Outline a Mobile Gameplan before Jumping the Gun on Apps

Welcome to the 2012 Tour de Change! As we enter a new stage in the race to innovate, the routes have again changed. And unlike the courses of marketing Grand Prix ending just a little over a decade ago, this new race features routes that change on the fly, and continue to expand - giving no time to rest between stages or even build a lead at any point.

Now that many of the "lollygaggers" and "middle-of-the-pack" riders can finally see the route, they are about to once again find themselves losing ground if they repeat the bad habits that haunted them in tours past.

Once again, this challenge will require a user focus to triumph.

And by mobile, I mean the smartphones and tablets that will soon eliminate the origin of the word.

Many brands currently want to break into the mobile space via applications, but not every marketer needs one. With experts debating whether an application or mobile browser is more ideal for clients, the application is a curse for those who fail to manage carefully user and client expectations.

In some commerce venues, apps are still just a shortcut.

Their use should always should be a case-by-case example – when you consider the average consumer, they’re still not on a smartphone.

For companies who are thinking of going into mobile, some experts suggest starting with SMS or a short code campaign.
Gene Keenan, vice president of mobile at Isobar, San Francisco, disagrees.

“A lot of advertising in general is a move towards utility advertising,” Mr. Kennan said. “That’s why apps are so popular – they provide utility to the end user in a way that advertising can’t sometimes.

“At the end of the day, you have to look at your client.”
Regardless of tactical implementation, brands first make sure that they have a defined strategy. Take a step back and look at your audience. Focus on who you want to target.

Kmart, for example, mixes it up with voice search and SMS. It’s not just about the iPhone and apps, it really depends on how the target audience uses their phone.

Once you figure that out, you can create a strategy.

Location-based technology is a great tool to help clients reach consumers. Localization services can deliver the right message at the right time and place.

“Location-based services is the center of the main trends in the next few months,” said Alexandre Mars, CEO of Phonevalley and head of mobile at Publicis Groupe, New York.

Mr. Mars believes that before companies start looking into incorporating location-based services in their mobile initiatives, businesses need to have their core mobile sites up and running.

Brands have to build their mobile site strategy and then they can spend money, per Mars.

“At the end of the day, you need to embrace mobile with digital agencies,” Mars said. “You have to first build a mobile strategy and then money will flow – not the opposite.”

Like most digital platforms, analytics are also key to a company’s mobile strategy.

“Analytics is not like it is online, it’s a little bit different,” OMD’s Mr. Machado said. “The problem right now is scale.

“You have to manage it properly,” he said. “It’s still a small group, but there’s a whole lot of value there.”
Demand-side platforms may put mobile ad networks in danger.

A big enabler is the tracker. Agencies are interested in DSPs because they can decide whether they want to buy the impression and for how much.

There are certain tracking abilities within mobile. But with feature phones - things can often differ.

In the end, you simply have to find the variants (like any other digital strategem).

Author's Bio: 

Joey Barker is a Memphis-based digital marketing consultant, content strategist and copywriter. He has led traditional and interactive campaigns for a variety of leading and insurgent brands, including FedEx, ServiceMaster, Caesars Entertainment, World Series of Poker, Crislu, Swarovski, Trollbeads, Peabody Hotel, Fred’s, and many others.