This week, at the Mobile Marketing Forum in NY, I spoke about getting back to building brands. Mobile will be the first, if not the only way that people experience brands, and it’s happening today – how we choose to react and plan to that is our choice. Fighting words – I know. Many view mobile differently – but as I addressed in my keynote, the data is irrefutable, and in the words (from the movie) of the captain of the Titanic –“It’s a mathematical certainty”.
Certainty? OK, to explain I covered three major themes. First, the rise of the mobile app economy, and how, in many cases, the evolution of mobile, namely apps, is making mobile the first screen. Mary Meeker recently asked us to “re-imagine” numerous technologies and interactions. Her key message is that mobile is changing the way that everyone is acting or interacting today. And with faster connection speeds, smartphones, app downloads – these three are the backbone of the app economy –with improvements and growth happening continuously across these three litmus points, we can see the positive impact this is having on the app economy.
Here’s a scary thought–developers understand consumers better than advertisers… in mobile. These developers are smart—they understand how people act in mobile – even more than brands do. People will pay for things in mobile that they would not dream of paying for online. If they are utilizing apps or mobile web browsing at an extensive clip, doesn’t the mobile phone become not only a place for commerce, but also for branding?
We believe it does. So I threw the gauntlet… Build brands via mobile. I used the example of an early print ad for Gillette. Gillette used the stunning imagery and the full canvass to create a branding message. If the mobile phone is the most personal device every created, what kind of brand impression are companies making if a) they aren’t using mobile or b) they are running thin banners with light (if not poor) consumer engagement. Use the mobile device and all its unique technological advances to create a stunning, engaging and relevant ad experience.
Which brings me to relevancy. It’s not the right ad, at the right place, at the right time. It’s the right CONSUMER, at the right place at the right time. And the right time doesn’t need to be 20 seconds after they might have been on a car-related website. It could be a day after the aggregated, anonymized data shows that they have been to a car dealership multiple times, playing a mobile game as they waited for their sales person to run their driver’s license and clear them for a test drive. That CONSUMER is an auto-intender. Not an auto-enthusiast. Not someone’s teenage daughter that happened to be showing her friends what car she wanted on the family computer. Location isn’t a place, it’s an intention – a future intention presenting a world of opportunity for advertisers to reach that right CONSUMER.
With up and to the right charts too prevalent to name here; understanding that real world actions will drive ROI, while potential audience reach and audience engagement with a brand is happening on mobile – today. Building a brand, to the right consumer is critical. What screen is becoming the most critical to master? Mobile. Because if brands want to reach consumers, they must utilize the fastest, most personal means possible. It is a mathematical certainty.