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Mobile advertising = share of experience

The mobile is shuttling us fast into the age of interdependence. This device we hold in our hands is changing our behavior, affecting fundamental changes in the way we interact with one another and also the brands and services we use today. We are becoming supercharged human beings enabled by this phantom limb, the mobile, which keeps us connected to our social and interest graphs, relentlessly seeking out the best deals in town liked by our friends, challenging us to earn our game badges or allowing it to communicate with other devices in search of the best route out through the massive traffic in the city.

Against a backdrop of smarter and pervasively cheaper technologies falling in a domino-like fashion into our lives, we are getting used to the idea of being little nerve centers, inextricably linked together within a giant nervous system, pulsing, throbbing in the stream of our everyday lives.

Shifting the focus back to an advertising perspective, no one today will question the emergence of the mobile as a powerful communication channel, yet predictions that this will be the year of the mobile continue to fall short of ambitious expectations. There is still a great deal of tracks to be laid for the mobile to prove it a strong contender for advertising dollars. Yes, it’s in the hands of everyone today, yet many still seem to scratch their heads on how to capitalize on this enormous opportunity. How do we engage our audience, what do we tell our clients or peers when they start thinking “let’s all jump on the mobile bandwagon” (pun intended), but realistically, we come back to that same question: What will float and what will sink in uncharted waters?

Maybe it’s only right we start thinking about the underlying factors on what makes a successful mobile campaign for marketers, where mobile sits in the media mix, how do we follow a framework (if any) on building successful campaigns and convince our clients to take the leap of faith? And if you are thinking of mobile banners and display ads right now, I suggest you stop reading here…

Mobile has always been the misunderstood child in the top class of the school, full of expectations yet failing to deliver over many years of incessant attempts. The teachers (us planners) really never quite understood on how to leverage on the mobile platform to engage effectively and help it shine, up till now at least. Well, the answer is evasive, though glimmers of the pattern seem to shine through as we dig deeper and look harder at some of the impressive mobile campaigns across the globe. And here is my take:

It lies in the delivery of a simple, meaningful, uplifting experience

I believe it lies in the experience delivered because after all, if this is the device the consumer spends the most time with throughout the day, we should begin by thinking about “How can our brand(s) make a deep meaningful value exchange that leverages the high share of experience the mobile device delivers to the consumer?” And share of experience in this case is the depth of indulgence into a message that the mobile device allows which no other platform can deliver, not even the computer as you add mobility and time spent into the comparison mix.

Learn from the past but don’t stop there

We cannot rely only on what worked in the past, sieving through the many mobile case studies that has worked so well, hoping to distil out the key factors that shaped the campaign. This would only result in ‘hindsight bias’ which would narrow our thought process. We need to look beyond that – to see what’s in store in the future to think about what had worked and layer it with what will work in the future to create crazy awesome campaigns. Yes, we are ready to do that NOW!

Layer your learning with the facilitators of change

There are a great number of trend reports published recently and as you immerse yourself in the baking mixes of the future, start sieving out the facilitators of change you believe will nudge mobile to the forefront of the experience curve and how it will continue to shape our behaviors. Here’s a few of mine I’ve listed out:

Faster broadband which essentially means better and faster access to content
Self fulfillment which leads not just social networks, but interest networks
Better information filters which creates more relevancy; expected or constructed
Semantic web and app technologies which closes information gaps and creates more seamless experiences
Converging functionality in apps which will mean we will use less apps for more tasks
Gamification of life which will try to make every action and task we do more meaningful


most importantly, new conveniences which is about how the mobile will enable new forms of conveniences

Here’s your checklist to creating the next great mobile advertising campaign

When thinking about embarking on a mobile (strategy/creation) campaign, here’s a checklist to consider if you’ve made the breakthrough:

1. Does it deliver on social or interest fueled experiences?

2. Does it create local relevancy? (location based, local insights, local convenience)

3. Did the mobile side of this campaign add a new layer of infotainment to existing platforms?

4. Did it keep your users engaged and challenged?

and the last…drum roll please…

5. Are you tingled with excitement just thinking about how the idea will take off?

If yes, you are ready.