From my Forbes.com blog The New Persuaders:
As more and more of us access online content and services via smartphones and tablets, it’s becoming apparent that advertising that works on the Web viewed on desktop and laptop computers just won’t work as well–or at all–on mobile devices. Just look at Facebook’s stock price, sitting at half its IPO level partly because investors can’t figure out how or even if the company can make money from advertising on mobile devices.
Indeed, many people in marketing are wondering if advertising is even the best way to market on mobile devices, where screen real estate is tiny and people view traditional ads as an interruption. The advent of truly mobile computing, says MediaPost columnist Steve Smith, may allow us to rethink the fundamentals of marketing.
What might work better than banners on mobile devices? A panel at MediaPost’s Mobile Insider Summit today in Lake Tahoe, streamed online, took at crack at it, and panelists had some pretty interesting answers. On the panel were moderator Anna Bager, VP and general manager of the Interactive Advertising Bureau‘s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence; Lars Albright, cofounder and CEO of mobile engagement company SessionM; Brent Hieggelke, chief marketing officer at Urban Airship, a mobile message company for apps; Jon Vlassopulos, CEO of mobile entertainment studio/agency skyrockit; and Brian Wong, founder and CEO of mobile rewards network Kiip. Here’s what they had to say:
Bager says this is the “non-banner” panel. The banner is not dead, she says, but we need to see an evolution of banners and how we advertise on different screens.
Q: How is a mobile user different from a TV, radio or Internet user?
Hieggelke: Mobile devices are much more personal. They’re never beyond an arm’s length from people.
Wong: The person is no different. The usage is a lot more intimate. The smaller screen is seen (by marketers) as an impediment, which is frustrating.
Q: How can you use mobile devices differently from other channels?
Vlassopulos: We hope the differences will wash away. If mobile can be at the beginning of the idea channel, then the other ideas and creative will flow.
Albright: Too much marketing feels random on mobile.
Wong: One of the most exciting things we’re seeing is going beyond trying to spur actions. Tapping into streams of existing behavior has a lot more promise.
Vlassopulos: The notion of interruptive advertising in theory could go away and eventually will go away. If you start to think of advertising as content, and social media has helped here, then people might see it as something they like.
Wong: When you have an intimate relationship with someone, you don’t want to mess it up by constantly yelling at them. You can do that (intimate relationship) with mobile.
Albright: New formats such as rewards and opportunities to engage work better than banners. About 90% of people opt in and engage with these new formats, vs. 90% finding them annoying.
Wong: You need to let people maintain the activity they’re already engaged in. …
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