An expert in mobile advertising has been offering advice on the future direction of mobile campaigns – and for anyone interested in media jobs in this sector, he’s well worth listening to.
As Director of Global Advertising Sales at Telefonica Digital, Simon Birkenhead knows a thing or two about mobiles phones advertising. And he thinks it’s in urgent need of evolution, despite recent figures suggesting mobile ad spending is burgeoning.
Mobile ad resistant cultures?
Impressive as they might at first sight appear, especially to novices in mobile advertising media jobs, Birkenhead thinks they conceal deeper problems which have to be addressed if the sector is to genuinely thrive. Citing new research from WIN/GIA and GSMA which surveyed 50,000 mobile users in 54 countries, he pinpoints some significant cultural differences in attitude. US consumers by and large are relatively open to mobile advertising and the use of their personal data for targeting (especially if they think it’ll save them money). But across the pond in Western Europe, especially the UK and France, they’re a lot more resistant and tend to see little value in mobile advertising.
Birkenhead has some ideas up his sleeve about how to promote more positive attitudes toward mobile. Anyone considering media jobs in mobile would do well to take them on board.
We need, he says, “to move on from untargeted, blind advertising to deliver a superior mobile advertising experience for consumers.” Birkenhead mentions the success of Telefonica’s intelligent targeting solutions, which have yielded very positive attitudes (83 percent of customers in its “O2 More Advertising” program are either “quite” or “very” positive when it comes to receiving marketing campaigns on their smartphones).
How to revolutionize mobile advertising
Currently, mobile display campaigns account for 52 percent of mobile media spend, but 70 per cent are sold without any form of targeting. This is a mind-set which needs to change – the days of shoehorning ad formats designed for PCs onto mobile screens are over, he says. He has three proposals.
Step one: develop advertising formats specifically designed for mobile screens.
Step two: go for engagement and relevancy. Use targeted, location-based ads that hook into consumer interests and whereabouts.
Step three: make it easier for advertisers and agencies to collaborate with mobile operators. That’ll deliver mobile marketing at scale.
Is this a revolution in the making?