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Group of people looking at devices with a blue background

Mobile Can Power Your Media Plans

Mobile devices are everywhere. According to networking company Cisco, by the end of 2013, there will be more mobile devices than people on earth! In fact, there are 1.5 million android devices activated each day. This doesn’t even account for the iPhone. On average, people check on their phones 150+ each day and this growth isn’t slowing down. Smartphone penetration is already north of 60%, and 81% of us use our mobile devices while we watch TV. Regarding tablets, the fastest growing consumer electronics product in history, U.S. penetration is already 40%. To put this in perspective, there were zero tablets in the market four years ago. Consumers now rely on their mobile devices throughout the day, making what brands call “online” a mix between all three devices – mobile, tablet and desktop.

Where’s the Budget?
However, as consumers continue to increase their media time spent on mobile devices (12%), advertisers are still slow to respond, using only 3% of ad budgets. This gap indicates a massive opportunity for brands to catch up to consumer behavior. According to ZenithOptimedia, ads that run on smartphones and tablets are expected to grow 77% in 2013, 56% in 2014 and 38% in 2015. This will increase worldwide mobile spend from $14.3 billion this year to $33.1 billion by 2015. The report states that mobile will account for 37% of all growth in ad spending this year.

What’s holding advertisers back? The speed at which consumers move to mobile makes it hard for marketers and publishers to keep up. There are multiple elements to factor in when running mobile campaigns. Brands often lack mobile-optimized assets. Additionally, mobile targeting, measurement and tracking can be wildly different from the desktop. Brands must also think about context and how to reach consumers on the right device, at the right time, with the right message. Brands, and the agencies who serve them, who want to engage in mobile need to execute multi-screen campaigns, leverage mobile’s unique targeting capabilities and/or deliver unique creative experiences at scale. To do this, they need a deep understanding of the complexities in the environment.

Mobile Media Planning
As brands ramp up their multi-screen efforts, brands should prioritize transparency of publishers and placements on their media plans. While it sounds easy to scale a buy using a mobile network partner to place ads on “blind” lists of sites that the brand may or may not be interested in, brands should expect more from their partners to deliver plans that have the publishers they want. Furthermore, the plan needs to match the advertiser’s spec sheets and creative sizes with the available inventory.

Targeting
Perhaps the most important targeting parameter in mobile advertising is the specific location. Location is key and can be used to limit waste by pin-pointing the right consumer. Through geo-fencing, brands can use location to target unique audiences or even use dynamic mobile creative that delivers a localized message to core consumers.

Unleash Creative Ideas
Mobile rich media provides the unique ability to measure campaign performance and track user actions. Brands can measure swipes, calls generated, business visits, video views and multiple other custom actions. This allows brands tie these actions back to brand objectives, optimizing each step of the way.

Yet, mobile creative can be a challenge because of unique screen sizes, formats and standards. This makes technology driven skill sets and partnerships essential for any brand or agency running mobile. Furthermore, campaigns should not be limited to running mobile rich media on just a handful of specific sites. Marketers need access to a wide range of publishers or applications with complete information on which ones can run the brand’s creative.

Brands know there is an opportunity in mobile, but are looking for guidance. This is why the potential for fast growth in mobile ad spending is enormous, and we expect it to happen very soon. To discuss mobile opportunities, Centro is hosting a free webinar with the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and technology provider Thinknear on Tuesday, October 8. To register, visit: www3.gotomeeting.com/register/331094222.