Marketers slow to meet the mobile migration

20 July 2015
Stewart Heys

Imagine for a week, the only way you could reach your audience was through a mobile platform. No TVCs or radio campaigns. No print or OOH ads. Not even desktop. Just mobile. Where would you start?

It’s an extreme proposition but one that should get all advertisers thinking about a platform that commands more time spent than any other digital media but still lags on marketing spend.

According to the latest KPCB Internet Trends Report, while mobile attracts 24% of time spent by users, it attracts only 8% of ad dollars.

We know all the stats. We know audiences are migrating to mobile and that businesses are being challenged to infuse a mobile-first culture into their day-to-day operations.

But do you know when, where, why, how and how often your target audience uses their mobile? And how to effectively use mobile to reach them?

Recently, the New York Times temporarily banned all staff from accessing its desktop homepage.
Employees were asked to experience their product offering from a mobile consumer’s point of view.

How would their editorial and advertising content look or 'feel' as they're being consumed on smartphones by commuters on their way to work?

The point was that content should be mobile-specific in its own right and not an after-thought or extension of a desktop campaign.

Like many other businesses, publishers now get as much (if not more) traffic from mobile as from desktop.

At Fairfax, almost 80% of our digital audience access news daily on a mobile device.

It’s no longer enough (and really never has been) to just repurpose a desktop ad because it doesn’t always translate effectively and appropriately.

Smartphones may have a smaller screen, but as an advertising platform, they really come into their own with portable interactivity through native features such as the touchscreen, camera, mapping and all the different sensors that detect the phone’s orientation, direction and proximity – all of which enhances more personal, time-of-day and location targeting.

These features not only give marketers more opportunities to better engage with consumers, they also give consumers a greater sense of control over their experience.

So while TV gives you an evening, at-home audience; while radio gives you the early morning and drive audience; and while OOH can give you the commuting audience, the smartphone is that device that is strong all day, every day, no matter where the consumer is.

In the US, almost nine out of 10 millennials say their smartphones never leave their side, night or day; while eight out of 10 say the first thing they do upon waking is reach for their mobile, according to the same KPCB report.

Similarly, in Australia, mobile has become an important companion, particularly for those “in-between” times.

35% of us regularly use our mobiles while watching TV, 31% while on public transport, 29% in bed, 29% out and about and (surprisingly) 13% while on the toilet.

A mobile brand awareness campaign, for example, could work well in the evenings while consumers are on their couch browsing their smartphone during a TV ad break.

Since 2012, we’ve been working with an increasing number of brands across retail, finance, auto and government departments on a wide range of mobile specific and integrated campaigns.

The results for message recall, message association, brand awareness and brand favourability have been impressive and strong enough for our clients to commit to further mobile spending. Our campaign for ANZ’s Black Rewards credit card, for example, saw a 22% point increase in audience reach when the desktop campaign was combined with tablet executions.

Our own research into purchasing behaviour has also shown that 65% of Australians have used their mobile devices to help them shop in the past three months.

And about two in five Australians expect to use their mobile devices more for retail shopping in the future.

When it comes to mobile, your audience is already there. They are already engaged, all day, every day.

The question is, are you?

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