How Ad Agencies Should Pitch Mobile Strategies To Brand Clients – Mobile Marketing
Agencies are often accused of not doing enough to take advantage of mobile. However, given the size of mobile, its complexity and the multitude of strategies it offers, sometimes the problem is less about a lack of trying and more about finding the right way to explain what mobile can offer brand clients.
One of the challenges that agencies find in presenting mobile is the channel’s inherent strengths as a direct response mechanism and to facilitate audience response by clicking on a link, placing a phone call, sharing to a social media site. For many brand marketers, who either pooh-pooh direct marketing or try to insure there is a strict separation between their brand and direct efforts, it can initially be hard to understand how the two can and should work together in mobile.
“Mobile is so interesting because it combines the ability to consume and heroize brands with the ability to take action,” said Patrick J. Moorhead, senior vice president and group management director of mobile platforms at Draftfcb Chicago. “A very sophisticated brand marketer in mobile is doing a lot of sophisticated things in mobile that are direct response.
“The end result to the consumer is: Wow that is cool,” he said. “The messaging seems to be responsive and personalized to my needs as a consumer so I’ll click or take some direct response but I also think the brand is cool.
“You have to make sure the brand understands both and grabs onto both.”
Draftfcb tries to make brands understand how they can use mobile in a disruptive way that encourages consumers to feel good about a brand while at the same time urges them to take an action such as following the brand on Twitter.
However, pointing out the direct and branding capabilities of mobile is not enough. Agencies also need to clearly lay out the significant opportunity that exists with mobile and back it up with research.
For example, recent data from Flurry Analytics shows that people spend 23 percent of their time on mobile devices yet it gets only one percent of ad spend. In contrast, print gets 29 percent of ad spend but accounts for only six percent of people’s time.
“Mobile display works as well as print ads and has the ability to convert into a direct response – print cannot do that,” Mr. Moorhead. “Yet, you are spending five times as much in print as you are in mobile – this is where the conversation gets really interesting.”
The pitch is harder for some companies than others. For example, movie studies and the auto industry have started to figure out how to draw consumers in via mobile and are spending more here as a result.
Others, such as apparel retailers and big box retailers still have a long way to go to take advantage of the opportunities in mobile, per Mr. Moorhead.
Once agencies explain just how big the opportunity is in mobile, they then also need to be able to convince brands to spend in mobile at a high enough level to actually move the needle. Brands need to be testing sophisticated messaging that will get notice and encourage an action if they want to understand mobile’s capabilities.
“The funding level given to mobile tests does not give it a fair share,” Mr. Moorhead said. “Part of it is really right sizing the test to show the effectiveness of the stuff.
“If you want to talk about taking a full month’s s worth of print advertising, and dumping that money into the mobile display market – I bet I could show you a lift in brand affinity,” he said.
With the significant number of different strategies available in mobile, it is also important to make sure brands understand how each – whether it is apps, mobile sites, 2D bar codes or geo-fencing – can be finely tuned to different audiences to provide relevancy.
At the same time, it is important to make it clear that mobile alone is not the answer – any effective strategy should take advantage of other channels as well.
“Mobile is more than another channel and it’s imperative that our clients fully understand this,” said Paul Magnani, director of interactive marketing innovation at Marc USA, Pittsburgh, PA. “No other communication technology has ever been as meshed with lifestyle.
“Communications that are irrelevant or don’t provide any value are considered more than a casual annoyance,” he said.
“Any plan that does not connect channels in order to match consumer behavior is going to be limited in its effectiveness. The communication landscape is more fragmented than ever – we need to be at the right touch points and we need to be consistent in order to succeed.”