Picture: Unsplash/Adem Ay
Picture: Unsplash/Adem Ay

In an era where people are becoming more reliant on internet technology to stay connected with friends and family, and their employers and employees, from work-from-home locations, they are spending significantly more time online, making mobile technology a huge opportunity for marketers and brands.

Hosted by Siya Sangweni, the latest instalment of the Future of Media online conference series, in partnership with Out There Media, probed the minds of industry professionals on the power of mobile advertising, how brands view it and its place in the media ecosystem in the context of ever-changing consumer behaviour in a pandemic era.

“Mobile has certainly made the world a lot smaller. It’s an extension of who we are. It’s our connection to our friends, family and colleagues. It’s the first experience of the internet to most people. It plays a huge role in connecting the world,” said Wandisile Nkabinde, senior manager of media and digital marketing at MultiChoice, adding that mobile is a unique and powerful channel in 2021.

Now that we have established the power of mobile, where does mobile advertising fit into the performance media ecosystem? Clare Trafankowska, MD of iProspect SA, answered by pointing out that, first, it’s important to establish what performance media is. “What we tend to talk about in the industry is performance being linked to business results, revenue and return on investment (ROI). Though your world has got a lot smaller … it has also got a lot bigger when thinking of the content expansion and digital experiences at our fingertips. So when we take it back to performance and the role of mobile, what we need to think about is mobile and social commerce – all happening on your mobile. Performance media and marketing are closely linked to business revenue.” She summed up by saying that mobile gives brands the opportunity of time, transactional ability and exposure, as consumers are just one thumbprint away from a purchase.

Having access to mass audiences to promote your brand sounds like a dream, but with privacy laws becoming more and more important, Donald Mokgale, Sub-Saharan Africa CEO of Out There Media, was asked how they manage this aspect of mobile advertising. “The super critical thing is to be compliant when it comes to privacy laws … We adhere to GDPR [the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation], which means all data is significantly regulated, and we only work with opted-in audiences. In instances where we run campaigns for clients who want to grow their audiences, we take things further by being extra careful with the new laws coming into play like the death of third-party cookies.”

Trafankowska added: “The death of the cookie will force marketers to make very deliberate decisions that will influence and enhance the customer experience. The data the telcos hold will also push for partnerships that will help marketers create these personalised experiences.”

On the whole, the marketing budgets allocated for mobile have been increasing as a result of the rising penetration of mobile devices in SA, but what percentage of budget should businesses, brands and agencies allocate specifically to mobile for campaigns? Mbulelo Pahlana, media and digital manager at Reckitt Africa, touched on a few things that need to be considered here.  As a starting point it’s hard to decide on a figure without understanding your client’s segmentation processes and how much time they spend on mobile. “To get a better idea of a budget allocation amount, know your audience profile and how much time they spend on their mobile devices, understand your campaign objectives and, lastly, be clear in what you want your audience to action.”

Sangweni asked how brands should make use of various mobile ad formats to amplify their marketing. Nkabinde gave a few practical tools for agencies to use regarding video and social media content. “For high-impact display, less copy is best, along with good-quality graphics, and a very clear call to action is important. Regarding video, the creative needs to be good; shorter durations are generally better on social media and mobile. Never cut and paste a TV commercial onto digital. Lastly, take your remarketing into consideration and make sure your impact lands quickly.”

Implementing these suggestions will propel you into a good space to get the most out of your mobile advertising brand objectives. Trafankowska said that in order for mobile advertising to truly fulfil a brand’s objectives, it must get the basics right. This includes having a good understanding of the role of the mobile channel as well as the consumer, and to have the right creative and strategies in place. Keep in mind that there’s no umbrella strategy, and couple that with the best attribution model based on your objectives that will lead the consumer journey.

Brands should have a clear strategy that focuses on value when adopting this channel into communication plans. Mokgale is a huge advocate for brands and businesses driving value. He affirmed that a way to do this is through data stacking. “This is the golden thread to a good marketing strategy. Putting the customer first is the conversation we are having with most marketers. Driving relevance at scale requires you to have data that helps you understand what the consumer is looking for and what makes sense to them.”

At the end of the day, every campaign, brand and investment needs some sort of ROI, so how can we ensure we received the best ROI value of mobile?

Trafankowska said: “Have an attribution model. Mobile is a channel and there is a difference between performances on desktop and mobile. Attribution models allow you to place value on various platforms and channels.” Nkabinde said that they track return on ad spend. “How it’s calculated is revenue divided by advertising spend. The point is to know your business’s revenue structure and how much the business made from that specific aspect.” He noted that sometimes marketers don’t always paint the whole picture and urged them to share this information with the agency to accurately measure ROI.

We keep our devices with us wherever we go. They’re next to the bed, in the bathroom, worn on wrists – always within reach. Whether brands rely on custom apps, SMS messaging, banner ads and the like to reach consumers, our mobile devices are in prime position to do the job. In conclusion, the opportunity lies in collaborating, learning and forging a view of fast-paced changes in mobile media that will benefit both the brand and the consumer.

To watch the full discussion, click here.

If you liked this discussion, register for the next Future of Media online event on June 24 2021, which will focus on “Neuromarketing: delving deep into the subconscious”. Click here to register.

Big Take-Out:

When it comes to mobile advertising, it’s vital to know your audience profile and how much time they spend on their mobile devices, understand your campaign objectives and be clear in what you want your audience to action.

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