OPINION: Never mind the buzzwords, do the basics

John Miskelly
By John Miskelly | 2 April 2014
John Miskelly.

Amongst all the glitter and razzmatazz of Mobile World Congress, were there any practical insights or takeaways for media agencies and/or marketers for the here and now?

The year of super, hyper, local mobile targeting.

Every year the digital industry throws up some kind of buzzword or craze. More granular targeting (versus desktop) has been available on mobile for some time but 2014 will see the rise of the mobile targeting specialist media companies. All will offer their secret sauce with proprietary technology to ensure your campaign is targeted to consumers who are within a 10 cm of your store or retail unit.

This type of targeting may seem very attractive for retailers, FMCG or Quick Service Restaurants as it is has the potential to be “recencey advertising” on steroids. However there are a couple of key things advertisers need to ask themselves before executing this type of media buy.

1) Is this type of targeting scalable to shift the needle in terms of sales? Always ask the media owner how much inventory can I deliver against this buy. This will very much depend on your bricks and mortar presence and how far you are prepared to cast your net geographically to snare in customers; but if it can only deliver 10,000 impressions is it worth it?

2) Clicks are no measure of success for any type of digital campaign, so how do you actually evaluate the campaign performance?  There is currently no audience currency on mobile so the only real measure is in-store redemption.  This adds a whole layer of complication around ensuring staff and tills & registers can capture this information. If it can be done – great, if not is this just a black hole of budget?

Media companies to utilize existing technologies than build their own

We all know Shazam as a great way to discover the name of songs we hear and are not quite sure of.  There have already been a number of examples in Australia of advertisers using the app allowing viewers to “Shazam” adverts to unlock additional content.  

However, with over 420 million global users and 17 million Shazams happening every day this is becoming a much more scalable and efficient way media companies can encourage additional interaction.

Media companies have all tried to build their own applications to tap into second screen behaviour, for example, Jump In and Fango for Nine and Seven respectively.  However in US media companies are opting to use Shazam more often, as its a ready made technology with a high number of users to drive incremental engagement. Great functions are available within Shazam that allows users to set reminders that sync with their calendars as well as providing a voting mechanism for reality TV. This year the Grammy’s got 1.1 million Shazams during the show which represented 4% of their audience.  Why spend all that money on building and marketing your own product if it all can be amplified through Shazam for a fraction of the cost?

Facebook coming under the microscope on campaign performance for mobile.

Mark Zuckerberg was the main attraction of the congress and was, naturally, bullish on the future of mobile as a critical revenue generator for his company.  Facebook generates over half its advertising revenue from mobile as well as having 556 million daily mobile users. It has also purchased the popular messaging app “WhatsApp” for a cool $19 billion.

It is clear to see the area where Facebook is hedging its bets for future growth. However the insight here is generating over 50% of revenue from mobile advertising is significantly higher than any other media owner.  

For example if we look at Fairfax – a traditional media owner with a print heritage in Australia. It actually generates 35% of its audience from mobile. Not quite at the level of Facebook but still pretty decent. However, it only delivers approximately 15% of revenue from the mobile channel.  

There is a good reason for this – mobile advertising is still relatively “wild west” from a measurement point of view.  There are restrictions on tracking conversions due to cookie limitations on devices as well as no audience measurement solution the way there is on desktop e.g. Nielsen OCR or Comscore vCE.  Audience size will only take you so far and Facebook will need to demonstrate the ROI of mobile to ensure that investment is maintained.

The MWC is a fantastic forum in showcasing some of the latest innovations in mobile technology – from the Oral B internet enabled toothbrush to the the Samsung bendable phone. 

The question is - are we quite ready in Australia to take advantage of these technologies?  Mobile media spend still only commands a relatively low share of the media plan.  To add to this, approximately 15-20% of Australian brands have a mobile optimised site despite the volume of search now coming from mobile devices. 

It is a case of getting the basics right to create confidence in the channel until the real potential can be unlocked.

John Miskelly
Head of digital


comments powered by Disqus