When we were casting about for a mobile marketing heavyweight to come and speak with Copeland and other Canadian ad agencies in our T-CAAN West alliance, I asked previous guest Jay Baer for a recommendation.
He pointed me in the direction of Simon Salt, CEO of Texas agency IncSlingers and author of the recently published Social Location Marketing.
It immediately became clear that Simon was the ideal candidate to up our skill level. So we booked him to do a seminar and workshop September 22, with a Tweet-up for Victoria’s social media crowd to follow.
In advance of his visit, he was good enough to answer some of our burning questions.
Q. Mobile marketing seems to have really taken off in some markets and not in others. India for example is exploding. Where’s North America at?
It is true to say that the emerging markets, typified by countries like India and China, are experience a huge boom in mobile usage. However, it is worth noting that this is primarily in the feature phone space and not the smart phone space. Therefore the type of mobile marketing/advertising is very different than that of North America. The main reason for this is the popularity of pre-paid services in those countries. In the US, contracted phones form the bulk of the market. The introduction at the end of this year of the pre-paid iPhone is likely to have a dramatic shift on the US market demographic for smart phone owners. It is estimated that by the end of 2011 50% of the US population will be smart phone owners.
Q. Has this penetration reached a point where positive ROIs from mobile advertising are being realized? Any examples?
As mentioned, smart phone penetration is at almost 50% in the US and so mobile advertising and mobile marketing in general is achieving much greater penetration. The use of smart phones has led to a shift in how people are consuming digital information. In countries like the US, social media forms 25% of the data consumption on smart phones. That means sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google + and photo sharing sites are accounting for a lot of the data. This provides advertisers with definite keys into where ad placement is going to be most effective. Energizer Batteries ran a very successful mobile advertising campaign in conjunction with Toy Story 3. This campaign was app based and targeted mothers. Nearly 14 million impressions were delivered in support of the Energizer Toy Story 3 promotion campaign. Display advertising averaged a .49% click‐thru‐rate. The mobile web destination site visits and mobile application downloads together yielded a large number of impressions.
Q. What area of mobile marketing do you think is currently driving the greatest revenue for ad agencies?
Mobile marketing can effectively be divided into two distinct technology sets – SMS and application. In terms of cross-platform delivery SMS is definitely the more effective as all mobile phones, whether feature phones or smart phones, are capable of receiving and sending SMS messages. However, in-app and in-game advertising can achieve higher levels of engagement because of the nature of the user’s engagement with those platforms. For example, a user playing a game on their smart phone is likely to be spending more time doing that than a user reading text messages – especially if they are ads. However, getting attention and gaining action are two very different things. For an ad to drive a user from one activity – playing a game for example – to doing something else like downloading a new app or clicking on a banner, the messaging has to be both sophisticated and in tune with that user.
Q. What aspect of mobile marketing do you expect to increase in use? In-app advertising? Location-based? In-game advertising?
With the increasing ownership of smart phones I think we will see an increase in application-based advertising. This will also increase the demands on advertisers to become smarter about both their messaging and the payoff for having distracted the user from their initial activity.
Q. There must be resistance from consumers who don’t want to see advertising on their phones. How are smart marketers dealing with this?
The main way smart marketers are dealing with this is ensuring very good targeting. Un-targeted messages have always been a problem for advertisers. The data that is available from smart phones ensures that marketers should be delivering valuable, timely and appropriate messaging. One platform – Tooyoou – actually pays users to view ads – it is early stages to see if this approach will be successful but it certainly seems to have potential.
Q. What’s something about mobile marketing that I wouldn’t know?
Copeland will be hosting the Victoria Tweet-up for Simon at the Parkside Victoria on September 22, from 6-8 pm.