Rohit Dadwal
Aug 18, 2014

Mobile marketing: Concentrate on the story, capitalise on the medium

For those in the mobile marketing and advertising business, it is important to not miss the forest for the trees.

Mobile marketing: Concentrate on the story, capitalise on the medium

Marketers should capitalize on the quick changes in technology and its efficiencies to make their advertising strategies more effective. Like in other media, mobile marketing should stay true to its goal of reaching out to the target audience in the most engaging and easiest of ways.

Yet, there is a degree of disconnect when it comes to mobile strategy for marketing and advertising. A February 2014 study by World Advertising Research Centre (WARC) conducted in association with the Festival of Media Asia Pacific (FOMAP) and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), found 71 per cent of agencies admitting that most clients do not have formal mobile strategies in place. The silver lining: Marketers appreciate the importance of mobile marketing and advertising channel in Asia Pacific and nearly all marketers expect to see the proportion of budgets assigned to mobile grow by 30 per cent from the current 10 per cent or less.

It is about time too, considering how print advertising is being questioned, and digital advertising for TV and electronic media is reinventing itself to remain relevant. On the other hand, global studies indicate that soon, there will be more mobile devices in the world than people. A GSMA study in June 2014 revealed that Asia Pacific now accounts for half of the world’s mobile subscribers. It went on to place its confidence in the market saying it will continue to be the world’s fastest mobile markets until 2020 and beyond. With a market that size, reaching out to mobile users will soon not be about competitive advantage but a survival strategy.

While talking about survival, it is essential that mobile marketing stays true to creativity—the soul of advertising. Across verticals and markets, an engaging story told creatively has made all the difference to brands. The creative concept should lead to market performance. Brands in the areas of aerated drinks, footwear, soaps and shampoos—which seem homogenous on the surface—have all created strong, unique global brands solely on the back of creative, engaging storytelling.

Thus, it isn’t enough to convert your TVC into a format that fits a mobile screen. The real challenge—and opportunity—is to allow mobile technology tell your tale the way only a mobile phone can. Brands capitalizing on mobile technology can not only use rich media to tell their story, the experience can be interactive, thus ensuring customer engagement.

Slowly but surely, the buzz around mobile advertising is growing. The SMARTIES Awards by the MMA, which have been created specifically to recognize best-in-class mobile work, is one such instance. Last year, MMA SMARTIES Global Awards reviewed ads across 18 categories. Apart from clever advertising, the winning campaigns demonstrated a surge in customer engagement and, consequently, better brand awareness. This year, we have introduced three new categories in the creative space – wearables’ impact on marketing, which will recognize the innovation that brands are bringing to the wearables market; cross-screen advertising for campaigns designed to create a meaningful and rich consumer connection across all size screens; and native advertising for any mobile marketing campaign specifically designed and executed for web and mobile apps.

A look at last year’s winning campaigns is proof that the tenets of advertising remain the same:

  • Create a seemingly simple campaign to reach out to the target audience while keeping the storytelling rich and compelling;
  • Keep revisiting the storyboard and don’t get lost in a sea of technological offerings such as mobile apps, in-app advertising, or QR codes

A smooth transition from strategy to implementation in mobile marketing ensures there is a little chance of disconnect and that the initiative is effective. What helps is using a set of rules and guidelines to align mobile strategy and the brand. MMA’s code of conduct and principles are designed just for this: to provide course of action that mobile marketers can keep in mind, incorporate into their strategy or use to plug the gap between strategy and implementation.

Although mobile marketing is a relatively new medium, those who crack the code stand to gain. Imagine the benefits for a brand that can reach out to the target audience through the smartphone she carries with her at all times. Real-time connect, interactive content and context-based advertising are opportunities you just can’t ignore.


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