My colleagues and I came across a couple of unrelated articles that happen to be really quite related. One -- a Venture Beat guest post by Mahi de Silva -- argues in favor of considering mobile technology prior to conceiving the ad itself, not the other way around (which is how traditional ads have long been conceived, like on Mad Men). Another article -- an article by Mark King for Retail Gazette (UK) -- looks at the importance of providing multi-screen content to succeed in e-commerce.
"The medium is the message."
Reading these two articles, a light went on: These articles are essentially telling us the same thing. It's like famed Canadian media pundit Marshall McLuhan once said: "The medium is the message."
In order to fully leverage the power of mobile advertising, marketers and retailers need to consider the mobile interface: what people are typically doing on their phones and tablets, how to entice them to click through to your calls to action, and ultimately, how to convert m-commerce sales from these interactions.
Silva: "Mobile technology is enabled through device-specific hardware like GPS, the accelerometer, the gyroscope, camera, microphone, and the natural gesture-based navigation. But it’s also the software: calendar, maps, photo filters, QR readers, web access, weather, e-commerce, and social media sharing. And let’s not forget the antiquated click-to-call or phone call feature.
"The trick, however, is finding the right combination of technology for each campaign, and then coming up with the artful and engaging creative to match."
Before building an ad campaign, think about the mobile interface AND THEN embark on the creative ad process.
King: "As Google eloquently put it, we are now living in a ‘Multi-Screen World,’ with 67% of people using multiple devices sequentially when shopping online. It is therefore vital that companies operating online, evaluate their content strategies, whilst realising they have to maintain the brand consistency across those channels.
"Brands can essentially monetize consumer motivations and impulses through a varied and distributed retail model, utilising apps, interactive functions and innovative visual content."
Take-home message: So before you build an ad campaign, avoid doing all the creative work first and then figuring out how to disseminate that content via mobile. Think about the mobile interface AND THEN embark on the creative ad process.