How to break into mobile native advertising May 17, 2013
As marketers continue to look for new ways to develop mobile advertising, native advertising is catching the eye of marketers. However, understanding the right context and content that works with these nascent advertising models is tricky.
Even though many of the opportunities with native advertising are new, marketers have been talking about the limitations of mobile banner ads for quite some time. With the opportunity though comes significant challenges around native advertising, particularly around scale and blending ads into editorial content.
“For mobile, native unlocks advertising from a banner – the banner might be a good advertising unit for desktop Web, but is very limited when striped down a space smaller than a stick of gum on a mobile,” said Douglas Rozen, chief innovation officer at MXM, New York.
“Additionally, mobile consumption is much more task-orientated, so banners can get in the way of the consumer’s experience versus adding to their experience,” he said.
“Native advertising allows brands to go beyond the banner but places a greater emphasis on content to fuel consumer engagement. To be successful, marketers must have editorial mindset and consider how to create relevance based on context and content.”
Getting native right
Native advertising has grabbed the attention of the mobile industry in the past year.
However, many brands are using native advertising just for the sake of using the technology.
For example, many brands push out native content that either does not run on mobile devices or is not built using mobile design best practices, per Mr. Rozen.
When it comes to mobile native advertising, cutting content to the bare minimum is essential.
For example, short and snackable pieces of multimedia and task-oriented copy works well.
Additionally, brands should look to leverage some of the unique qualities of mobile, such as location, when developing native advertising content.
“The opportunity in mobile is to overlay a consumer’s location to further focus the content, not just trigger the placement,” Mr. Rozen said.
“For a CPG client, we tailor the content to whether they are in-store versus in-route to the store,” he said. “In-store will be more promotional whereas in route to store will be more inspirational.”
Knowing your audience
According to Brian Wong, CEO of Kiip, San Francisco, native advertising requires brands to move away from making blanketed media buys and to instead think about how the mobile experience intersects into a consumer’s life.
The idea here is to understand and own the exact moment that a brand is most relevant to a consumer.
For example, Pepsi’s Propel has worked with Kiip on mobile advertising initiatives that target consumers who are using applications such as MapMyRun and Nexercise and might be looking to refresh while logging their exercise information.
Similarly, Campbell’s likely wants to own the moments when consumers are cooking, which correlates to reaching consumers within a recipe search app.
“The critical element is not treating native rewards as simply a rehashed banner ad that is popping up in your social media feeds – it’s more than that,” Mr. Wong said.
“Moments for native rewards can be uncovered in any app, from fitness trackers to games to to-do lists,” he said.
“The key is identifying those entry points and creating an relevant native reward that lends itself to that particular mobile moment.”
According to Bill Clifford, chief revenue officer at SessionM, Boston, brands should start with a simple, clearly-defined objective to test native advertising. This can include getting a consumer to watch or share a piece of content, for example.
Additionally, brands should test at least two different solutions to get learnings.
Even though native advertising offers brands big opportunities creatively, reaching a mass audience is still a challenge.
“In many cases, publishers are creating their own native solutions with their own set of creative requirements and ROI metrics,” Mr. Clifford said.
“Operationally, it’s a real challenge for agencies to deliver a campaign across multiple apps if each has their own creative and measurement standards,” he said.
Native ads force marketers to develop for specific platforms with one type of user in mind and are often labor and time-limiting.
One of the biggest challenges going forward will be thinking about how to create content that scales, but is also specific enough to be tailored to consumers.
For example, Pepsi, Sauza Tequila and Cruzan Rum all recently launched mobile advertising campaigns on a new tool from Sharethough that takes a piece of content and matches it to the fonts and colors of a publisher’s mobile site.
“In terms of the mobile native ad ecosystem at large, there is a huge focus on building scale right now,” said Chris Schreiber, vice president of marketing and communications at Sharethrough, San Francisco.
“With technology like real-time templating – which Sharethrough developed to allow publishers to easily build and monetize native ads on their mobile sites – we expect to see a massive growth of the available mobile native ad inventory over the next six months,” he said.
“While scale is less of an issue with mobile display ads, there are significant questions around the quality of their user experience.”
New mobile establishment must focus on customer knowledge April 25, 2013
CHICAGO – A Meredith Xcelerated Marketing executive at the Results 2013: Mobile Marketing Day said that the new way of thinking about mobile will be more about consumers rather than technology.
The “Mobile versus Mobility: A New Era of Connectivity” session laid out the four new rules of marketing that focus more on consumer behavior instead of technology. Additionally, the session presented examples from brands including Kraft and Allrecipes.
“I think it’s now at a point with mobile where the establishment that we knew is no longer the establishment we will know going forward,” said Doug Rozen, chief innovation officer at MXM and head of MXM Mobile, New York.
“It’s evolving to a place where it’s no longer going to be about cool devices and the uncluttered screen capacity because in the new mobile establishment, it’s really about the unique consumers, and how consumers are constantly connecting, sharing information and more importantly looking for all these great new experiences that they want to not just visit but revisit,” he said.
“In the new establishment, it’s going to be critical that mobile is not just a novelty anymore, and it’s really necessary to rise above the device-centric approach that we are using right now. So the new establishment is really going to focus on customer knowledge and how those two things come together versus the devices themselves.”
Results 2013: Mobile Marketing Day was hosted by the Chicago Association of Direct Marketing. The event was co-sponsored by Microsoft, Sumotext and Mobile Marketer.
According to Mr. Rozen, there is an evolution going on in mobile from a user perspective.
Mobile is more about the technology – including the operating system and hardware – that marketers use to connect with consumers.
Mobility focuses on the consumer mindsets and tendencies as a result of the technology.
In the past, mobile marketing was focused on targeting a plethora of mobile devices.
However, Apple’s iPad has changed the mobile space because the focus became more on screens.
Consumers nowadays have multiple screens available to them and often use them in conjunction.
As mobile evolves, there are four rules that marketers need to abide to.
The first rule is all about connecting with the consumer.
Per Mr. Rozen, marketers are focusing too much on the technology parts of mobile.
Take Apple or Samsung’s media campaigns, for example. Both manufacturers tout the technology features for consumers and are just now beginning to tap into the utility purposes behind the devices.
Similarly, many marketers might have an idea of who their mobile users are in general. Many though do not have a grasp on what their customers are doing with their mobile devices.
To tackle this problem, marketers can focus on persona-based marketing, which demands that marketers think about consumers and their behaviors.
Successful brands intersect technology and customer behavior, per Mr. Rozen.
For example, since desktop users tend to use their PCs and laptops to discover, plan and compare information, inspiration should be the main focus for marketers going after desktop users.
Smartphones on the other hand play an important role in the middle of the shopping journey with planning and buying.
Although there is a place for responsive design, mobile users have unique needs that marketers need to tailor content towards.
The second rule of the new mobile mindset centers around CRM.
With marketers connecting with consumers wherever and whenever, marketers need to think about how to build a longer-lasting relationship with consumers.
The focus of CRM traditionally has been on how marketers manage relationship through many channels.
With the shift to mobility though, the focus needs to be more on the customer. Mobile users should be rewarded not only for the money that they spend, but also for the time that they spend with their devices.
“For the most part we are still doing old things in new ways, but as consumers really internalize mobile, their relationship expectations will change,” Mr. Rozen said.
“As mobile becomes more ingrained in consumers’ day-to-day lives, expectations will change for how consumers interact with brands,” he said.
The third rule Mr. Rozen spoke about was fostering engagement.
Similar to the other rules, engaging with mobile users is more about the experiences, not the technology.
Consumer relationships lead to two things – behavioral insight and transactional data, per Mr. Rozen.
This represents the first step towards engagement, but marketers need to also apply predictive elements to engage with consumers.
For example, Mr. Rozen said that the formula for mobile engagement with mobility will take behavioral insights and transactional data and apply location and context to them.
Location and behavior go hand-in-hand in establishing consumer engagement and will work in tandem to create context around marketing.
The fourth rule from Mr. Rozen is about providing relevance for consumers.
Instead of only providing the right content, marketers also have to deliver that content at the right time.
Extreme relevance includes personalized, seamless, anticipatory, pragmatic and exploratory content.
When marketers create extremely relevant content, consumer spend can go up.
For example, a survey from Ipsos found that more than one-third of adults are more likely to make an in-store purchase if they can find a coupon or offer for an item via their mobile devices.
Mr. Rozen also presented a few examples of how brands are embracing mobile, including Allrecipes.
Allrecipes brings in 25 million unique visitors and has nine mobile apps. Additionally, Allrecipes has generated more than 14 million app downloads.
When it comes to advertising and marketing opportunities, Allrecipes is working on new ways to integrate brands into content, such as shopping lists or video.
Examples from Kraft were also presented.
Kraft originally launched its popular iFood Assistant app as the first paid and branded app.
Since then, the app has gone through several revamps. Now the app is free and uses in-app purchases to unlock content.
Both of these brands illustrate how context and content is crucial for marketers, per Mr. Rozen.
“Really it’s about connecting with consumers wherever, whenever, whomever they are, and don’t get blinded by the flashy devices,” Mr. Rozen said.
“In the new mobile establishment, we need to rise above the current ‘what can mobile do’, which is very tactical, and think about it more strategically around why is mobile right,” he said.
“Success is really going to have context and content to create a new level of relevancy between us as marketers and us as consumers.”
Doug Rozen is chief innovation officer at MXM and head of MXM Mobile, New York.
Rethinking Interruption vs. Invitation for Lasting Mobile Relationships March 28, 2013
Partner MXM Hyperfactory weighs in on moving from interruption to invitation for lasting mobile relationships.
Diane Lee is the Marketing Manager for MXM Mobile (The Hyperfactory), one of the longest-standing, pure play mobile agencies in the world, building best-in-class mobile solutions through integrated mobile strategy, creative, media, execution and analytics. It is part of Meredith Xcelerated Marketing, a full-service, global customer engagement agency, and @mxmmobile on Twitter.
For those of us whose mission it is to make mobile experiences seamless—that is, providing services to on-the-go consumers without being annoying—the most important thing to consider is: What’s going to make them come back to us again and again? At MXM Mobile, we believe in mobility, which goes beyond just the mobile device. It’s about connecting with consumers and giving them the information they want and need, whenever, wherever. Of course, this connection isn’t just physical; it’s emotional, too—thrilling them, delighting them, surprising them with features and functions they didn’t even know they wanted, but are excited to have. The key to this is really getting the consumer. We know them like we know our friends.
At the beginning of each client engagement, we really dig deep and learn all we can about the target audience, thinking about who we know that fits those demographics and asking, “What do they need? How can we make their lives easier and better? How are they using mobile, and with what kinds of phones?” Maybe they’re on a Samsung Galaxy S4 or iPhone 5. Maybe they’re on a clamshell from 2004. The point is, we’re going to make it work no matter what.
Mobile advertising vs. mobile engagement: transactions vs. relationships
Many years ago, when we were just a young mobile agency, we focused a lot on creating short-term campaigns that were very cool and won a lot of awards, but didn’t necessarily keep a consumer. They weren’t designed to do so, after all. They were flashes in the pan; a burst of excitement that resulted in huge numbers of downloads or site visits or text messages sent in a very abbreviated period of time. And sure, that counted as success back then, but with the ever-evolving mobile landscape today, our definition of success has changed.
These days, it’s not about the bells and whistles anymore. It’s about utility, entertainment, personalization and the ability to share. Whether it’s a mobile site or full-on application, we need to provide the best user experiences possible and encourage repeat visits/usage. As marketers, we want to grow with the consumer and build a lasting relationship that stands the test of time and device upgrades. So then the question is: How?
Strategies along the continuum of acquisition to conversion and loyalty/lifetime value
Today’s most successful customer relationship management (CRM) strategies focus not on the technology or channel, but on the consumers themselves. When done right, they increase the frequency and longevity of user engagements through relevant, insight-driven experiences. A robust, integrated CRM strategy plans ahead for daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal and annual milestones, yet is flexible enough to expand and change with consumers’ behavior.
Now, say you’ve got your CRM strategy (which ties back to the overall brand marketing strategy), market research, user profiles, competitive intelligence, etc., and your client’s objective is to increase and track brand engagement using mobile. For short and informative (“snackable”) content consumed on the go, you could build a mobile site and, using HTML5/CSS3, even create a very convincing app-like experience. For CRM database acquisition and communication, you could launch an SMS campaign or sweepstakes. For quick but entertaining interactions and promotions, you could build a rich media unit that runs on third-party properties. But, let’s assume we’re building an app and talk about the most obvious way to stay at the forefront of consumers’ minds: push notifications.
The key to using push notifications successfully is using them strategically, allowing consumers to personalize the frequency and types of notifications they receive and adapting communications to the consumer over time. For example, we partner with Urban Airship to provide push notifications for Kraft Foods’ iFood Assistant app. There are three different messaging streams users can opt into: Recipe of the Day, Dinner Tonight and special offers. Users choose which days and times they’d like to receive any, all or none of these notifications, which means they’re being engaged when they’re most receptive to such communications. With these kinds of customization options in place, we’ve seen 40–60% of opted-in users opening the app as a direct result of receiving a push notification.
Aside from push, it’s also a good idea to incorporate user feedback (e.g., comments in the app store) into feature or functionality updates. Making your audience feel like they’re part of the app roadmap is a strong driver of ongoing engagement and an indicator of future repeat visits and interactions.
Last but not least, we should be continually learning. The most effective apps evolve over time, and in-app data—e.g., features most/least used—paints a picture of consumers’ perceived value of the app. Extracting insights from this data—in addition to third-party, syndicated or proprietary research—is key to ongoing success and ensuring continual consumer engagement.