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Heineken exec: Mobile is powerful lever for brand building

NEW YORK ? A Heineken executive at the 2012 MMA Forum said that mobile is woven into everything that the company does and is used primarily for brand building and fan engagement.

During the ?Mobile?s Attribution to Marketers Success? session, executives from Heineken, HSBC, airG, R/GA and Cornett Integrated Marketing spoke about the role that mobile video is playing for brands. The session was moderated by Doron Wesly, head of market strategy at Tremor Video, New York.

?Mobile is woven into everything we do,? said Ron Amram, senior media director of marketing at Heineken USA, New York.

?When people are engaging with content, mobile is a part of every aspect of that so whether it?s an upfront deal or whether it?s a local partnership with our distributors, mobile can be activated and involved at every level,? he said.

?For us, the media and the message is much more about building the brand and getting people passionate about our brands, and mobile can be an incredibly powerful lever to do that.?

The track was sponsored by Tremor Video.

Brand on mobile
According to Mr. Amram, everything that the brand does needs to be engaged via mobile. For video content, whether it is a TV spot or mobile-specific content, everything has to be viewed with how it works in the mobile space.

For example, Heineken is not the kind of brand that will sell its products via mobile and the company has to be careful about which companies it partners with because it has a broad distribution.

According to Mr. Amram, media budgets for beer brands are increasing at an incremental rate, but there are dramatic changes in media shifts, meaning that brands have to rethink which channels are most important to them.

?It is about the attention span and the passion of the consumer at the end of the day,? Mr. Amram said.

?If this is where they are increasing their interest, where they are spending more of their time, engaging themselves more, and as more of their content is consumed mobilely, that?s where the media dollars are going to go,? he said.

Eimear O?Connell, head of media at HSBC U.S., New York, said that mobile is all about finding a way to bring a brand onto the platform in a relevant way.

HSBC is currently doing two tests with mobile video. One was with a custom video of the company?s economists talking about emerging markets with an expert from a publisher, which delivered value straight in the video and is aimed at building awareness around the company?s expertise in emerging markets.

Additionally, HSBC has used click-to-call as a tactical approach that can be tracked to see specific groups and demographics that are responsive to ads.

?We know we have to be there and where our audience is ? it?s how far do we go and how do we do it?? Ms. O?Connell said.

?It?s very clear to us that the value has to be delivered right in the video, it has to be something that stands out and our target finds useful,? she said.

In 2013, HSBC is shifting money from print to digital budgets with mobile as a portion of digital.

Driving ROI
According to Richard Ting, vice president and executive creative director of mobile and emerging platforms at R/GA, New York, mobile ROI depends on the client?s goals and objectives.

To measure that ROI, R/GA advises brands to look at total impressions and downloads. If the goal of the campaign is to drive engagement, metrics to look at include frequency of use and how often consumers are interacting with a piece of content.

Peter Cook, senior interactive manager at Cornett Integrated Marketing, Lexington, KY, also spoke on the panel about how the company tackles ROI for clients.

Testing different initiatives in a campaign can be a great way for brands to drive an ROI, per Mr. Cook. For example, in a multichannel campaign that includes television and mobile video components, turning off one of the channels can show what is working.

Additionally, segmenting a campaign into a control and test market by location can be a great way for brands to see what the impact is for individual DMAs.

?[Mobile] works enough to convince the client to keep doing it,? Mr. Cook said.

?And in some markets, it is interesting because it?s not always the same percentage of sales in a test versus control market,? he said.

?But we are seeing either from a couple percentage points to the high single or double percentage points of sales being impacted.?

Omar Kaywan, director of mobile advertising at airG, Vancouver, Canada, agreed that both location and understanding a brand?s goals can help in measuring ROI.

Additionally, everything needs to be put in perspective with a brand?s traditional media.

?When you?re trying to understand ROI with mobile, you have to look back and see what is going on with your traditional media,? Mr. Kaywan said.

?When was the last time you correlated your video from TV campaigns for metrics of conversion, unique retail traffic and so forth?? he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York