Online brows­ing through smart­phones is ex­plod­ing in the lo­cal mar­ket. But Sizmek’s Carolyn Bol­laci be­lieves there’s a dis­con­nect be­tween the level of con­sump­tion and the qual­ity of the ads be­ing served.

New Zealand Marketing - - Contents -

Na­tive advertising is grow­ing. And that’s a good thing, says Ben Young.

In advertising, the six-sec­ond Vine video is the new 30-sec­ond com­mer­cial – well at least for the youth seg­ment. The con­tent for­mat is fast, short and com­pelling. Un­doubt­edly, how Gen­er­a­tion Z views and in­ter­acts with con­tent to­day is a sign­post to­wards the fu­ture of the mo­bile ex­pe­ri­ence, and mo­bile advertising in par­tic­u­lar.

Even for those out­side this young de­mo­graphic, mo­bile de­vices dom­i­nate our lives. We use them for ev­ery­thing – re­search, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, shop­ping, util­ity in­for­ma­tion, en­ter­tain­ment, and gen­eral brows­ing. The mod­ern dig­i­tal brand needs to un­der­stand dif­fer­ent au­di­ence be­hav­iours, per type of screen and per screen size.

Re­search shows con­sumers are spend­ing 39 days of the year, or three hours per day, on smart­phones. So why are we still serv­ing them crappy mo­bile ads?

Why aren’t we mak­ing them en­gag­ing, cre­ative and rel­e­vant for the en­vi­ron­ment in which they are served and seen? If we want to serve crappy ads, why don’t we just go back to pop-ups? At least they were 100 per­cent view­able.

There is a gi­gan­tic gap be­tween the high lev­els of con­sumer mo­bile us­age and the low lev­els of mar­ket­ing spend al­lo­cated to mo­bile. The advertiser’s abil­ity to en­gage and in­form users with in­no­va­tive and en­gag­ing mo­bile ads has not matched the pace of change in con­sumer be­hav­iour. As a re­sult, there is a lot of wastage hap­pen­ing; a big rub­bish chute of un­seen and unimag­i­na­tive mo­bile ads.

The full po­ten­tial of mo­bile advertising has not yet been reached be­cause there’s an over­all lack of cre­ativ­ity within mo­bile. Many mar­keters are stuck in a desk­top ban­ner time-warp, where they try to force yesterday’s tech­nol­ogy into to­day’s world rather than adopt­ing a mo­bile-first ap­proach, cre­at­ing ads that fit or­gan­i­cally within the mo­bile or tablet screen.

Let’s be hon­est, we are in the early stages of the new dawn of small-screen advertising. Our cre­ative out­put and ap­proach is still evolv­ing. But ul­ti­mately, our goal should be the same as tele­vi­sion advertising: we want con­sumers to say, ‘hey, that was a great ad, I en­joyed that ex­pe­ri­ence, and I might even tell oth­ers about it’.

We have moved from Flash to HTML5 as a mo­bile ad build­ing frame­work, be­cause it en­ables ad­ver­tis­ers to build dy­namic, per­son­alised ad ex­pe­ri­ences that work across screens. Cur­rently, 23 per­cent of Flash im­pres­sions show backup im­ages be­cause the mo­bile de­vice does not sup­port this for­mat. Shift­ing to HTML5 re­duces this wastage and in­creases per­for­mance for ad­ver­tis­ers.

Cre­ativ­ity alone won’t yield bet­ter re­sults. An ad should be reach­ing the right au­di­ence, be­cause no mat­ter how great the cre­ative is if it’s not rel­e­vant to a po­ten­tial cus­tomer then a pur­chase is un­likely. To­day’s tech­nol­ogy makes it pos­si­ble for data and cre­ativ­ity to work hand-in-hand to en­sure the right cre­ative mes­sage is shown to the right con­sumer at ex­actly the right mo­ment to drive a de­sired ac­tion.

To suc­cess­fully cap­ture the at­ten­tion of to­day’s con­nected con­sumer, brands and agen­cies must con­sider the in­tri­ca­cies of mo­bile. What makes mo­bile unique is its tac­tile na­ture. The pinch, swipe and zoom fea­tures of the new touch­screen gen­er­a­tion have made these ges­tures sec­ond na­ture to us. This has ma­jor im­pli­ca­tions for how brands should build in­ter­ac­tive mo­bile ads and con­tent. To cre­ate an even richer ex­pe­ri­ence, brands should con­sider al­low­ing peo­ple to nav­i­gate within the ad it­self. For the tap ges­ture, the best min­i­mum touch size is 44 pix­els. The scroll and drag fea­ture is best used when read­ing large amounts of text. Typ­i­cal uses for the pull and swipe fea­tures are ex­pand­ing an ad, brows­ing a photo gallery or col­laps­ing a panel.

Rich media and video are proven win­ners in en­gag­ing mo­bile users. The small screen re­quires more in­ter­ac­tiv­ity to take place af­ter a con­sumer has been en­ticed to en­ter an ad. How­ever, ad­ver­tis­ers must think about de­sign­ing for the mo­ment (of­ten a mi­cro-mo­ment) that the con­sumer is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing. It’s no help to a con­sumer if they are served a heavy-band­width, high qual­ity video ad if they are in a low band­width en­vi­ron­ment. Mo­bile ad de­sign should take into ac­count where an in­ter­ac­tion is tak­ing place, and how the ad can make it easy for them to take an ac­tion.

Con­sumers have ac­cepted desk­top and TV advertising. We now have to show them that mo­bile advertising con­tent can be com­pelling and cre­ative too.

Carolyn Bol­laci is the Aus­tralia and New Zealand man­ag­ing di­rec­tor for Sizmek.

Re­search shows con­sumers are spend­ing 39 days of the year, or three hours per day, on smart­phones. So why are we still serv­ing them crappy mo­bile ads?

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