For those in the media world, the phrase “the year of mobile” is far too familiar. Still, despite every year being pegged as mobile’s biggest yet, there are a number of areas that need improvement to make the most of the ever-evolving medium.

Too often brands are considering mobile as a bolt on to digital campaigns. Desktop creative and messaging is resized for mobile without optimisation or mobile strategy considerations. In the cluttered advertising space, especially on a small screen, the only way to stand out and truly engage an audience is to understand the platform and leverage its strengths.

1. Clear Campaign Objectives

Without clear objectives from the outset, how can a strategy be developed and creative be planned? Defining the target audience will establish who ads should reach, but also in what way the ads can be designed to engage them on their most personal device. Without defining the desired outcome of the campaign, how can media be planned and bought effectively? How can creative be optimised to achieve our goals? And most importantly, how can we measure the success?

2. Mobile Specific Creative

Consider how most people use their smartphones. They use them for short periods and at a high frequency. Adapt your ad style to compliment this user behaviour and you will be on the way to an effective mobile campaign. TVC style video where the brand message comes at the end of 15, 30, or even 60 seconds of beautiful content, will not work on mobile. Brand and message need to be delivered upfront. This capitalises on the small window of user attention you have when a user is deciding to engage further. Also, consider the length of video for mobile. Asking a user to watch a 30-second ad before a 30-second piece of content isn’t an ideal value exchange for the user. Keep it short and sweet!

HTML5 has set new standards for digital. A new wave of mobile creative has come with HTML5. We have to move away from poorly sized, text heavy creative and focus on responsive, to the point and engaging formats. Finally, reaching people on their most personal device means ads should be delivered in a polite and non-intrusive way for a positive brand exchange.

3. Native Functionalities to Engage

Mobile as a medium has many unique functionalities that we can tap into as advertisers to engage our audience. Brands should be taking advantage of what already comes naturally to a mobile user. Tapping, swiping and even taking a selfie are all natural mobile behaviours that can lead to maximum engagement. When relevant, even bigger asks like click to call deliver great results. Always think about what can be done on a mobile device that can’t be done on other devices to make a campaign stand out.

4. Relevance 

Mobile provides brands with a unique opportunity to enter into a consumer’s most personal space. Brands need to respect this and get it right.
Smartphone behaviour can give us valuable insights into the user themselves. Apps can tell us user’s hobbies, music preferences, shopping habits and basic details like age and gender. Ads can then be customised dynamically using real-time data based on a user’s location, weather, behaviour, and a brand’s nearby offering. With mobile offering such a high level of targeting so there is no excuse to not be relevant.

A successful mobile campaign does not come from extending an existing digital strategy. It comes from recognising mobile as a channel in its own right and leveraging its unique strengths to your advantage. Brands must respect the consumer’s intimate space and be relevant and engaging to achieve well thought out mobile objectives.

Written by Karen Cheshire, Mobile Account Manager & Laura Fell, Senior Account Manager