Jayesh Easwaramony
Jan 2, 2018

Duopoly dominance: Are marketers going to just accept it?

It’s time for a more conscious marketer, one who thinks beyond the default options and asks these four questions to drive mobile-marketing outcomes.

Duopoly dominance: Are marketers going to just accept it?

If you’re a marketer, chances are, it’s been a while since you thought of yourself as a ‘consumer’.

It’s time to put that hat on! As a consumer, would you like to have only two options when making high-involvement decisions such as buying a house or choosing financial instruments? Even when it comes to a simple decision such as buying a jar of jam, consumers today want more than just two options.

When you demand more than two options when making important decisions as a consumer, why settle for less as a marketer? That’s just plain wrong. While the mobile ad-tech space today is highly diverse, for most marketers, the default option when choosing mobile marketing partners is either Google or Facebook, which together, account for more than half of global mobile ad spend. This kind of dominance in mobile ad tech, as with any industry, creates a state of collective unconsciousness. The result? An acceptance of the status quo instead of a demand for growth, accountability and customer-oriented innovation.

It’s high time for marketers to think about whether they are really getting enough from the duopoly. It’s time for a more conscious marketer to emerge, who can think beyond the default options in order to ask the really tough questions that will help deliver the right mobile marketing outcomes.

Here are four questions that marketers can ask when creating their marketing strategy and ultimately, choosing their ideal mobile marketing partner:

1. How can I get transparent metrics and consistent reporting quality?

Ask for it, upfront, consistently and with an independent partner in tow! It’s important for marketers to be directly involved in mobile execution and call out any malicious reporting or self-attribution, which adversely affects the industry at large. Also, until recently, with differing global standards of viewability and a lack of independent third-party verification, marketers had been hard-pressed to find a single source of truth to measure campaign effectiveness. Now, with MRC (Media Rating Council) viewability standards being well defined, marketers should push their partners to ensure compliance with these standards at the bare minimum. To further ensure consistency and trust in reporting, working with an independent third-party is imperative.

2. How can I get more from my marketing spend?

There is a significant carryover from the traditional-media mindset, when it comes to digital and more specifically, mobile advertising. It’s important for marketers to move beyond reach and frequency maximisation and evaluation of first-action metrics, respectively. After a point, chasing after these top-of-funnel goals only delivers diminishing returns. Also, when it comes to ad formats in environments where users are scrolling or just waiting for a video of their choice to start playing, marketers may not have the user attention that they are seeking. It’s important, therefore, to look beyond just the advantages of scale and seek out more meaningful audience attention that can deliver engagement and action across multiple stages of the user funnel with just one impactful ad, drastically altering ROI.

3. How can I improve the quality of user engagement on mobile?

Think beyond top-funnel metrics and be mobile-first. When innovation in mobile advertising involves multi-sensory interaction, why remain stuck in aiming for just reach and frequency maximisation? Start thinking mobile-first and push to create campaigns that are designed to maximise the native features of mobile devices. Based on the user profile you want to engage, you can enjoy almost endless creative options using the multi-format, multi-sensory interactions that mobile can provide. Want to showcase how fresh your breath can be? Get your users to blow on their phones! Want to deliver an experiential message to your fashionista users? Get them to take selfies via ads, with their favorite stars. You can also combine video ads with interactive end cards or even make interactive “hotspot” video ads. When marketers start thinking engagement-out and mobile-first, the opportunity to drive meaningful user interaction is virtually limitless on mobile, especially when working with partners who are true mobile experts.

4. How can I build a complete picture of my consumer’s mobile journey?

Be present across the complete user journey on mobile. What the duopoly offers you is a snapshot of the user in one or two contexts only: social and search. This restricts marketers’ user understanding to their behaviour in one or two apps only. However, the average smartphone consumer today unlocks their phone over 100 times/day and uses more than 20 apps actively, across a broad spectrum covering shopping, entertainment, information, travel, food, gaming and many more categories. And in order to understand your users across all these diverse contexts, you need to be present across all the apps that they have on their phones. This is only possible when working with unbiased, neutral mobile advertising platforms that have access to users outside of just search and social.

Jayesh Easwaramony is vice president and general manager for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa with InMobi.


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