Mobile Marketer has re-launched! Click here to learn more!

Keep end-user experience in mind, Ogilvy exec at IAB Mobile

NEW YORK -- Mobile marketing yesterday got a vote of confidence at the IAB Leadership Forum: Mobile event from one of the key interactive experts at WPP Group PLC's Ogilvy advertising agency.

Maria Mandel, keynote speaker at the daylong event organized by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, gave delegates a lay of the mobile land, highlighting both the challenges and the opportunities ahead for marketers. But she could not hide her enthusiasm.

"Of all the channels that I cover, mobile has the greatest possibility," Ms. Mandel told the audience of mobile marketers, agency executives, media buyers and publishers.

Ms. Mandel is senior partner and executive director of digital innovation at Ogilvy, New York. In that capacity she has worked on a series of campaigns for clients that include mobile as part of the marketing mix.

Yet Ms. Mandel was upfront with the audience about the challenges ahead for mobile. Devices in the United States lag the rest of the world. Plus there's confusion whether mobile is a push channel or a pull channel.

"It's very confusing as an advertiser how to leverage mobile," Ms. Mandel said.

That said, the opportunity is evident to Ms. Mandel. Budgets are increasing. There are 1 billion more mobile phones worldwide than there are computers. Even in the U.S., more people own mobile phones than computers.

Also, by 2020 observers expect double the content on mobile than television.

Equally encouraging for mobile marketers, 60 percent of the U.S. audience already sends and receives text messages and 15 percent accesses the Internet via their mobile phones. In fact, 60 percent of people who buy the Apple iPhone cite Wi-Fi Internet access as one of the reasons.

In her overview of the mobile market, Ms. Mandel cited QR codes, WAP sites and video as tools to use.

QR codes are popular in Asia, but U.S. marketers face issues such as carrier and handset restrictions. Also, consumers need more education on downloading content.

Ms. Mandel advised the audience to keep in mind what the consumers are interested in.

"Content produced for a smaller screen works much better than just repurposing content for the television screen," she said.

The same rule applies to ads as well, she pointed out.

"Mobile is a highly personal device," Ms. Mandel said. "Keep in mind the end-user experience."

Ms. Mandel ran the audience through a list of best practices to create a great user experience: integrated campaigns, clear call to action, exhaustive training, measurable response, building an opt-in list and considering viral elements.

So where should marketers and media buyers begin?

Know the targeted demographics and leverage the right technology, Ms. Mandel said. Marketers should first crawl (SMS), then walk (WAP site) and then run (deploy video).

Mobile is not a standalone technology, Ms. Mandel reiterated.

"It really is about the end user," she said. "The No. 1 way to turn off the consumer is to start spamming them on the mobile phone."