Five rules to getting the most from mobile

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Scott Curtis, European Strategy & Development Director at Starcom MediaVest Group

1.) Create for Mobile

Everyone knows that they need to be present on mobile, so this isn’t a ‘you must have a mobile destination’ discussion. Now, it’s about thinking smarter about how your brand fits within the mobile world. For example, do you have a transactional website? If so, it’s probably best to work with an m-site rather than responsive design.

Another factor that needs consideration is creative execution. Work to the strengths of mobile by utilising formats that take advantage of the native mobile features like touchscreen, accelerometer and GPS. And, when it comes to video, this should be planned in order to tie in with mobile usage behaviour. Video should be snackable, as in short form, and consider whether or not you design the video to be consumed vertically or horizontally.

 2.) Play to mobile’s strengths

Mobile is a fantastic tool that has unique features and capabilities when compared to all other media. The first of these is dynamic location. And, used properly this functionality becomes a behavioural tool box that can unlock access to relevant new audiences either in real-time (i.e. to push into a store or to take an action dependant on their current environment) or at a later time. And using location as a cookie, we can behaviourally target people by the types of places that they visit regularly or recently.

Mobile also crosses media boundaries like no other tool, and should be utilised as such. TV sync, OOH re-targeting, augmented reality are just some examples of using mobile as the conduit between offline media and the digital world.

3.) Make Mobile part of the Mix

Although mobile has its own unique properties, it should be planned alongside other media, and not be thought of as a standalone channel, or as a bolt on. Planning a consistent brand communication story across all media is crucial to effectively communicating with individuals as they engage with other media in an increasingly complicated manner.

Mobile should co-exist with the overarching media plan, and not be seen as an additional channel whose box needs to be ticked – rather it should be seen as an integrated method of communicating with audiences.

4.) Data informs which environments audiences can be found

This is an obvious one for any media’s best practices list, but mobile can allow us to really drive this message home with the plethora of targeting capabilities available. Not only does mobile have the capabilities of digital when it comes to digital behavioural patterns, but it also has additional capabilities – the apps you have installed, the physical locations you visit (see point 2), and the fact that it is always on us and it’s a very personal device.

The old models of environment being the most important factor are crumbling, and no more so that in the mobile world, where we have embraced programmatic buying quicker than other media. Rather than being reliant on environment dictating where audiences can be found, the smart use of data informs us in what environments our audiences can be found.

 5.)Test and learn

Innovation within the mobile space is vast and incredibly fast. There are always new opportunities to test. This should not mean a magpie approach of putting money behind every new shiny object, but instead you should employ a well-choreographed and deliberate test and learn strategy. For example, ensure that you are at the forefront of your partners’ new innovations, or alternatively be a persistent presence with tech start-ups and new vendors that enter this space.

This is additionally important because we know that the world is changing, and that our audiences’ behaviours are changing faster than we can keep up with, so brands that stay abreast of the pace will stay ahead of the competition.

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