“Digital consumers are now mobile consumers” – Q&A with Jon Mew, director of mobile and operations, IAB and MOMAs judge

With the judging of the MOMAs (Marketing on Mobile Awards) just around the corner, The Drum catches up with one of the judges to discuss his views on mobile.

Jon Mew

Jon Mew, director of mobile and operations at the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), shares his thoughts on Google Glass, getting the basics right, and why he thinks wearables merit excitement.

According to the IAB, media agencies are diverting on average 15 per cent of digital spend towards mobile – how do you see that trend developing over the coming months?

Mobile advertising grew like-for-like by 127 per cent to £429.2m in the first half of 2013 from £188.1m in the first half of 2012. This surge in spend can only reflect greater knowledge and understanding around the discipline – with more and more media agencies now having dedicated mobile budgets, we can expect in more from the medium in 2014. It makes sense, as not only are consumers on their phones 24/7 but also, mobile offers so many unique opportunities.

Mobile can be a problem for many marketers when it comes to judging how much to spend – is there any advice you would offer to them in determining how important it is for their marketing communications to run across mobile devices?

It’s no longer an option, it’s a necessity. Digital consumers are now mobile consumers and for a lot of brands in 2014 they’ll see the majority of their traffic come from mobile and tablet devices.

Many brands still have to get the basics right though. The recent IAB optimised site study showed that 42 per cent of the top 100 advertisers aren’t creating experiences that suit their customer needs.

I’d really counsel any brand to look where it needs to bridge those gaps in terms of the brand experience provided and consumer behaviour.

What was your favourite mobile campaign or event in mobile of 2013?

We continue to see an increase in mobile in the IAB’s monthly Creative Showcase awards. A recent example of great integrated mobile creativity was by the agency Elvis for Compassion in World Farming. The campaign promoted sustainable farming practices and was really engaging. Using your phone, you could interact via a giant outdoor screen at Westfield Shopping Centre with pigs on a real farm. You used your phone to make a donation so you could then feed apples to the pigs remotely. Pretty amazing! The campaign was a great way to showcase just how interactive and fun mobile can be whilst raising money for a great cause. Consumers really felt part of the experience, which is what mobile and any digital campaign should be all about.

Google Glass – is it overhyped or worth the excitement? Why?

As a guy who loves gadgets, I don’t think any new technology is ever overhyped. Google Glass, and wearables in general, definitely merit the excitement. Continuing evolution of tech will involve more seamless integration with the human experience, and glasses, gloves, shoes and more will all be a huge part of that. Human beings are, by nature, information-seekers and everything that brings us closer to the information we seek is amazing.

What mobile devices do you own?

With mobile being so ingrained in my everyday life I’m usually across a few devices and because of my role at the IAB, get to play with a lot of the latest mobile tech as a part of my job. I own a Surface, an iPad, a Nexus4, a Windows phone and an iPhone. I’m not trying to show off, I just have to stay impartial!

The MOMAs is in its second year, and highlights and rewards effective mobile campaigns. Mobile advertising company Celtra has just been announced as a new sponsor, joining RAR and The Drum Network.

Although it's too late to enter for the 2014 awards, you can register for next year at www.momas.co.uk, where tickets for the ceremony on 21 May can also be purchased.

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