Faaez Samadi
Apr 24, 2017

Mobile marketing means 'more than just Google and Facebook'

Brands are not creating robust mobile marketing strategies, because they’re relying on the two digital ad giants to do it all for them, according to IPG Mediabrands leaders.

L-R: Travis Johnson, Scott McBride
L-R: Travis Johnson, Scott McBride

Brands are missing a huge opportunity by relying too heavily on Google and Facebook for their mobile marketing strategies rather than creating their own in tandem, said Travis Johnson, global president of mobile agency Ansible, a unit of IPG Mediabrands. 

Speaking at a briefing announcing the launch of Ansible Singapore, Johnson said brands were continuing their evolution into the mobile space, but that they are somewhat resting on their laurels.

Using data and insights from Ansible’s Mobile Index (Mdex) study, launched last month, Johnson said while a lot of brands say they are mobile first, they are really only counting their Google and Facebook spend, a large portion of which is automatically optimised towards mobile.

“They get the feeling that they’re doing what they need to on mobile, but it’s actually not a conscious decision for them,” he said. “They’re giving the money to Google and Facebook, who deliver to audiences. But it means that the brands aren’t thinking about their own mobile user experience, what mobile creative they should run, the landing-page environment, or acquisitions. They feel that by running ads on Google and Facebook, it’s enough.”

Outside of spending with Google and Facebook, Johnson said the actual money being spent on mobile directly is 1.5 percent “in the biggest market I’ve seen around the world”.

Scott McBride, APAC chief digital officer at IPG Mediabrands, said given the amount of time spent with Facebook and Google is around a quarter of the total time spent on mobile, there is “a massive amount of time that consumers are on mobiles that brands aren’t even tapping into beyond those platforms”.

“Don’t get me wrong, Google and Facebook play an incredibly important role for different reasons, but they need to be part of a strategic approach,” he said. “Doing Google and Facebook alone is not doing mobile.”

Johnson speaking at Ansible's 'Mobile: What's now next?' event

As part of Mdex, which is a global index of the top-ranked brands on mobile (see below), Ansible identified five key criteria that determined ‘mobile readiness’: discoverability, mobile optimisation, utility and usability, navigation and content, and driving desired actions.

Despite the final criterion being the most important for consumers, Johnson said it's the one brands are the worst at tackling.

“A lot of brands actually aren’t focusing enough on why their consumer is going to their mobile site, and how they form a relationship with them, which is very ironic because that’s probably why the brand created that site in the first place,” he said.  

Ansible Singapore, McBride said, will dovetail with IPG Mediabrand’s regional client portfolio, and provide tailored mobile strategy support to brands in the region, both international and local.

“Asia is clearly a massive market for mobile in general, and it was always on the roadmap,” he said. Ansible will be unveiling deeper APAC insights from the Mdex report at the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai in June.

Yi Liang Tim will lead Ansible Singapore, reporting to Jacob Teo, head of digtal for IPG Mediabrands Singapore. The launch is Ansible’s sixth office in the region.

Mobile standouts

Ansible's Mdex (Mobile Index) report ranked brands according to the effectiveness of their apps and mobile sites.

Global top 10:

  1. Facebook
  2. Amazon
  3. 7-Eleven
  4. Hyundai
  5. Microsoft
  6. Nike
  7. Google
  8. Adidas
  9. OLX
  10. Target

Singapore top 10:

  1. LVMH
  2. DBS
  3. Adidas
  4. Shell
  5. KFC
  6. Singapore Airlines
  7. Nike
  8. Uber
  9. Capitaland
  10. Sony


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