The future for ‘mobile in the mix’ looks bright... well, almost
In the first of a series of blogs on key mobile takeaways from Advertising Week Europe, Fetch's Julian Smith reports from day one, taking a look at why mobile should be viewed as a consumer behaviour rather than a channel.
During the first day at Advertising Week Europe (AWE) I spent most of the time in the shadow of St James’ church, behind BAFTA, in the News Room marquee. Moving between the line-up of presentations and panels across Studio A and B, I heard a number of different perspectives from a variety of stakeholders about the current challenges and future opportunities in the ever evolving marketing industry.
In a short space of time, I heard from senior marketers, in our (Fetch) session: ‘Mobile: The CMO view’, on how marketers can stay ahead of the crowded mobile market; listened to senior agency leaders, in the Weve panel on ‘Mobile as the media glue’, which focused on how to manage mobile in the communications mix; took note on how ad technology providers, in AppNexus, target digital consumers through programmatic buying; and watched the social giant, Facebook, discuss its latest mobile and cross-device advertising opportunities.
In all these discussions a key theme emerged – as an industry, we should no longer see mobile as a standalone, separate and siloed channel. We should now recognise, and respond to the fact, that most modern consumers live in an interwoven multi-screen world. A number of panellists lamented the fact that technology seems to have diverged rather than converged recently, and we now find ourselves juggling more device screens, rather than less.
In this new multi-screen, multichannel, multi-connected world, agency leaders and marketers alike agreed that mobile needs to take its place alongside other media/distribution channels and be properly integrated into the mix. But when it comes to integrated communications planning, mobile should be thought of more as a consumer behaviour rather than a channel.
In order to better integrate mobile, we should be considering the context in which we use our small, smartphone screen and how this behaviour is interwoven with our tablet, laptop, desktop or TV screens through a consumer’s path to purchase. This was brought to life in the IPA TouchPoints survey, the findings of which were shared in the session ‘The secret life of your smartphone’.
By considering context and content, rather than channels, as a starting point agency representatives agreed we might start to see more innovative integrated communications that deliver richer and more engaging consumer experiences – adding value, rather than interrupting.
However, it was recognised that there were are three key challenges that we, as an industry need to overcome in order to enable better integration.
- Lack of consumer insight: there is currently a lack of deep mobile consumer insight available to agency planners. This results in uncertainty as to the role of mobile in the mix and alongside other channels, beyond that of ‘lower funnel’ direct response.
- Budgets remain too compartmentalised: this inhibits the opportunity for innovation and integration across channels and results in siloed agency planning, buying and activation.
- Cross-channel conversion: this attribution remains a major challenge in the industry. The inability to measure the influence and impact of one channel on behaviour in another is holding back many marketers from embracing a fully integrated approach.
So, while the future for mobile in the mix looks bright (according to the content and conversations from day one of AWE), there are still a number of key issues that need to be addressed. Hopefully by the end of this week, given the assembled cast of industry luminaries, we will have taken a step or two closer to resolving them.
Julian Smith is head of strategy and innovations at Fetch