At Eyeblaster’s “Digital Experience Day,” last week, held at the beautiful TriBeCa Grand Hotel, important players in the digital marketing and advertising world gathered to hear about the ever-growing world of online advertising.
One lecture, entitled, “The Digital Creep” provided an overview of a TNS media intelligence study on the digital marketing landscape. Of the many things discussed in the study, the most surprising finding was the importance of mobile advertising in both brand building and in driving customer response. According to the study, the use of mobile media for branding purposes had a 49% success rate, which beat out both print and out-of-home advertising. These results were explained using the logic that “interaction happens on the screen closest to you,” and that the proximity and immediacy of mobile media benefits brands targeting consumers locally, and in real time.
Logically this argument makes sense, but in practice, this theory falls short. While most people in the business world have high-tech, high performing smartphone like an iPhone, Blackberry, or a Palm, the majority of individuals still have regular “non-smart” phones. According to this study, mobile media brought the biggest response out of any other form of media, with individuals responding to mobile ads 68% of the time. Given the limited capabilities of most phones, and the general annoyance one feels upon receiving an SMS advertisement, one must ask who actually responds to cell phone advertising. Additionally, as this form of marketing grows in popularity to become commonplace, one wonders if response rates will fall as the novelty wanes. Case in point: click through rates for digital display ads (now an avg. of .01%) were once far higher when the medium was new.
Despite these doubts, the findings do seem to make sense to a degree. Mobile advertising, unlike any other, has the best possibility for successful brand building while also driving a high consumer response. Mobile advertising can be highly targeted both demographically and geographically, which makes response rates more likely. Although not all of the desired market may be able to respond or even fully view mobile advertisements, those individuals equipped with smart phones, can easily view and respond to an appealing ad. So, while the findings of these researchers maybe skewed and unrepresentative of they whole population, they certainly present good information on how important mobile advertising will become in the future, while simultaneously supporting efforts of those companies currently using mobile advertising.
– R.D. Eisenhart III, email@example.com