Personalisation will help marketers avoid consumers choosing digital detox, says Nimbletank boss David Skerrett

Advertisers that create content with consumers’ mobility at the heart will flourish amid the incoming information overload that will push many consumers to go on a digital detox, according to Nimbletank managing director David Skerrett.

Car makers such as Nissan and Audi alongside financial firms such as RBS and Nationwide are among a growing group of companies adapting internally to go beyond thinking mobile banner ads and apps first to prioritising services and products.

It is those brands that attain this mindset by disconnecting and embracing the new simplicity that will gain cut through when people decide to curb the digital maelstrom of content, claimed Skerrett.

“I predict more people will take digital detox holidays and when out with friends opt for JOMO: Joy Of Missing Out. So more apps will appear that let you personalise and turn the world of constant noise and notifications off.

“We are seeing much less campaign semi disposable mobile briefs and more products and services with consumers' mobility at the heart.”

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt highlighted the shift at the World Ecomomic Forum last month (23 January) when he predicted the rise of the smartphone app is reordering the dominance of technology leaders. However, mobile cuts across the various departments so it is not always easy given the constraints of capability, time and money.

Skerrett said: “It’s very satisfying to see the budgets rising, and the client job titles get ever more senior as mobile has risen up to C-suite level from marketing manager level. The exam question has moved upwards and onwards too - from 'do I need an App or a site' - to 'how can mobile transform my business or our consumer’s lives'”.

Nimbletank benefited from the change last year when client MiniCabit, a taxi ordering app, allowed it to develop a mobile-first strategy. Branding, visual language, user interface and experience design were all redesigned from the ground up, which in turn lifted their return on investment in mobile, claimed Skerrett.

Backing mobile to lead a fundamental shift in business strategy is easier to do when a business is a mobile service at its core. The dearth of case studies on how to apply this mindset to other industries and mobile technology is what is making companies reluctant to fully commit.

For example, beacons technology has the potential to shape many strategies in the future, said Skerrett but only once brands have different examples to learn from.

“By the time you look at the total number of app users a brand has, minus those who have opted out of messages, minus those who have Bluetooth turned off (which is the majority of people), minus the number of retailers with beacons out of range or with a flat battery you are left with a small number of people. They’ll be more important when we see some great case studies with great results.”

Skerrett spoke to The Drum as one the judges for 2015’s Mobile on Marketing Awards (MOMAs). The MOMAs, sponsored by Weve, is now open for entries for its fourth year, and looks to celebrate the most effective and innovative work carried out in the mobile industry. The Drum asked Skerrett what he would be looking out from this year’s entries.

The Drum:What will you be looking to see from entries to the MOMAs?

Skerrett: A great iBeacon case study. Seriously, I’d like to see more insightful and considered entries. Focus on doing one thing really well, that perhaps you can only do on mobile. Or seeing how mobile is the connecting tissue in a broader channel mix to leverage a consumer insight or opportunity. I expect to see some impressive videos and examples, but some even greater results would be even better.

The Drum:We’re moving quickly to an ‘always on’ world. How does this change the way marketing on mobile works?

Skerrett: The way we work, what we make, the mobile roadmaps we create and the pivots we can now make - are evidence that mobile is always on. Start-ups, shorter product life cycles, new sensors, technologies, SDKs and behaviours make life very interesting! We see much more demand for launching a beta product that has been user tested, and then augment existing insights with live customer feedback and analytics to iterate products and build in additional functionality. Fun times.

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