enhanced-campaigns

The Harsh Wake-Up Call Google Delivered With Enhanced Campaigns

  |  February 25, 2013   |  Comments

Brands are still not mobilizing to the necessary degree. Will Google's latest announcement shake them into action?

For all the hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing over Google's announcement of Enhanced Campaigns, there is one inescapable fact brands must deal with: they are operating in a mobile world.

Consider these statistics:

  • Since the start of 2010, smartphone traffic has grown from 2.5 percent of all Internet traffic to 12.5 percent - a 400 percent increase.
  • Over the next five years Forrester projects a 200 percent growth in smartphone contribution to overall e-commerce sales.
  • 43 percent of the U.S. population now carries a smartphone.

And yet brands are still not mobilizing to the necessary degree. In May of 2012 the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) found that barely half of the Fortune 500 were "ready for mobile" in the most basic sense. Only 55 percent (275 companies) had a mobile-optimized corporate website. While some had mobile brand sites, but not corporate, there was still one-third (169 Fortune 500 companies) without mobile-optimized websites.

So, what's a brand to do?

The obvious first answer is to develop a mobile strategy and build the requisite mobile sites. But that was the recommendation in 2010, 2011 - and one more time in 2012.

The famous definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." At the risk of being considered certifiable, I'm going to make two alternative suggestions that start with the premise that mobile is going to be the most important aspect of your business in five years' time.

  1. Solve your mobile problem with Facebook. Specifically, the money you invest in owned development and paid reach. Any company that is heavily invested in social and not mobile-ready is a company that will not be in the next IAB study of the Fortune 500. This isn't to say social isn't important, but if your Facebook page is a "hub" and you lack a mobile solution, you have done the equivalent of buying the best car imaginable and opting against wheels.
  2. Take your current website redesign and trash it. You want a new website for your brand? Sorry, not gonna get it until mobile is fixed. Take the resources, take the funding, and throw them all at mobile.

What's comical about these suggestions is that Google has openly solicited to create mobile sites for brands at no cost. And yet brands would rather walk around with their pants undone than address the issue. In this digital world we live in, I put a lot of stock in what the keepers of the greatest amount of data do. When Google, ruler of the data roost, says "The world is mobile, we are mobile," I take it very seriously. Any brand that doesn't match that level of sincerity is a brand that will find itself with diminished market share in short order. And then they can face trying to wake up from that.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chris Copeland

Chris Copeland is chief executive officer of GroupM Next, the forward-looking, media innovation unit of GroupM. Chris is responsible for curating and communicating insight-focused media solutions across established and emerging platforms. Leveraging his multi-year experience with emerging media companies, Chris is tasked with stewarding GroupM Next in partnership with agency leadership from GroupM's four media marketing and marketing service agencies (Maxus, MEC, MediaCom, and Mindshare).

Guiding the Predictive Insights, Technology, Education, Research, and Communications teams at GroupM Next, Chris is responsible for overseeing the amplification of insights into opportunities that directly benefit the business of GroupM agencies and their clients. GroupM is the world's largest media investment management group and the media holding arm of WPP.

Chris was selected to lead GroupM Next after nine years of leading the search marketing practice within GroupM. Among his accomplishments include the development and integration of the global search marketing offering for GroupM agencies, GroupM Search, which manages $1.3 billion in search billings globally and has grown to more than 1,000 search marketing strategists serving 40 countries.

Chris is an active member on advisory boards at the 4A's, Google, Yahoo, MSN, and I-COM. He is a frequent speaker in global forums discussing the digital marketplace, and contributes editorial commentary regularly to Advertising Age, ClickZ, MediaPost, and MediaBizBloggers.com.

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