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How to Win the Mobile Arms Race

keith_lorizioHow to Win the Mobile Arms Race

We all know that mobile isn’t “just another channel”, and brands are now thinking about how mobile may soon fundamentally change the way they operate their businesses — if it hasn’t already done so.

At the moment, we’re seeing a mobile arms race. Some brands are now investing massive sums and rethinking everything they do so that they’re ready for a fully-mobile world. However, neither agencies nor brands are currently matching spend in mobile marketing with potential reach. This underinvestment will have to change if they want their advertising efforts to be successful moving forward. Let’s take a look at just a few of the many moves the savvier brands are making.

Prioritizing Programmatic and the Mobile Creative

Considering how important mobile advertising has become — spending is projected to reach $46 billion in 2019 according to Forrester — it’s surprising to see how many brands still think of their mobile creative as a shrunken version of their desktop creative. The brands that win the mobile advertising game will be the ones that ask and demand answers to fundamental questions: Is there a focus on mobile-first creative? Are our mobile campaigns being measured with more sophisticated metrics than clicks? And, perhaps most fundamental of all, is the brand in position to take advantage of mobile programmatic as more mobile inventory becomes available through both open exchanges and private marketplaces.

More and more we are seeing mobile ads becoming increasingly native, or more integrated. The more seamlessly an advertisement can be woven into mobile apps and websites, the better the overall experience will be for the consumer, which can lead to more engagements and conversions. To ensure this seamless experience, however, you need a creative team that craft platform-specific content. A campaign that works well on Android phones might not have the same results on an iOS one, and advertisers need to be able to respond to that.

Moving Beyond Apps

While consumers are spending more and more time on their mobile devices, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be spending more and more time using branded apps. Reports from Forrester and others suggest that the app fatigue phenomenon is real and that US consumers spend most of their time using only five different apps. This means that brands that want to get ahead should already be working on strategies for engaging users outside of branded apps. For many brands smart partnerships — think of Uber’s expansion of its offering so that consumers can book rides through Google Maps — will be an important part of the answer. The takeaway: brands need to invest in reaching consumers where they are on mobile — particularly social media apps, instant messaging platforms, and mapping tools. Furthermore, brands need to be sure they’re offering an experience that is seamless across the many different devices consumers now use in a single day.

Getting Serious About Mobile Privacy

Mobile marketers who want to be leading the way tomorrow need to be thinking hard about privacy today. Consumers are more than willing to share their data so long as they trust a brand and feel as though they’re getting something valuable in return. But consumers are more concerned about the data that is gathered on them via mobile devices than about data collected from desktops. Not surprisingly, Forrester has found that leading firms are already pointing to their mobile privacy policies to stand out from the competition. Rather than standing in the way of mobile programmatic and cross-device tracking, great privacy tools will allow the industry to grow and employ new ways of understanding consumer behavior in the absence of cookies.

Of course, listing all of the moves mobile savvy brands are making right now would take hundreds of pages. But, if you’ve fallen behind, the items listed here can be a good place to start. Mobile is not another channel. It’s a game changer, and it requires a lot more investment than many brands are currently making.

Keith Lorizio serves as Chief Revenue Officer at Chango, a programmatic advertising company, purpose-built for the marketer. He is a senior level executive in digital advertising with 20 years of experience leading high performing sales teams. Prior to Chango, Keith was most recently Vice President of US Sales and Marketing for the Advertising & Online organization at Microsoft.