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:
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.
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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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). The focus is participating with those companies leading changes that most impact consumer media consumption, brand favorability, and purchase behavior.
Guiding the Predictive Insights, Technology, 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. Together, GroupM agencies represent almost $30 billion in overall North American billings (RECMA).
Chris helped guide the development of GroupM Next, which was established to deliver the best thinking and new insights from within the GroupM community. The unit also focuses on technology innovation connecting all media channels, but especially, online, social, mobile, and addressable.
Chris was selected to lead GroupM Next after nine years of leading the search marketing practice within GroupM. Among his accomplishments are the development and integration of the global search marketing offering for GroupM agencies, GroupM Search, which managed $1.3 billion in search billings globally and grew to more than 1,000 search marketing strategists serving 40 countries. In 2009, Chris created the research division of GroupM Search and developed research studies that deepened the understanding of consumer behavior across search and social media for leading brands and garnered global traction - most notably: The Influenced: Social Media, Search, and the Interplay of Consideration and Consumption; The Virtuous Circle: The Role of Social Media in the Purchase Pathway;and From Intent to In-Store: Search's Role in the New Retail Shopper Profile.
Chris entered the digital industry in 1996 when he joined search marketing agency WGI (later acquired by Tempus Group). He has been with the WPP and GroupM family of companies since 2000 when, recognizing search as an emerging media channel with incredible potential for brands, WPP acquired Tempus Group and CIA, and ultimately rebranded the search marketing agency as Outrider. As senior partner and managing director of Outrider, Chris delivered on GroupM's vision for the channel, leading the organization to 500 percent growth with global presence over five years, and establishing award-winning search marketing strategies that have become industry-wide best practices. In 2002, Chris successfully implemented the integration of search into the cross-channel media planning process at MEC, creating the first search marketing practice to sit within a media communications and planning company. In 2007, he guided the business expansion of search marketing practices into all GroupM agencies. In 2009, Chris was named CEO of GroupM Search, where he was responsible for driving global search strategy for the organization, while fostering the innovative application of search as an integrated channel. In his role, Chris also provided digital strategy counsel for clients, including AT&T, Dell, Audi, Volkswagen, and more.
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 how the space is evolving, and serves as a regular resource to national and industry press. Chris contributes editorial commentary regularly to Advertising Age, ClickZ, MediaPost, and MediaBizBloggers.com. In fall 2013, Chris was honored as an inductee into the ClickZ Digital Hall of Fame.
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September 23, 2014