Beyond Buzzwords: Separating Fact, Fiction, and Hype in Mobile
The 2013 IAB Mobile Marketplace launched into action with an energetic and thought-provoking welcome from Anna Bager, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB. “Content has to be nomadic because users are,” she said. You can’t wait for the marketplace to become simplified to get involved. “The time to take action is now,” she advised.
Bager revealed that in the coming year the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence will focus on measurement, video, programmatic buying and RTB, and more. She unveiled new research entitled “Mobile and Money” illuminating how mobile users are leveraging smartphones and tablets to manage their personal finances. Key finding: 58 percent of surveyed mobile users regularly use their banks’ app. She showcased the new “Mobile Phone Creative Guidelines” created in harmony with Mobile Marketing Association to establish one consistent set of creative standards in the industry.
Thomas Fellger, Founding Partner and Group Chief Executive Officer, iconmobile, provided an inspirational state of the state address on the mobile marketplace. “We have more mobile phones out there than toothbrushes,” he said. “We are not trying to change a behavior like the internet did. Mobile doesn’t do that if you do this right. Mobile enhances your normal behavior.” It gets you a better deal when you’re shopping. It educates your children on their local environment while they’re sitting in the back of the car. It can make a bicycle pop a wheelie—automatically. “I’m not saying mobile is a mobile phone; I’m not saying mobile is a tablet; mobile is a context,” he explained.
From big ideas to the marketplace that supports it, Peter Minnium, Head, Brand Initiatives, IAB, took to the stage to discuss how standards help creative ideas reach large mobile audiences. “I love ad standards because they give marketers and agencies and the entire ecosystem something to focus on and this focus provides scale,” he said, introducing the IAB Mobile Rising Stars. He was soon joined by a panel of creative experts: Sia Ea, Creative Director, Ansible; David Levin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, zurvu; and Richard Ting, Executive Vice President, Global Executive Creative Director, Mobile and Social Platforms, R/GA. Each presenter showed off innovative and engaging mobile marketing and advertising executions, including Band-Aids that come to life through an app, an interactive TV commercial through an IAB Rising Star ad format, and an interactive mobile web music video.
Rovio, the creator of Angry Birds, has evolved from a games company to one of the world’s largest publishers. Michele Tobin, Vice President, Brand Ad Partnerships and Advertising, Americas, Rovio, said the company’s philosophy for success is fans first. “Anything we do we look at: how are we surprising and delighting fans?” she said. Fans wanted to interact with the brand in more ways and through different aspects of their lives. So Rovio provided the opportunity. The global entertainment company now produces consumer products including educational books, stuffed animals, and soft drinks; real-life experiences like activity parks; and animated content that has reached 1.7 billion downloads. Its inspiration for expansion? Disney.
Next up, deep dives into the most pressing issues with which the mobile industry is wrestling. Attendees broke out in to 3-part track sessions on the topics of mobile video, the publisher point of view, and measurement. The first sessions defined the opportunity, the second provided real world examples, and the third tied it all together.
Then following a networking luncheon and workshops, attendees reconvened in the main ballroom for a series of enlightening case studies. The first two case studies provided a behind-the-scenes look on how partners work together to develop and deploy powerful mobile marketing.
Insightful conversation ignited with mobile innovator, American Express. Terryn Giampietro, Senior Manager, U.S. Media and Sponsorship, American Express; Christina Polk, Associate Director—American Express, Mindshare; and John SanGiovanni, Co-Founder and Vice President, Design, Zumobi, revealed the process behind the ambitious mobile initiative that incorporated high-quality video, user-generated content, and social media integration to educate the consumer about the Amex Membership Effect. The creation and production process included many meetings with all key participants. This practice prevented “meeting about meetings” syndrome and sped up the approvals process.
Top of mind this spring season—allergies! Attendees got a sneak peek into what makes Zyrtec the No. 1 allergy app on iOS and Android, and the No. 1 trafficked mobile allergy site with a presentation by Moey Santos, Group Partner, Integrated Planning, J3; Jeff Suhy, President and Partner, Modus Operandi; and Eric Weisberg, Executive Creative Director, JWT New York. One secret to success: the team puts the allergy sufferer at the center of the ecosystem and focuses not on stunts but on utility for the user. The three rules of mobile they live by: mobile is not an idea; mobile is a team sport; and launch and learn.
Joe Laszlo, Senior Director, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB, introduced the next two case studies which were all about measurement. “It really is the year of mobile measurement,” Laszlo said. “At the mobile measurement breakout session this morning, people were packed into the room.” The upcoming case studies, he said, would answer the question that every marketer asks: What is the metric that matters for my goal?
“Mobile is an effective branding tool,” said Ryan Richardson, Manager, Digital Media, Buffalo Wild Wings. That’s what he learned from his brand’s mobile marketing initiative produced with Craig Key, Associate Media Director, space150, and Jeff Smith, Senior Vice President, Product Leadership for Advertising Effectiveness, Nielsen. The centerpiece of the campaign, designed to drive traffic to the restaurant during football season, was a Mario Bros.-like game where users avoided the chores and distractions that would delay them from getting to Buffalo Wild Wings. Nearly 200,000 people played the game; on average users played the game five times; and on average each play time lasted 90 seconds—this is 90 seconds where the consumer was interacting with the brand, not passively watching an ad, they emphasized. After the campaign, the brand dedicated more of its spend to mobile.
The final case study showcased the power of mobile search. Lars Feely, Group Planning Director, Neo@Ogilvy New York, demonstrated how Caesars Entertainment and its partners drove meaningful results with only $5,000 invested over five days on search. The team aimed to drive to Caesars anyone researching Las Vegas entertainment on the mobile web—including those people searching for Ceasars’ competitors. By dominating the mobile search space, the brand saw a 3:1 return on investment. The highest volume of clicks came from competitor branded terms.
Marketplace Conversations were up next, after a networking refreshment break. Attendees posed questions, shared experiences, and exchanged insights on the topics of programmatic buying and scale, unlocking the value of local, and the IAB Mobile Measurement Guidelines.
But before conversation facilitators reported back, a grand finale keynote presentation. Lars Albright, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, SessionM, interviewed Lou Paskalis, Vice President, Global Media Content Development and Mobile Marketing, American Express. Paskalis referred to mobile as a “crisistunity” for marketers—a crisis and an opportunity. There’s more media being consumed and at the same time, more ways to skip ads. He urged brands to navigate the environment by thinking “more like marketers and less like pure play advertisers.” But even beyond this strategy there are challenges that need to be addressed. One is measurement and accountability. “We’re not able to make a rational investment even though the audience is there,” he said. The other challenge deals with user experience. What’s the right level of interaction when you’re interacting with the consumer as a second screen? For a brand that is grounded in trust, how many opt-ins will users accept before exiting the experience? One key piece of advice: less is more. When you put too many ornaments on a Christmas tree, it tips over, he joked.
The full day of stimulating discussion and relentless practical tips concluded with reports back from the Marketplace Conversations. At the discussion about local advertising and marketing, the attendees explored: What is the definition of local? What is the “local” proximity of a consumer coming to your store? In the IAB Mobile Measurement Guidelines conversation, the importance of knowing your audience came to the fore. At the session focused on programmatic buying, it was found that programmatic buying is helpful when marketers want to target audiences horizontally.
With this feedback from the attendees—made up of mobile enthusiasts, mobile industry participants, and the mobile curious—and a drink or two at the networking cocktail reception, the 2013 IAB Mobile Marketplace came to a close.
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by Anna Bager, IAB Mobile Center