Reason #1 All Of Us
Group M released some statistics last month that projected mobile to comprise one half of 1% of total global advertising expenditures in 2009. It is projected to be about .8% in 2010. On the other hand, television advertising expenditures were projected to be about 38% of total global advertising expenditures in 2009 and 39% in 2010.
Compare that to a Samsung Mobile study earlier this month that was published in the Chicago Tribune that states that the average Chicago cell phone user spends three hours a day chatting or sending text, picture and video messages. And to a March 2009 study by the Nielsen’s Council for Research intelligence that found that the average American spends just over five hours watching television per day.
Aren’t you just amazed by what a small percentage mobile advertising is of total worldwide advertising expenditures and what a large percentage of time we spend on mobile devices when compared to time spent on other media. Why the difference?
I suspect that one reason is because we as marketers spend a disproportionately large amount of time thinking about what we want to tell consumers and how we want to tell it, and a disproportionately small amount of time focusing on how they want to receive that information and the unique characteristics of the medium upon which it is received. I also suspect that it is because we are afraid to try something new with this new medium of mobile.
In order to be successful with communicating brand, product and service information on mobile, we need to garner and act upon a better understanding of how people receive information, engage with that information and forge relationships specifically on the mobile phone. And, then we need to change our way of marketing on mobile to take advantage of this new insight.
The mobile phone is a very personal, highly interactive, communication ecosystem. We need to develop marketing and advertising that recognizes the uniqueness and manifestations of each of those terms.
Very Personal 63% of mobile phone users agreed with the statement that “My phone is very personal to me”. Certainly very few consumers would ever agree with that statement if it referenced their television or their radio. Marketers need to take the personal nature of the mobile phone into account when designing campaigns so that the consumer receives the message on the device in the same way they like to receive other messages in their personal space.
Highly Interactive Most time spent on the mobile phone is while involved in an interactive activity whether it is communicating back and forth via voice and SMS, while playing with a game or interacting with an app. Yet, today, most advertising on the mobile phone toady is still of the one-way broadcast variety via mobile banners or SMS. Marketers need to take the ability to create interactivity to a whole new level in order to be more effective on the mobile phone.
Communication Ecosystem The mobile phone has developed, and is continually developing, behavioral mores and cultural norms that have very serious implications for marketers. Violate one of those norms, and the consequences can be severe.
Yet, marketers continue to treat the mobile phone as yet another screen to “repurpose content” or as a quick campaign add-on to “target a hard to reach audience”. It will be the brands that focus on actively leveraging the behavioral use patterns of the mobile phone and their attendant cultural norms that will succeed.
I recall the old saying that “You’ll never get fired for buying IBM” which meant that people concerned about their jobs were less likely to get fired for taking the safe road. And certainly, with today’s uncertain employment environment it is very tempting to continue to market on mobile with the tried and true SMS messaging as well as mobile banners and of course, race into the creation of in-app campaigns. Clients (or employers), the reasoning goes, are less likely to fire you for doing the types of campaigns they are used to seeing with their competitors.
But while each of those types of campaigns can be successful in the right circumstances, are they going to be most successful on mobile with your brand and your message? Perhaps your message could be more successfully received by embracing mobile’s new paradigm. Perhaps by being open to the new possibilities available in mobile, your efforts will pave the way to allow the medium to garner its rightful percentage of global advertising rather than the de minimus amount it has today.
So here’s our challenge: Be among the first to embrace the paradigm change of mobile, even if there is an associated cost or an associated risk. Imagine if we were the first to embrace a new thought, a new marketing idea, a new advertising business model, or new hardware or software innovation – not because we followed the crowd, but because we understood that with the risk of being first to say yes, comes all of the rewards of being a new leader in our industry.
“The policy of being cautious is the greatest risk of all”
— Jawaharial Nehru