What’s On

Content is king, context is queen

I remember years ago when an old boss of mine had one of those brick phones. Back then, mobile phones were a luxury and the Motorola 8000M Thick Brick Cell Phone as it was known, was leading edge technology that allowed you to do one thing – make phone calls from anywhere!

How technology has evolved. Today, mobiles (as we now call them) allow us to do so much more than that. Mobile has forever changed the way we communicate and share information and we now feel the need to be connected almost anywhere and everywhere.

The rise and rise of mobile has primarily been driven by our insatiable appetite for content.

The person who coined the term ‘content is king’ was onto something but failed to point out that whilst content is king, context is the queen that wears the boots. We are indeed drowning in a sea of content be it native advertising, or sponsored and promoted content. Whilst it’s correct to say that the quality of content needs to be improved to be noticed, the other more important point is that no matter how good the content is, if it’s not discovered, then it’s a wasted effort. The most expensive, most creative and most entertaining content is truly worthless unless the intended audience is finding and sharing it.

Getting the right content in front of the right people is critical for content to succeed.

And this is where, Mobile is the Queen of Queens.

In the realm of mobile advertising, context is everything. Who is seeing the ad? Where is it showing up? And what exactly are customers doing when they see it? Mobile allows marketers to more effectively deliver a content marketing strategy because it’s better targeted and more engaging.

Of the available tools, mobile advertisers are using to target the ideal customer, one of the most popular remains geo-targeting.

Mobile and location have been inextricably linked because of the unique GPS capability of smartphones, cell tower triangulation and even WiFi and Beacon technology.

Yet when we examine how marketers are using the potential of location, we often see that their perception of location targeting is fairly superficial and can be a little bit blinkered. Marketers most commonly use mobile merely as a means to direct footfall to a predetermined location – primarily retail space, or for an event. However, this is merely skimming the surface of the power of location.

Until now, we have targeted consumers based on contextual relevance, investigating how sites and apps index against certain demographics or by the user’s mobile browsing history. If an advertiser wants to reach a football audience, we buy ads in football related apps. Equally, if we want to reach a technology savvy audience, we target specific tech sites. But what if we want to reach parents? The scope of potential sites and apps is much broader and will inevitably lead to wastage. This is where location is a thrilling additional data layer, which adds even more relevance to our communications.

Using the same examples above, if we want to reach a dedicated football fan, we can geo-fence football stadiums and target fans who actually attended matches – arguably the sort of passionate fans advertisers would love to reach, rather than more passive fans who read editorial content. Equally, we can also target tech malls, seeing which ad impressions have come from these malls, tagging the devices and later retargeting them.

Reaching parents is a more interesting example because we can add multiple geo-location data points. If somebody has been to a school in the morning and again at 3-4 pm, they are likely to have dropped their kids off at school. If they have also been to leisure centres, playgrounds and family destinations such as Legoland, then they are almost certainly a parent.

Through setting up and monitoring the traffic in pre-determined locations such as schools, malls, CBD areas, etc. as well as using additional data points including browsing history, we are better able to identify differing audience segments more accurately and precisely.

Context is no longer determined through browsing history, it is also derived from geographic behaviours and patterns.

The more data points we have, the clearer the picture of the target audience becomes. We can better differentiate within broad audience segments e.g. males 25-35, based on their location patterns – avid international travelers, parents, golfers, hawker food customers, people who live in upmarket condos, etc. This enables more precise targeting that, if done well, would provide the target audience with relevance and not annoyance.

Geo-targeting, therefore makes the mobile space very exciting and unleashes its true potential. 2015 is likely to see a perfect storm of great targeting, increased scale in inventory, better data and even more impressive creative formats.

Once advertisers embrace mobile-first content with more enthusiasm, location data can dynamically alter our advertising messages, such as highlighting specific stores local to one’s real-time location. We anticipate that the mobile media landscape will shift towards an increasingly sophisticated one, with more confident clients eager to capitalise on the potential of mobile. The new industry benchmark will be mobile campaigns that go beyond just a snazzy rich media ad unit, but one that utilises clever audience targeting, coupled with interactive creative formats that will dynamically adapt depending on who and where the consumer is.

If you had of told me years ago that my bosses mobile would someday become the most powerful and pervasive communication vehicle on the planet, I would have probably would have thrown a brick at you. Nobody knows what’s in-store as mobile only continues evolve and positivity effect our lives.

Long live the Queen (of Queens).

The write up is part of the DMA Annual Report ‘What’s Trending 2015‘.
To book your own hard copy of the Annual, write to marketing@digitalmarket.asia

Cheuk Chiang

Cheuk Chiang is the Chief Executive Officer of Omnicom Media Group in Asia Pacific.