Over the years, the mobile marketing ecosystem has become a fertile playground for marketers and brands for targeted advertising. Keeping pace with the seismic changes, in terms of technology, knowhow and best practices, requires agencies and publishers collaborating with brands, to constantly adapt to the changing milieu. Professionals who are at the highest rung of the ladder need to come together to deliberated over innumerable challenges and innovative solutions to create an environment that thrives on creativity and knowledge sharing.
Applying a digital filter to every single value chain in a business is a must
In any business today, it is imperative for brands to have a purpose which transcends the financial matrix or the market share matrix. What’s even more significant is not just that brands should have a purpose which is revalidated, redefined or even created, but it’s also important to apply a digital filter to every single node of the value chain. Since age, size, reputation, current sales and equity don’t guarantee the existence of even a well-established brand of the future, what marketers need to pay heed to is to be self-disruptors. Supplying benefit and additionally creating demand by reducing the cost and not adding to the cost is a mantra that needs to be adopted across the board by all business units.
What mobile marketers need to acknowledge while navigating this environment
One of the burning questions when it comes to mobile marketing rests on how to leverage the medium to provide maximum mileage for the brand while ensuring that malpractices are kept at bay. A key point that is being discussed is how mobile works very well as a support to TV in supplementing reach. While the reach at a higher frequency might still be a deterring factor that mobile marketers are grappling with, spamming leads to making the consumer immune or even hostile to the brand. One of the most effective ways to communicate on mobile is through creating authentic content with the help of relevant targeting. But, using artificial intelligence to think for the consumer might be dystopian.
Leveraging content platforms
Video and audio streaming platforms are rich avenues for brands to advertise on. While video streaming platforms are dealing with the challenges in the current milieu and trying to figure out ways and means to deliver maximum ROI through mobile advertising, what’s also essential for marketers is to be future ready. While homogenous content dominates television today, content on streaming platforms is heterogeneous in nature. Platforms where content is essentially user generated by Gen Z, brands before leveraging these avenues must realise that this is probably the first generation that is native born small screen users. They are multi-taskers, using, on an average, at least five apps at the same time. However, their attention spans are that of a goldfish (about eight seconds) and are almost dismissive of formats which are longer in length. They are the generation that is fuelling the growth of short-format video content. The recent shift of consumers towards ephemerality where the content lives for 24 hours and fades away, hence brands need to gear up for ephemeral assets such as stories.
While audio streaming platforms are still at a nascent stage, there is a fair degree of promise which marketers believe that the medium holds. However, what has not been taken to them is empirical evidence and that’s where the task really lies in order to establish the power of this medium.
As for the OTT platforms, marketers and brands are increasingly looking at the OTT medium to tell their brand stories, engage with their consumers and develop long-term sustainable relationships. In the evolution of the consumers, the brand challenges and goals are also evolving. Digital offers all brand owners myriad ways of engaging with consumers. It can no longer be the standard approach that they used to adopt, whether it is in terms of creative strategies or media mix strategies.
Innovative tools that aid mobile marketing
While advertising on mobile, there are various tools which aid marketers to tell their stories and target the consumer who is eventually the one aiding purchase, completing the cycle. Precision marketing is leveraged by brands to communicate with their consumer. Talking of targeting, the sweet spot is somewhere in between a very precise audience definition to extremely broad definitions. The data being generated by consumers with the time that they spend on a mobile device, is a signal to the world about what they want to do more of. It’s a great opportunity to target that intent.
With precision marketing, there is some amount of data out there giving signals. So, this is the time to leverage it. Either there is too much information, or we are not able to go cross platform. So, it is important to invest in capabilities like a tech-backend, capabilities of brand managers knowing how to read data, analyse it and feed that back into campaigns. Also, use that data to course correct campaigns midway.
Meanwhile, customising videos for digital will require re-framing, re-thinking and re-shooting. Videos are a large chunk of what consumers end up seeing and how you can really make those videos better. Whether they are 15 second videos which are going up and down on a screen or they are square videos, the fundamentals of film craft for digital remain the same. A few tweaks will be required for every platform.
The features which determine a thumb-stopper video include duration, branding, visuals, sound and opening. What’s even more essential is to keep in mind how marketers only have the quarter of a second to generate a positive or negative influence in the user when it comes to short-format video content.
Lastly, mobile voice is a tool which is going take the industry by storm in the future. There are various ways in which marketers can prepare for the mobile evolution. Voice cannot be a standalone gimmick and has to be integrated in the larger marketing plan. While designing content for the audio-visual medium has been learned and unlearned, the need to learn how content is designed for voice is of utmost significance. One of the biggest challenged when it comes to marketing through mobile voice is optimisation of answer box during search. The current design only throws up the top search result which is not fruitful in the long run. Also, what needs to change is the keyword strategy because when it comes to voice, the focus shifts from just words to a conversation. Lastly, the UI and UX of the interface has to be conversation friendly.
Better safe than sorry
Data suggests that 60% of marketers think that brand safety poses a serious risk. Earlier this year, the World Federation of Advertisers did a research which said that 70% of marketers are more worried about brand safety this year than they were in the last year. Consumers are hearing about fake news, disinformation and data breaches. The consumer’s trust in media has never been lower.
While technology and knowhow are being developed to help marketers practise brand safety, a lot more work needs to be done. While marketers the world over are taking significant efforts, tools and technologies are developing to address billions of dollars of questionable consumer reach that we are talking about. But India is still low on the curve.
(The author is country head, MMA India. She shares some key messages from the recently concluded MMA India Forum and SMARTIES.)