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Why leading with mobile doesn’t always mean running mobile ads

Tom Burgess, co-founder and CEO of Link­able net­works and the founder of the world’s first mobile adver­tis­ing net­work (Third Screen Media) has offered some intrigu­ing new ideas to mobile adver­tis­ing agencies.

Tak­ing the mantra “lead with mobile” seri­ous­ly, Burgess sug­gests that it shouldn’t be tak­en to mean exclu­sive­ly run­ning ads on mobile devices. Sound coun­ter­in­tu­itive? Aren’t mobile phones adver­tis­ing cam­paigns going to reach the fastest grow­ing group of con­nect­ed users?

Mobile enable­ment

Well, Burgess thinks, there are oth­er ways to “lead with mobile” besides con­cen­trat­ing all the ads on mobile devices. He asks an acute ques­tion: “Who real­ly watch­es a video mobile ad all the way through and then goes to the brand’s Face­book page to learn more?”

A more effec­tive means of lead­ing with mobile, he argues, is “mobile enable­ment” – giv­ing every ad on every medi­um (print, TV, radio, inter­net, mobile etc.) a mobile com­po­nent which func­tions as a sim­ple call to action. These prompts, Burgess insists, must be easy to imple­ment, with low bar­ri­ers to entry, such as encour­ag­ing a con­sumer to access a brand’s mobile app, tex­ting a sim­ple pro­mo­tion­al code or scan­ning a QR code.

How the big brands lead with mobile

Dis­ney, for exam­ple, used the mobile-call-to-action tac­tic in a high­ly suc­cess­ful ad cam­paign last sum­mer. The ads appeared in print, on TV and on radio — but in each of them, con­sumers were invit­ed to down­load the world famous brand’s mobile app sim­ply by dial­ing a StarStar code. There­upon, they could search its amuse­ment parks, find wait times, and access exclu­sive videos and photos.

Star­bucks also prac­tices “mobile enable­ment” through its use of loca­tion-based net­works like Foursquare. When poten­tial con­sumers come near to a spe­cif­ic Star­bucks out­let, they receive a coupon, an offer, or sim­ply an invi­ta­tion to drop in and relax with lat­te or a Frappuccino.

These strate­gies, Burgess opines, make a lot of com­mer­cial sense. He says:

“It’s more like­ly to be a good use of your mar­ket­ing dol­lars because now, the print ad that orig­i­nal­ly would just have cre­at­ed con­sumer aware­ness of your brand –- at best -– is now encour­ag­ing the con­sumer to get out there and do some­thing as a result.”

He sums it up like this:

“So, you can “lead with mobile” by adding mobile to all the media you already work with.”

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