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On mobile, marketers must entertain or perish, says DDB CEO


The Internet of Things is gradually becoming a reality

NEW YORK – Advertising and technology executives at the Mobile Media Summit Upfront at Internet Week 2015 conference highlighted how growing worldwide connectivity and the dawn of the Internet of Things will help boost mobile outreach and offer more opportunities for advertisers to reach consumers, who are increasingly demanding engaging and entertaining content.

During the “Opening Keynote: 30,000 Feet and Climbing – How Mobile is Changing Marketing and Advertising” session, the executives discussed the importance of mobile as a communication tool, particularly among the millennial demographic, who tolerates advertising-based disruptions when consuming content on smartphones but will ignore them if not deemed entertaining. The dropping price of devices is also set to help marketers tap emerging markets that live with a mobile-first mindset.

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“It’s clearly an excellent distribution channel,” said Kimberly Kadlec, president of Starcom MediaVest Group, New York. “From a marketer and advertiser perspective, when you’re talking about mobile phones specifically, it’s such a personal device.

“I think the challenge is how do we add value, not disruption.”

Growing connectivity
The sheer amount of important tasks which consumers are able to complete on their mobile devices, such as banking, has ensured that individuals worldwide, even in third-world or emerging markets, aim to stay connected via tablets or smartphones.

“We’re seeing tremendous growth in emerging markets, especially as the price of phones goes down,” Ms. Kadlec said. “More access means more business.”

Another executive echoed these thoughts, pointing out how in many third-world countries, people will spend their first dollar on a personal device rather than shelter, which displays how mobile-first their views are.

The executives discuss mobile's future at the Mobile Media Summit event

“Mobile for us, as people who help marketers sell products, opens up a wide world of opportunities,” said Mark O’Brien, president and CEO, North America, DDB Worldwide, New York. “When we talk about localization, the great thing about mobile is that it also democratizes the world.”

An executive from Qualcomm revealed a new branded video which showcased how the Internet of Things is becoming more defined and attainable each day. She claimed that devices will have many more processing abilities embedded in their systems, alongside more intelligence, which will result in higher efficiency.

Marketers may then leverage this efficiency to deliver a better customer experience.

“What you’re going to see with all of these devices is there’s going to be much greater capability to drive context and customization,” said Susan Lansing, vice president of brand at Qualcomm, San Diego, CA.

However, a key way of ensuring that consumers find material both relevant and engaging is delivering entertaining content, particularly to the millennial demographic. While users in their teens and up are complacent in seeing disruptions come in the form of advertisements during their mobile consumption habits, they are also used to ignoring these unless they are entertained and believe the material could possess a shareable or viral aspect.

“We can’t force them to watch content they don’t want to,” DDB Worldwide’s Mr. O’Brien said. “We’ve got to do advertising that makes them want to engage, and that means entertaining them.”

Strides in measurement
Another way to potentially drive advertising dollars in mobile is to encourage fellow marketers and agencies to develop a more unified set of measurement standards, as well as transparency initiatives.

Ultimately, advertisers want to know whether their media ran and how it did with the target customer base. Therefore, a more consistent way of classifying impressions and return on impressions is sorely needed for the industry as a whole.

Mobile measurement standards should be simplified, according to some ad executives

A Media Rating Council executive at the 2015 Mobile: IAB Marketplace discussed the organization’s goals for setting standards for mobile viewability, and the indication that mobile may overtake digital in the near future, which is a significant statement for marketers (see story).

Some of the executives at the Mobile Media Summit’s conference believe removing complexity from the measurement process could yield a positive result and allow more marketers to better use their collected data to market to consumers in the future.

“Simplifying it, I think, is a big priority,” Starcom’s Ms. Kadlec said.

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York

Alex Samuely is staff writer on Mobile Marketer, New York. Reach her at alex@mobilemarketer.com.

Related content: Advertising agencies, mobile, mobile marketing, mobile media summit, internet of things, connectivity, advertising, upfront, qualcomm, starcom, ddb worldwide

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