it just might be completely unnecessary. Why build an app that people may not use? 99% of the time another app already exists with a solid user base. Brands should consider how they can integrate into it. Reasons not to build a new mobile app?
  • Too expensive
  • Need to work hard at getting people to download it
  • Cost of customer acquisition becomes too expensive
  • Build a great app but then lack the resources to support it. Who cares?
Biggest mistake? Brands aren’t focused enough on the consumer experience. What is the utility of your mobile app? Great example: SitorSquat: Restroom finder, produced by Charmin, a Procter & Gamble brand. With this app, Charmin is helping the user find a public restroom. The brand is helping you solve a problem and not sending you ads. Banners are lazy advertising, according to Peter Dille, Tapjoy.
Stuart Meyler – Principal, Beeby Clark+Meyler emphasized the value proposition that any app should provide the user. Case in point: Post from Japan

In post 2011 earthquake Japan, this app was built for tourists allowing them to connect via mobile to the government network, and post their photos to Facebook. Every like received from their friends provided 3 extra minutes of free Internet, helping one to get around the crazy streets of Tokyo, for example.
USB Cuecat

USB Cuecat

TV data closing the loop

Anyone remember the Cuecat USB? Built back in 1998 by the now defunct Digital Convergence Corporation, VCs poured 185 million into it. The Cuecat was shipped to every subscriber of WIRED magazine. Designed to plug into your computer, it was a barcode reader that enabled a user to open a link to specific website by scanning a barcode. It bombed. Why? It was designed to solve a marketing problem, not a consumer problem. At the time, it was seen as the unholy marriage of digital and print. And print was scared shitless (rightly so) that digital was going to kill it.
How can marketers not replicate the Cuecat failure when mixing mobile and TV?
Understanding consumer behavior comes first before marketing, according to Rebecca Hawkins, Director of Mobile Strategy, 4D. Mobile spend is on the rise but still makes up only 1% of the total media pie. But mobile and TV have come together. Mobile video is sticky, and vendors like Netflix have taken advantage of it to boost its subscriber base by 11 million in 2013. Twitter has integrated with Bluefin Labs, a social TV analytics company.  Drew Breunig, VP of Strategy, PlaceIQ, mentioned his agency has partnered with RenTrak, a media measurement and analytic service enabling users to measure TV viewership and study behavior models.
Mobile is targeted, interactive, becoming omnipresent and personal. Television still has massive reach, is immersive, event-based, and communal. If you have a solution that can connect mobile and TV, the only way to demonstrate business value is through insights and measurement. Understanding the user’s experience and their journey will assist marketers in determining the correct course of action.
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