Duncan Southgate, Global Brand Director – Digital, Millward Brown
The power of mobile is undoubted; it is not just a new advertising medium, but a potential communication channel that travels with consumers wherever they go and has the power to transform the overall media mix. But with power comes responsibility, the responsibility to connect wisely and respectfully with consumers.
So while Millward Brown have identified the need to ensure that every brand touch point exploits the possibilities of a mobile response channel as one of our key Digital and Media Predictions for 2015, this comes with caveats. Mobiles are very personal devices so mobile marketing should be deployed with care. Brands can engage consumers via many different approaches (ads, apps, QR Codes, NFC chips, audio recognition, beacons etc.), but what’s important is that they connect in some meaningful, inspiring creative way.
The danger for mobile as a medium is that it oversteps the mark and is considered too intrusive – that won’t offer a long-term basis for success. So while it is now possible to alert consumers because they are near retail outlets for example, that is unlikely to work well unless consumers are coached on how and why the alerts are being generated, and delighted by the results.
Ultimately, the technology is secondary to the need to identify a quality connection – by time, mood or location for example. Indeed brands will very likely need to vary the mechanism by location using beacons in shops and QR codes or hashtags in traditional media, for example. Location offers huge opportunities but only if you really think about what people want in a given location. Mobile marketing should not be seen as a stalking device but a way for marketers to build a greater understanding and empathy with their target audience.
Integration with other media is also critical. Research conducted by Millward Brown into the winners of the MMA’s Smarties awards in APAC found that 80% of the winners had a clear, well-defined role for mobile in an integrated campaign. Eighty-six percent of the winners used a multiple channel strategy.