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Curation keeps mobile users engaged: Polar Mobile exec

NEW YORK ? A Polar Mobile executive at Luxury Daily?s Luxury FirstLook: Strategy 2013 conference said that publishers need to focus on curation versus creation in order to drive traffic and keep mobile users engaged.

During the ?Why the Future of Content and Media is Mobile? session, the executive spoke about the how media brands and publishers are adopting content for mobile devices. The session also presented some ideas on the opportunities available for luxury marketers to advertise on mobile.

?Curate over create is the efficient way to really take your existing content assets and create an experience on a mobile device that is going to keep people engaged,? said Kunal Gupta, CEO of Polar Mobile, Toronto.

?These devices are great for multimedia ? video, photos and audio,? he said.

?When you look at what luxury brands are doing with the production of content, these are excellent devices and hardware to show that off.?

Small-screen design
Mobile device ownership continues to grow.

Consumers are increasingly turning to their mobile devices first to access news content.

In particular, tablets have been a platform that publishers have used with larger screen sizes.

However, smaller devices including seven-inch tablets such as Apple?s iPad Mini and Amazon?s Kindle Fire are gaining traction with consumers. The experience on these devices is different from a smartphone or a PC, making it difficult for publishers to design for.

For luxury marketers in particular, mobile sponsorships can be a great way to integrate branded content with editorial.

For example, brands can leverage mobile as a place to aggregate content around a specific event that ties in with editorial content.

Mobile tipping point
According to Mr. Gupta, some publishers see 25 ? 30 percent of traffic coming from mobile devices, which is more than double than it was a year ago. In the next 18 months, some publishers can expect mobile to contribute to 40 ? 50 percent of traffic.

There is an ongoing debate between whether publishers should develop a mobile site or application.

Per the executive, marketers and publishers gravitate towards apps for specific events and content. A mobile site on the other hand is for more continued engagement.

When designing for mobile, marketers need to treat mobile completely different than desktop. For example, mobile traffic tends to spike at night when the device might be used in conjunction with television.

Combining mobile with TV is a huge opportunity for marketers, per Mr. Gupta.

Mr. Gupta at Luxury Daily?s Luxury FirstLook 2013 conference

Different message
It is expected that mobile advertising spend will hit $4 billion, per findings from eMarketer. Google in particular will control 56.6 percent of mobile advertising share.

Creating a mobile advertising campaign is completely different from a desktop campaign.

Many marketers that are used to online analytics and data find it frustrating that the same information is not available for mobile.

However, companies such as Facebook and Twitter have shifted their advertising options to accommodate for larger mobile traffic, presenting marketers more opportunities to get the most out of their advertising campaigns.

Social and mobile go hand-in-hand with consumers increasingly relying on mobile devices as the first way to access their social media accounts. Therefore, marketers need to think about how social content will appear on mobile devices in addition to PCs.

Twitter reports that 70 percent of its traffic is coming from mobile devices. Similarly, 60 percent of Facebook?s users are on mobile, showing how the two mediums are increasingly being used in conjunction by marketers.

Additionally, Twitter?s promoted tweets lets marketers pay for a tweet to appear in a news feed that appears similar to content.

Marketers need to establish specific goals with their advertising campaigns.

?Brand awareness is difficult to justify from a marketing perspective, and I think it will remain a niche and a sliver of marketing spend,? Mr. Gupta said.

?The direct response and driving transactions of some sort of real engagement is what a mobile medium should be leveraged for,? he said.

Final Take
Kunal Gupta is CEO of Polar Mobile, Toronto