by Kassi Belz, president of MassMedia
As consumers increasingly turn to their mobile devices for a wide array of information and entertainment, advertising agencies and brands across the nation are beginning to focus more intently on the integration of mobile advertising strategies.
While mobile campaigns present a number of unique challenges, they provide companies with valuable opportunities to reach consumers at the palm of their hands.
According to a recent study published by Nielsen, smartphones now represent 70 percent of all mobile phones in America. This is a significant increase from four years ago, when smartphones represented only 18 percent of the mobile phone market. Nielsen reports users now spend an average of 34 hours on their phones each month, surpassing the use of computers. Mobile advertising allows brands to reach consumers wherever they are, at any given time. The ubiquity of smartphones and tablets provides companies with constant access to their target audiences. Brands no longer have to wait for consumers to read their morning paper, sit down at their computer or turn on their TVs.
While most agencies and advertisers already recognize that online advertising serves as an essential element of any successful campaign, mobile ads are beginning to fall into this category as well. New data on mobile ad spending confirms that more advertisers are incorporating the medium in their advertising budgets. Global revenue from mobile advertising increased by 92 percent from 2012 to 2013, growing from $10.1 billion to $19.3 billion, according to recent figures released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB Europe and IHS Technology.
As a result of the continued growth in the mobile space, MassMedia, a full-service advertising, public relations and marketing agency with offices in Las Vegas and Southern California, now integrates mobile advertising into all of its clients’ digital campaigns. In recent years, the agency has developed and implemented a variety of mobile campaign elements, including creating engaging, interactive mobile ads, building responsive websites and utilizing geotargeting capabilities to target consumers in specific geographic locations. MassMedia has also successfully utilized advertisements targeting mobile users of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
Unlike many other mediums, mobile phones are always on, giving brands unprecedented access to consumers. With advancements such as push notifications, brands have the opportunity to alert potential customers with time-sensitive messages. Mobile ads have also expanded upon advertisers’ ability to customize their messages based on the location of consumers. This can go far beyond simply identifying the city and state of a mobile user. With advanced geotargeting capabilities, companies can now target consumers based on their precise locations, including specific buildings and addresses. This allows companies to ensure their ads are delivered to the correct person, at the right place and at the most opportune time.
Mobile advertising also has the added benefit of flexibility and affordability. Unlike billboard and TV ads that are often difficult and expensive to modify, companies can collaborate with media sellers to quickly make alterations to mobile advertisements based on performance metrics while a campaign is in progress. Advertisers can easily make in-flight adjustments to mobile advertisements to ensure their messages are reaching and resonating with audiences.
To take advantage of these benefits, brands and agencies must take the necessary steps to prepare for the integration of mobile ads. In an effort to maximize the effectiveness of multiplatform campaigns, MassMedia works closely with its clients to ensure messages remain consistent across all platforms. While consistency is key, in order to succeed in the mobile ad space, advertisers must also learn that it is not enough to simply place a print ad online. To convert potential customers, they must find ways to engage people with clever and interactive mobile ads. This can include ads featuring embedded videos, interactive games and a wide variety of other content. The optimization of a brand’s website is also vital to the success of any campaign. While an ad might be successful in redirecting a potential consumer to a website, if the campaign’s landing page is not optimized for mobile devices, many consumers will likely to leave the page without engaging with it.
Perhaps the largest obstacle to the growth of mobile is determining clear metrics to calculate return on investment. Companies must proactively address this challenge by collaborating with all team members prior to the launch of the campaign to establish key performance indicators and metrics to measure against throughout the campaign.
Advertisers must continue to innovate to leverage the proliferation of mobile devices. Although mobile advertising is relatively new to the market, its growth shows no signs of slowing in the coming years. Gartner, Inc., a leading information technology research and advisory firm, forecasts mobile ad spending to reach $41.9 billion by 2017, more than doubling the $18 billion spending projection for 2014. With smartphones and other mobile devices continuing to play an integral role in people’s everyday lives, advertisers must find creative ways to incorporate mobile advertising into their existing online and offline campaigns. As a growing number of brands embrace the utilization of mobile advertising, the medium will continue to evolve and offer unique and innovative opportunities to effectively reach a wide range of consumers.
Kassi Belz is the president of MassMedia, a full-service public relations, advertising, and marketing agency with offices in Las Vegas and Irvine, California. Belz is an award-winning marketing professional with years of experience in advertising, media relations, grassroots marketing, branding campaigns and special event planning.