The perils of me-too mobile advertising campaigns
By Rimma Kats
September 12, 2012
Nordstrom mobile banner ads
Marketers are increasingly rolling out mobile advertising campaigns that all look the same. Although the industry is still rather new, companies need to stop playing it safe with banner ad initiatives that look similar to what others have done and launch interactive and engaging experiences that stand out above the crowd.
Nowadays, many mobile ad campaigns are starting to look the same – both in terms of creative and execution. Marketers need to stop looking at what their competitors are doing an find a way to better interact with their target consumer.
“Mobile marketing campaigns tend to be similar because mobile is so new and agencies want to dip a toe in the water and avoid a plunge into the deep end,” said Wilson Kerr, vice president of business development and sales at Unbound Commerce, Boston.
“They are playing it safe,” he said. “The danger of this is that they find themselves constantly behind the consumer curve, since these campaigns take many months to plan and implement.”
Paving the way
According to Mr. Kerr, risks need to be taken in order to get out on the front lines of consumer engagement.
Only a few brands and retailers are reaping the rewards contained in the metrics they generate via the tracking of actions that lead to new sales and customer acquisition.
“It takes bold moves to differentiate and capture mobile-unique intent to buy,” Mr. Kerr said. “Test often and early and be bold – mobile campaigns are digital and, as such, can be adjusted on the fly.
“Merge trends together to capitalize on the buzz, and be sure to link everything up with sales,” he said. “A click on a banner is nice and paying for “Likes” on Facebook is OK, but a customer is really only acquired when a call-to-action is delivered to them at the time and the place they are most-likely to act upon it and this results in a converted sale.
“For this reason mobile commerce should always lie at the core of the definition of what makes a mobile campaign successful.”
Changes are needed
Yes, the mobile industry is still rather new.
However, a mobile banner ad is no longer enough.
Marketers are increasingly running mobile banner ads to either drive in-store traffic or drive app downloads.
Mobile banner ads provide little real estate for marketers to build user engagement.
Therefore, it is imperative that they take advantage of the medium.
Currently, Apple’s iAd looks to take a simple static mobile banner ad to the next level. But, more marketers need to incorporate rich-media technology into their strategies to boast engagement.
Companies need to remember to make their efforts simple and to not give too much information or too many options.
It is important that marketers focus on one message and have a single call-to-action.
In addition, giving an incentive or benefit to engage and incorporating location into the mix helps.
“It is to be expected that mobile marketing campaigns look similar given the newness of the medium and the relatively few agencies that are working on creating these campaigns,” said Simon Buckingham, CEO of Appitalism, New York.
“There are still a lot of poorly executed mobile marketing campaigns that are getting green lighted so as long as the campaigns that get approved are good ones that are appropriate to the mobile medium, then the industry is evolving,” he said. “Mobile marketing needs to be effective, and creative is only one element of that.
“I think marketers are rightly realizing that it’s a new medium and they don’t need to get overly complicated on a small screen device. Consumers need to be educated and everyone needs to walk before they run.”
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York
Associate Editor Rimma Kats covers media, television, research and social networks. Reach her at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: @RimmaKats.