As more and more online traffic is coming from mobile devices, marketers are scrambling trying to find ways to better expose people to their brands and messages in a natural way. Obviously there are limitations with limited screen size as well as the nature in which people leverage mobile devices in very quick, bite-size, utilitarian ways.
Facebook has struggled to monetize the immense mobile traffic it has from consumers. The company has made some progress, but admits it has a long way to go to truly take advantage of all those eyeballs. Whether it is ads embedded within the feed, promotions around check-ins, or other methods of getting those ad impressions in front of its audience, Facebook knows it needs to do it. I would guess even more on Facebook's mind is how to do that in a targeted, natural way that is going to lead to impact for its advertisers.
Facebook isn't alone; LinkedIn, Twitter, Foursquare, and many others are trying to harness the power. They know that the information about where people can have a significant influence on their state of mind, what their interests are, and how they may be willing to engage is important. Think about the different states of mind while in an airport, while at a mall, while at school, or a sporting event.
When you do see mobile advertising it is often related to a restaurant or retail location near you and some form of special or promotion. While that has value it still is only a very small percentage of the overall advertising dollars.
To be successful and to truly engage customers the big-brand advertisers are going to need to solve for how to play in this new world. Often this is forced and just doesn't make sense; it can feel that the brand is being rammed down your throat.
But that is starting to change a bit. When done successfully brands are finding ways to insert the brand into things that are happening for consumers at the moment based on where they are.
One recent example that I encountered was checking in on Foursquare at an airport. The check-in page told me the airport was swarming, but more interestingly it showed me an add for Oreo that said, "Wonder if you gave an OREO to the ticket agent. Would you get a wink and a smile?" and you could click to learn more. The ad wasn't pushing me to walk in a store and grab Oreos off the shelf, rather it was positioning itself for the next time I am looking for a treat or snack. Oreo did it in a fun way that made sense based on where I was. I was scrambling through an airport, stressed out, and tired. It was a lightweight message that was fun and spot-on for the brand. It literally brought a smile to my face based on how I was feeling in that moment.
I believe more brands are going to find ways to inject their story into consumers' lives in this natural and authentic way. As more and more time is spent away from TV and traditional print and more time is spent in these bite-size consumables while people are on the go, this will become even more important.
As you think about your marketing budget and how to reach consumers, think about how to connect with them naturally where they are, based on what they are doing, and most importantly on their terms. It isn't easy and will require creativity outside of what many media groups are considering today, but the opportunity is there.
Upcoming Webinar: PPC Pause and Reflections for 2013
Thursday, December 12 - 2013 was a major turning point in search advertising. With Google's Enhanced Campaigns and Bing's innovative Smart Search capabilities in Windows 8.1, now is a great time to pause, reflect, and plan for the new year.
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As the Chief Performance Marketing Officer for POSSIBLE, Jason supports the agency's global Marketing Sciences and Media Services programs.
His primary role is to help POSSIBLE teams and clients use data to craft digital strategies that attract, convert, and retain customers - maximizing ongoing ROI across paid, earned, and owned channels. He believes that brands can better serve their customers by understanding audience behavior, and that messaging should be targeted to individual customers through the use of testing, behavioral targeting, and CRM initiatives.
Jason has written extensively about digital analytics, optimization and digital strategy, including an ongoing column at ClickZ.com. He is the co-author of "Actionable Web Analytics: Using Data to Make Smart Business Decisions," which is one of the leading texts in the field of digital analytics. His client roster includes Microsoft, Nike, Nokia, Dell, Ford, Sony, PayPal/eBay, P&G, Alcoa, Expedia, Mazda, Intel, and Motorola, and more. Jason is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars around the world ranging from the Cannes Lions, Adobe Omniture Summits, eMetrics, SES, ad:tech, BazaarVoice, and many other WPP events.
Follow him on Twitter @JasonBurby.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT