corporate marketing departments. Agencies are
trying to “preserve their relevance as they build
technical tools that are generally inferior and
overpriced compared to those sourced internally,” Kaplan says.
Other roadblocks include the proliferation of
mobile technologies (SMS/MMS, email, web,
apps, games, video, social networking, etc.),
fragmentation among mobile marketing services
providers, and diffusion of decision-making
responsibility within marketing organizations.
Content Is King
One reason marketers must overcome those
integration issues is that consumers increasingly
obtain input from various sources to make
purchase decisions, says Barbara Williams,
mobile marketing global practice leader at
Microsoft. “Our research shows that more than
half of smartphone users go to their mobile
device for more information on a product after
experiencing advertising on any channel, be it
traditional or digital,” she says.
Scott Berg, director of digital marketing and
ecosystems at HP, concurs. In fact, HP was
so convinced of the validity of this hypothesis
that it went “all in” with its new Mobile at Retail
program earlier this year, a campaign that
put quick response (QR) codes, an effective
mechanism to spur consumer requests for
content, on all HP printers sold through its
retail stores along the U.S. East Coast and in
Canada. The QR codes link to special mobile
sites, but the content those sites contain comes
from the same source system HP uses for its
other online sites.
“Prior to the rollout (on June 1) we were doing
about 200 scans a day, and by the end of July we
were doing 1,400 a day,” Berg says. “Our
predicted monthly page views for this particular
area is about 50,000, and time spent on the
[mobile] site has increased from about two-and-
a-quarter minutes to about four minutes. This
was not a test. It was go big or go home.”
Kaplan stresses that the quality and rel-
evancy of the content a QR code links to is
especially important. “We need to deliver
valuable content and clearly communicate this
value using calls to action that compel consum-
ers to engage,” he says. “We need to hook
consumers at their first ‘moment of truth’ and
hold their attention through to purchase.”
“In today’s fragmented media world, every bit
of content has to work harder than ever,” adds
TIME TO ANSWER THE CALL
ANA Magazine reached out to Fareena Sultan, a
professor of marketing at Northeastern University
(Boston, Mass.) and a member of the editorial
review board for the Journal of Interactive Marketing, for her insights on the emerging mobile space.
Q. What is driving the increase in ad spending on mobile
A. The sheer number of mobile phone users, the ever-increasing
number of smartphones, and the development of more and more
apps that allow brands to engage in marketing to consumers
through the mobile platform all play a role. We call it “brand in
the hand” marketing in our research at Northeastern.
Q. Why has the integration of mobile into cross-platform
strategies not progressed faster?
A. Some companies may not understand the uniqueness of the
medium and the emotional attachment of consumers to the
mobile device. Oftentimes, marketing departments may not be
that familiar with the nuances of mobile campaigns, and metrics
for the mobile platform are still evolving.
Q. What needs to change to accelerate that integration?
A. In some situations, there may be a mindset issue; in others,
brands may not have done enough research on how their target
customer is using mobile devices in the buying process. Are they
soliciting advice from Facebook friends, which they now increasingly access via mobile devices? Are they seeking out nearby
offers to where they are presently located? Brands need to know
more about consumers’ mobile habits, and they need to have the
expertise to build mobile campaigns that address those habits. If
such expertise does not exist in-house, it may be better to seek
the expertise of mobile marketing companies in order to deliver a
meaningful campaign on the mobile platform.
Q. What are the keys to successful integration?
A. Understand consumer behavior related to mobile. Many
consumers today watch a TV ad and then look at their laptop —
which they may have open while watching TV — for more information, and they may follow up with a text message to their
friends on mobile. If your target customer is engaging in media
multitasking, then you need to be there too, with integrated and
engaging campaigns. — M.J.M.