I have been seeing a lot of buzz in the industry lately about the growth of mobile. Paying with mobile phones at the point of sale in brick & mortar stores, completing transactions from our phone as we sit on our couch and the uptick of mobile marketing & advertising. Recently I have started to see articles that point to the notion that consumers will eventually block out mobile advertising as we have observed them doing with online banner ads; that mobile ads are just a scaled down version on an online ad.
While I can reason with this statement for a number of reasons, I’m also not 100% convinced. I truly believe that mobile has provided marketers and brands with a huge opportunity and a capability to reach and connect with consumers like never before.
The ability to target a specific audience anywhere, anytime
Sure we can target an IP location and gain a good sense of audience demographics by placing banners ad on websites but it’s nothing compared to the granular details mobile provides. Consider how much of your audience uses their mobile phones daily. No, scratch that. Consider how much of the world’s population uses their mobile phones daily. Now combine that huge reach with the ability to pinpoint a user where they are within a certain vicinity of your location and deliver an ad or an offer based on their preferences. Pretty powerful stuff.
So let’s say you are a brand that sells an athletic shoe. Your target audience for a particular campaign is men, ages 19-25 that are athletic and enjoy upscale entertainment. You are able to deliver your ad precisely to this audience on the sites and apps that they frequent at the exact time in which they do when they are within a certain distance of a retail location selling the shoe.
The ability to engage users in the manner they want to be engaged with
The ability to display an interactive ad that not only entices the user to touch the ad to proceed and view the next step, but the ability to embed polling technology and branded games allows brands to connect with customers like no other vehicle. The relationship between TV and online video comes pretty close with teaser ads that entice people to ‘watch how it ends’ via the branded online channel.
We use our phones in unique ways. We like to touch things and swipe things and make birds fly through the air to destroy pigs that stole our eggs. Delivering interactive ads that play into those gestures is something that really can only be accomplished on mobile. And it’s all tracked.
The ability to close the loop and have visibility of the entire funnel
I am sure you have heard of the mobile wallet (I see it in nearly every retail location I visit as of late). Now combine the ability to serve a relevant ad or offer to the exact audience you are targeting and enable that person to complete the transaction from their phone. Closed loop reporting. You now have a tangible ROI for your mobile advertising campaign.
I don’t see mobile advertising replacing online advertising anytime soon if ever at all. What I do see happening is a new opportunity for brands to connect with consumers on a level that has never before been available. Mobile is an engagement platform, a way for consumers to have an experience with a brand before they buy something or walk into a store. And it’s personalized and tailored based on location and context.
No, mobile ads are not a small version of online ads.
What do you think? Are mobile ads just a small-scale version on online ads? Are consumers going to become immune to them?