The problem with mobile marketing
Mobile ads should now form a total of 7% of annual global brand spend, according to the Mobile Marketing Association. The reality is that the mobile space, globally, is only seeing spends of around 1%. This should increase to 10% by 2016.
The problem with mobile marketing is that most brands were made for television and they are not adapting well to the mobile market.
Silvester has this theory: when television first arrived in the 1950s, so did 40% of packaged goods brands, because big packaged goods companies discovered television and created brands to use it. Television was good at making boring consumer propositions top of mind, he says. Think breakfast cereal, laxatives and tyres. Hardly sexy, yet they dominate TV screens.
“Digital is good at building relationships with people, but it isn’t good at making TV propositions top of mind. To make the transition, big packaged goods companies will need not just to re-engineer their communications strategies, they will need to re-engineer the very core of their brands,” Silvester emphasises.
A scary thought for most marketers who still don’t ‘get The Twitter’.
This is the advice Silvester has for marketers moving to 100% digital media:
• Take risks, be innovative. “Brands from the TV era were carefully managed to avoid risk. Brands that do well in digital integrate controversy into their marketing programmes.” Think Nando’s.
• Consider: ‘Does my brand really need its TV-age Voice of God authority’?
• Ask yourself: ‘How would I ideally launch a new brand in this sector using digital media?’ Move beyond the legacy brand plans.
• Ask also: ‘How would a celebrity create a new business in this sector?’ Celebrity brands seem to work better than classical brands in the digital age, says Silvester.
• And then ask yourself: ‘Do I need a brand idea, or would I be better off with a social idea?’ They can be quite different, Silvester says.
• Give up copying over your brand’s equities into various digital properties, and ask yourself: ‘What really matters and what would be better discarded?’
• Simplify. “Those with simpler brand equities have an easier time of it,” Silvester says.
Harsh words coming from an adman.He has more, labelling the 360 degree campaign as “bullsh*t actually”, because no advertising campaign ever occupies more than a small part of anyone’s daily media exposure.
But can the true 24/7 campaign be a reality in the future? People play games all day, every day, tend to their fake farms on Facebook all day. Could they be enticed to live in a marketing campaign all day?
Silvester seems to think it is a possibility.In 2010 already, companies were reporting that over half the web traffic in their offices was access of Facebook pages. Games too.
The key is content of course and getting consumers to create and share the content themselves. Playing on their emotions is good – people have been mobilised to hunt for lost ugly ducklings on Farmville.
It is all about being a “social” idea, rather than a brand idea, Silvester says, and good old storytelling. Brands have to be interesting, ‘reality TV interesting’ to their consumers or they won’t be a feature character in their mobile lives.
It’s not an impossible dream as marketers will also be able to reach people at work, not just leisure time, as up to 54% of employees at global companies and 55% in South Africa report using their smartphones for basic work tasks, including email, invites, and so on, according to research by Avanade. And 33% of employees globally, 15% in South Africa, are also using tablets for advanced business purposes, including CRM, project management, content creation and data analysis. Smart brands will figure out how to turn this trend to their advantage.
Marketing strategy should be around maximising every touchpoint, Prakash Patel says, including the most relevant digital touchpoint, mobile or app, and then mapping out the whole journey.
Mobile’s supreme usefulness, he explains, is its reach, awareness, community, payment, social connection, the whole marketing workshop.
And whatever campaign is run, there must be a purpose behind it, whether it is data gathering, pushing though purchases, etc.
“The problem with mobile is that it is all about where you are in that purchase cycle – it is one of the most powerful real estates in the world.”
A huge trend for the empowered, mobile consumer is comparison shopping.
For marketers, Patel has this message: “Mobile is part of your marketing strategy and digital strategy, and it is the most critical strand of your digital strategy. In truth, mobile has overtaken digital strategy in South Africa with regards to penetration. It certainly is my first screen, my second screen when I’m in front of a desk, my second screen at home when I’m in front of the TV. But it is my most useful screen.”
Ogilvy & Mather has made a determined investment in mobile marketing, acquiring a majority shareholding in Strike Media, a full service mobile marketing company.
Russel Stromin, Strike CEO, says mobile needs to be integrated into the full marketing mix at many points along the customer journey.
Abey Mokgwatsane, O&M SA CEO, said mobile represented the most intimate medium. “It is with our customers every waking moment and in Africa and South Africa, it is a priority medium for us to develop.”
Since 2000, Africa’s mobile market attained an annual growth rate of 44% and mobile connections surged to 475 million, according to a report by the GSM Association, Ogilvy reports.
Stromin said mobile marketing was growing at a rapid rate, with uptake not only by marketers and brands, but by the consumers themselves.
“The connected consumer is becoming a very empowered person because they can do price checks in store, it is a hugely important tool in the consumer’s armoury. We know how to use that environment and change behaviour.”
Stromin believes that mobile should be at the centre of the marketing mix as the call to action, the first engagement will come from a consumer’s phone.
He outlined the five pillars of mobile marketing:
1. The first step is the gathering phase. You may not send sms’s to anyone, that is spam. You have to gather your data.
2. The second step is learning more about that customer. Their cellphone number doesn’t tell you what they do, where they live. “Insurers should ask people to sms their date of birth, not the special keyword in advertising call to actions.
3. The third phase is to extract value – if we know who you are, we can send a voucher to be redeemed at a store close to you.
4. The fourth phase is the analysis of data and measurement.
5. The fifth phase is about customer retention, for example, sending them a voucher on their birthday.
James Hilton says mobile needs to be seen as a credible channel. “Mobile is the first screen, most certainly in Africa, there is more engagement on mobile than you have on TV. We are channel agnostic as a business and a really strong creative idea should live on all screens. It is all about creativity. It has to be fully integrated.”
There will never be such a gamechanger in our history, says Hilton. “The mobile computer has put the internet in the hands of everyone… Brands need to respect that. Retailers have to offer free wifi, allow price checks, send coupons. Location based couponing will be vast.
“Mobile is a computer that is a door to a new life.”
“We are most excited about Africa in terms of its mobile phone penetration and the smartphone penetration going with it. Mobile penetration is at 106% in South Africa.”
TREND.s that he has identified, include:
- Payments and mobile wallets land grab. PayPal have really taken a stake in this market and Visa is upset and has had enough of this, says Hilton. “They are all coming out fighting. The operators are going to want a piece.”
- Mobile banking solutions in Africa, i.e., M-Pesa, have more brand recognition than major global high street banks. By giving people the connectivity they never had before via mobile phone, their first introduction to banking has been through mobile banking solutions.
- The explosion of smartphones in Africa, with brands like Nokia, Blackberry, Windows phones, Samsung. “Usage stats will suddenly explode as price comes down and eventually there are no other options, supply and demand.”
- Giving power to the people for the first time: mobile phones have changed the world, coordinated revolutions, been a catalyst, an enabler. “You can’t make a revolution with the yellow pages,” says Hilton.
- Brand engagement: mobile commands the highest number of minutes of the day than any other device, so brands will have to follow. New brands coming to market are pure mobile brands, Hilton says. Existing brands are looking at engagement through rich media and location based media. ’Mobile is the first time you can use exact location and brands are excited by the opportunity, pushing us harder and making the space more innovative.”
- M-commerce is really picking up. “People are paying for content on mobile as they always have had to, app stores created that environment – with the internet, everyone stole everything in the beginning.”
2013 is the year that Facebook needs to get mobile right, says Angus Robinson. At present there is limited brand experience on Facebook for mobile users. “Brands need the ability to display what they have both online and via mobile. As soon as we can start tapping into those from a mobile perspective for brands, it will open Facebook up to innovation and creativitity.”
Stephanie Houslay says the most successful brands in the mobile space will be those that embrace social mobility, both inside their businesses for internal collaboration and communication, as well as with the consumer.
“Consumer behaviour, together with new technologies means brands must rethink their ‘retail space’. Today, retail could go nearly anywhere, thanks to mobile. For example, Tesco in the UK did a 2012 pilot of a screen at London’s Gatwick airport that allowed travellers to order everyday staples from their smartphones. Their order was then timed to coincide with their arrival at home.”
In-line shopping is a trend retailers may fear: 32% of smartphone users already shop with smartphones and they are now starting to combine in-store and online shopping aspects. They want to see products, get information and make price comparisons, and get purchases immediately without having to queue up at the cash register. Some will merely use retailers to see and touch the product, before ordering it online from an online store or another retailer which offers it cheaper.
So while we have e-commerce and t-commerce and m-commerce, what may become a company’s most valuable asset this year, is content. It’s driven by Google cracking down on SEO tactics used by brands to manipulate search results and will result in brands having to provide new and impactful content to feature at all or to dominate search results.
Edelman Digital managing director, David Armano, writing in Harvard Business Review blogs,says organisations must create compelling content to exploit this.
He says Coke and Intel have launched groups focused purely on content.
“Brands like Oreo may have unwittingly set the bar for content creation by pioneering a form of content marketing by putting out one piece of timely, relevant and highly creative content every day as part of a campaign.”
MobiCover CEO, Clayton Hayward, points to the increasing popularity of location-based shopping coupons or coupons delivered via mobile phones, which is just starting to gain momentum among SA retailers.
“Consumers are becoming more susceptible to sharing their whereabouts via mobile devices and they are also becoming more available to receive adverts and mobile coupons relevant to their location. Mobile marketing presents a distinct and unique way to create interactive dialogues with customers, but it requires matching the creative to the device’s smaller screen size; designing messages that are short, instantly understood, effective; and creating a call to action with minimal steps,” Hayward says.
“With over 15 million mobile internet users in South Africa alone, it is evident that mobility will play a significant role in every organisation’s future strategy. Moreover, smartphone sales exceeded PC sales for the first time in 2011.This platform, coupled with the exponential increase in tablet sales, will see mobile becoming the new desktop,” Hayward adds.
It is obvious that all businesses need a mobile strategy, yet many brands are still reluctant to take the plunge, Hayward says. “More than 90% of brands still don’t have a mobile optimised site. The opportunity is too big to ignore, your company is losing enormous revenues, your site has to work on mobile devices or your business will suffer.”
Data is one of the big trends which will transform digital marketing in 2013 and Thumbtribe co-founder, Graeme Haley, believes mobile marketing will come of age as a result.
“In the past everyone has got very excited about mobile, but the promise has seldom been fulfilled. People drowned in the stats of who owned what handsets and how many consumers you could reach – but it’s been hard to translate that into real value.”
Part of the problem was how to make sense of the data generated from mobile campaigns. “You can run an SMS competition to build a database of consumers – but most of them just want the prize. That’s box-ticking, not real brand engagement. What are you going to do with that expensive database afterwards? How are you going to make it useful?”
Haley says the challenge right now is to develop campaigns that offer real value to consumers as well as brands.
“Brands want to deliver relevance, not just spam. The more detailed the profile you are able to build, the more finely you can craft your offer. This year is going to be all about how we mine the data. We have the opportunity now to get really creative about how we encourage and reward users… (create) a continuous relationship where brands can offer an incentive, reward people for taking it up and keep them interacting.”
Of course, any mobile marketing campaign is only as good as the phone or network that the consumer has and Consology says a big differentiator in 2013 in mobile telecommunications, is customer service and real-time customer care. Consology co-founder, Kevin Meltzer, says visionary companies are beginning to look at how they can set themselves apart, such as with transparent billing; cloud services; service bundles; web chat facilities and social networking platforms (public and closed) to address online service.
“Customer care doesn’t just happen on the phone or by email any more – it also takes place on social networks and through corporate websites. The gamechanger here is the expectation for faster issue resolution among customers – in minutes rather than days or even hours – as well as the transparent and public nature of many customer service interactions,” Meltzer says.
Since 25% of South African mobile subscribers already have smartphones (that’s 10 million smartphones) and Meltzer says that number could rise to 40 – 50% by the end of 2013, mobile operators need to start taking smartphone users seriously as a service channel.
Wayne Bischoff,managing director of Habari Media, says that every year people say this is the year that mobile will “explode” and every year, the amount of money that goes to digital is only 2 – 10% of total ad spend, depending on who you speak to!
“Marketers want to start using mobile – mobile couponing is working in theory. Within three years, mobile could overtake digital display advertising and mobile will become the whole market.”
Bischoff notes that of the 7 million active Facebook users in South Africa, 6 million come onto the site via mobile.
Habari Media has launched the Mobile Consumer Alliance (MCA), an active database of 11 million South African consumers that is segmented using advanced statistical modelling, and cross-referenced against the All Media and Products Survey (AMPS) data.
Habari Media has also added 2go, the African mobile social networking platform, to its stable, to allow Habari’s customers to reach millions of young, active, highly engaged mobile phone users across Africa, through targeted advertising and engagement.
2go has more than 10 million active users in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria. Six billion messages are sent via 2go every month.
There are 500 million mobile phone users in Africa, 90% who do not own a smartphone, yet remain highly engaged mobile users who are not being fully accessed by brands, with 66% spending more than two hours a day on their phones, 50% get their daily dose of news on their feature phone, and a third don’t watch traditional TV.
Kaley Spragge, Habari Media: mobile, commercial channel manager, says people forget that mobile is such a powerful way to integrate response across your whole campaign, across multiple channels. “If you target appropriately, you can reach every segment of consumer, and will get the feedback needed.”
Spragge says with 2go, users easily share pictures and content on basic feature phones. Ï think mobile is overlooked with the way you can share and upload and engage with different users.”
And the principle marketers have to adapt for their brands? Tell the truth – and be prepared to fail.
Simon Silvester also has a warning for the digital gurus, that television does still have a role to play as the future of the internet is video – visual stories.