I recently wrote an article on "7 roadblocks to mobile marketing success." The problems presented are real, pressing, and have serious repercussions for mobile marketing. They manifest themselves in various ways: high frequency and poorly targeted impressions that border on spam, unrecognized brands that do nothing to build consumer confidence in the channel, and concerns around privacy, whether driven by experience or the media. The bottom line is that the mobile advertising environment is fundamentally broken -- with chronically low eCPMs -- and needs to be repaired, or everyone involved will suffer.
It's a grim picture, but we don't have to passively sit back and accept it. It's a truism in business that the greatest challenges also present the greatest opportunities -- if one knows how to take advantage of the situation. None of these challenges are trivial, but if marketers consider four key concepts as they develop their plans and strategies, they will be able to improve performance and increase success in the mobile channel.
Mobile is perhaps the most global channel we've ever seen. Even more than the internet itself, since the barriers to entry are so low and the level of participation is so high. To succeed in mobile, marketers need to organize their thinking with the global nature of the channel in mind.
This is easy to understand but difficult to implement. During a recent MMA webinar, only 37 percent of the 128 companies in attendance reported organizing around the mobile opportunity globally. That's a low number, particularly when you consider the companies in question are already predisposed to mobile. The fact is that organizational change is difficult. It needs to be driven from the top but adopted at all levels of an organization.
For those able to adopt a global mindset, the rewards -- in terms of efficiency in creative development, media planning, and measurement -- are profound. Even smaller teams, whose work can span multiple countries or regions, can accomplish more than those planning and executing on a country-by-country basis.
Demand consumer-friendly recognition technology
Three of the biggest challenges facing mobile marketing -- globalization, large volumes of fragmented inventory, and privacy -- are all impacted by the lack of an effective approach to audience recognition. There needs to be a universal model that provides marketers with the ability to reach their target audiences with confidence, while respecting privacy, and without compromising the mobile experience.
To be truly effective, recognition technology needs to encompass a number of ideas:
- The device is the key: People live through their devices, so the focus should be recognizing the device, not the individual, and it needs to be done without tricks and without compromising performance.
- Privacy-by-design: Respecting consumer privacy needs to be a primary consideration rather than an afterthought.
- Probability, not certainty: The recent brouhaha around the release of UDID information from Apple devices demonstrates the risk of connecting an individual, with certainty, to a particular device. A better approach is to recognize a device with a high degree of certainty; it's extremely effective but doesn't present the same risk.