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Direct from Advertising Week: where mobile marketing is heading in 2015

Understanding how your current and potential customers spend their time online is one thing, but with the increased sophistication of mobile devices, it’s more important than ever to understand how they behave when they’re on the move. We don’t just use our mobiles to make calls anymore: they’re our mini laptops, personal assistants, accountants, pocket-sized high streets – more or less whatever we need them to be. So if 2014 was the year of mobile, what does 2015 hold?

Whether you’re a mobile business or are simply interested in how you can leverage the power of mobile for your company, the panel of experts at Advertising Week Europe will no doubt hold valuable insight for you. Here are four top tips from global leaders James Connelly, CEO and co-founder of Fetch, Shaun Gregory, CEO of Exterion Media, Josh Krichefski, COO of Mediacom, Kirk McDonald, president of PubMatic and Mark Strecker, CEO of Amobee. The session was chaired by Jim Cooper, editorial director of Adweek.

Use your data

The data that we can access from mobile users is highly accurate. According to Kirk McDonald, mobile is the ultimate in-context channel. You’ve got device IDs that let you speak to a consumer, app IDs that let you know what they’re doing, and GPS data that lets you know where they are. We need to use this data in a clever, nimble way that tells us what to say when – but it really does give you a strong starting point for messaging, either in the form of advertising or content. In either case, he thinks we’ll be seeing less disruptive advertising and more natural, native content that is really relevant to whatever that person is doing in a specific moment. Find out more about how to access and use your business’ data here.

Be concise

We know from research that consumers are shopping more from mobile and using it to inform their purchases. To take advantage of this growing behavourial change, tailor your messaging to an audience who will be receiving it and responding via mobile – so be sure to think about the length and layout of what you have to say.

According to Mark Strecker, the attention span of all users is getting shorter and shorter. We live in a multi-device world in which information from a few days ago just isn’t relevant enough anymore. And what does this mean for a small business? Well, it means that everything you do has to be highly relevant and timely for your audience because that’s what they’ve come to expect. So whatever you’re saying on social, in video or via email has to be relevant, interesting and authoritative to your audience; it’s only through this sort of communication that your audience will start to feel that you truly understand their interests and concerns, which is where you can start to build trust.

Don’t compromise creativity

While using data is critical, it’s also important not to lose sight of creativity. In fact, according to Josh Krichefski, we should be using that mobile data to inform creative executions and make any creative output as tailored and personalised as possible. James Connelly agrees, noting that mobile creative often takes data too far and loses any semblance of emotion or human connection for the audience, or, conversely, focuses too much on the emotional side of things and rejects data, which means loss of relevance. The key learning for small businesses? It’s all about striking a balance. When developing adverts for your business, managing your social media accounts, sending mobile notifications or writing newsletters, use the data to understand what your audience wants to read, and use the creative execution to build a real connection with them. One without the other just won’t cut it.

Test and learn

What’s exciting about mobile is that it’s still in its infancy – everyone is learning what works and what doesn’t and how to target people in the right way with a message that doesn’t feel disruptive. People often think of mobile marketing as ‘annoying’ banner ads but, according to James, there’s a lot more to it than that: the huge growth in mobile advertising spend is coming from lots of different native formats – Facebook, display, video, etc. If 2014 was the year of mobile, then 2015 is the year of mobile video.

There’s a lot of negativity around banner ads but mobile spend is also growing in a lot more suitable mobile formats. As Kirk noted, everyone realises that the device still offers the highest potential of returns, but you do have to spend to learn about your audience. We don’t totally understand what we’re supposed to do with mobile yet – but we can only know through trying and learning.

Feature image credit: Getty

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