As much progress as marketers are making in mobile advertising in terms of cross-platform audience management, measurement, and delivery standards, there's one thing they must fix: bad creative.
This week was the annual IAB Mobile Marketplace, where the crowd spent the day discussing the state of the mobile industry. With the omnipresent "Year of Mobile" behind us, it was great to hear brands and companies speaking from a mobile-first perspective in regards to their overall digital strategy.
While there are still challenges to be mastered to truly make mobile a mainstream media, there are far more exciting opportunities for consumer interaction - and brands are just scratching the surface. Yet, with all of the promise that mobile brings to the table, some are still only dipping their toes in the water, as challenges with measurement, targeting, and cross-platform delivery make some hesitant to integrate mobile as a significant part of their overall digital budget.
As my colleague Joe Laszlo reported last year - the IAB and the IAB's Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence are making great progress in addressing these issues and reducing barriers to a truly cross-platform future. However, even with the progress we continue to make on creative and delivery standards, cross-platform audience management, and measurement, there's one thing that we can't fix: bad creative.
We have heard over and over again that mobile "doesn't perform" due to small, lackluster creative units that don't inspire consumers to engage. While some of that may be true, we should remember that mobile is only a part of the overall marketing mix. It can't be approached as a siloed screen fit only for small test budgets to be successful. Brands must use tools such as the IAB's HTML5 and Make Mobile Work initiatives to interact with consumers in a meaningful way that brings value to their day.
Much like desktop banner ads, informed creative far exceeds generic, static messages pushed at the consumer. Mobile gives us the opportunity to take advantage of native capabilities such as click-to-call and dynamic maps. It also gives us the ability to use device form factors to think outside of the box and utilize things such as front-facing cameras, gyroscopes, and swipe functionality when designing ads and experiences. No matter how much the mobile canvas improves with rising stars, rich media, video, native, and other innovations, winning strategies will always be built around great creative experiences.
Some key takeaways from the conference, on the creative front:
So, as we continue to work to make mobile and cross-platform buying, delivery, and measurement as seamless as possible, we're asking brands, agencies, and advertisers not to let bad creative ruin your chance to connect with your audiences on their most personal and trusted devices.
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Anna Bager is vice president and general manager of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at the Interactive Advertising Bureau. The Mobile Center, an independently funded and staffed unit inside the IAB, is charged with driving the growth of the mobile marketing, advertising, and media marketplace.
Prior to joining the IAB, Bager was heading business intelligence at Ericsson Multimedia and head of research at Ericsson's Business Consulting unit. Earlier, she was research and consulting manager for IDC EMEA.
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