Wednesday 5 June 2013

MomoLondon: Mobile Marketing — Truth, Misconception and Wishful Thinking

This was a lively session — the audience really got involved and probably contributed at least as much, if not more to the evening than the panel.

Mobile marketing seems to be stuck in a bit of a rut — it’s growing but doesn’t seem to be innovating much beyond banner adverts and SMS messages.

The panel (all agency-based) didn’t really offer much new, but indicated that they wanted brands to engage the customer in a longer, more conversational process than the traditional advertising campaign.

This was proving a hard sell, as it’s more expensive to set up and doesn’t fit into the mindset of brand marketing departments.

Thanks to Infobip who sponsored the event, and kindly took us up to the top of Centrepoint for some refreshments afterwards, just in time to see the sun set over London…


  • Alex Meisl @meislonmobile
    • Co-Founder, Sponge
  • Rube Hulijev @more_mati
    • Global Executive, Infobip
  • Ben Scott Robinson @bcsr
    • Creative Director, Sapient Nitro
  • Ilicco Elia @ilicco
    • Head of Mobile, LBi
  • Douglas McDonald @DMcDonald01
    • Independent Mobile Marketing Consultant

Where is mobile marketing now?

  • RH: growing 100% year on year last few years
  • BSR: mobile marketing on its own is pretty much dead — need to cover all media
  • IE: no ads are actually getting people’s attention on mobile
  • DMD: you just do marketing. some of it is mobile
    • not being recognised as mobile
    • being eclipsed by social media & iPads in terms of recognition

How broad is mobile marketing?

  • AM: still need to agree on what is mobile…
  • IE: what does your customer want and experience?
    • actually have to get into the mindset of the user and understand the context
  • BSR: explore content on your mobile phone, moving towards purchase
  • RH: it’s not a mass marketing personal
  • IE: and yet the biggest complaint I hear is that mobile is not measurable enough
  • RH: cross-channel measurement not easy but can be done
  • AM: for a retail client, 3 times as many people on the mobile site use the “where’s my nearest store?” feature
    • but this doesn’t show up under P&L for mobile — it all goes to the physical store


  • DMD: no effort put into doing anything with the data collected
    • the best they do is add your name to the top
    • planning looks at percentage of budget for personalisation and then says “that’s too expensive, we’ll just spam everybody…”
  • AM: very few bricks & mortar retailers have detailed information on their customers
  • RH: personalised service might be only thing that will save the high street shop
  • BSR: working for a retailer: people would come into the store and use their mobiles to purchase products using the desktop site
    • it was faster than buying in store…
  • AM: 34% of sales in US lost to showrooming

ROI for all players, including agency

  • mobile operators have a responsibility to help agencies with their mobile skills
  • AM: trying to provide united message & service proposition from EE, O2 & Vodafone
    • originally about marketing help and mobile wallet, but the wallet stuff seems to have been deprioritised…
  • IE: optimising web sites for mobile makes ROI go up


  • BSR: marketeers still looking at mobile in a simplistic way: banners, print etc
    • need to consider whether a campaign should exist…
    • what happens to the conversation when the campaign ends?
    • what about all the data you collected?


  • AM: 20% of UK sales last year were via mobile
    • John Lewis opened up a store in Chester 18 months ago
    • they are channel agnostic and encourage people to use whatever way they want to purchase products
    • as a result, online sales in Chester grew by 30%
  • the physical shop raised the profile of the business and acted as a showroom and delivery point for the goods
  • DMD: mobile ad spend forecast to rise from 1-2% to 15% in next 18 months

changing away from dead print media

  • agencies need to move to cost-per-acquisition rather than cost-per-impression
  • starting to happen
  • IE: can be hard — need to get all parties aligned
  • who takes the risk?
    • if customers are seeing the marketing and purchasing elsewhere, then it can be hard to credit the acquisition to the marketing campaign
    • a gain for the brand but a big risk for the agency
  • DMD: second screen great for getting take-up
    • TV adverts driving google search / URL
    • still believe print is big for driving on-ramp of mobile
    • Ed: doesn’t feel like much innovation going on here…
  • IE: advertising is just about getting attention
    • can’t split channels up

relevancy & consent

  • BSR: Blyk - mobile operator that gave away free minutes & texts in response to permission advertising
    • got 25-30% response rates
    • but value of texts & minutes went down to almost zero
      • customers took their SIMs out as they felt pestered by the very adverts they’d signed up for…
    • brands look at numbers being reached rather than response rates
    • 25% of 100 people sounds worse than 0.25% of 10,000…

other questions

The audience was really coming up with good things to say but we were running out of time, so the organisers attempted to have three questions asked at once. Unfortunately, this meant that only one in three questions got answered…

I’ve noted some of the better audience questions and statements (and their answers if they got them) below:

  • how will personal assistant software, e.g. SIRI, affect marketing?
  • mobile marketing basics get results
    • click to call
    • mobile SEO
  • mobile is different:
    • video can be very successful
    • location-based services
  • not just what is my mobile strategy, but what is my strategy and how does mobile fit in to it
  • DMD: no point in re-inventing payment systems — use third parties
  • AM: consumer technology moving faster than big brand systems
    • what systems do they target for future work?
  • BSR: e.g. 125 legacy systems, 3-5 years to implement, what devices should they target when it is complete…

mobile advertising vs marketing

  • BSR: mobile advertising usually defined as a banner on a mobile site
    • unsurprisingly it doesn’t work very well
    • mobile marketing more of a toolbox

taking the personalisation further

  • need to fix basics first: e.g. checkout, sign-in
    • but when personalising for previous, how do you encourage creativity: surprise me with new ideas
    • AM: moving towards a one-to-one dialog
    • IE: but don’t do what a wedding pictures site did and send email to all guests inviting them to set up their own wedding…

banks & financial services

  • BSR: automotive started with “I don’t see the point of a mobile site”
    • then one brand did a good job and everyone else piled in

dealing with data

  • highstreetlabs: recommendation algorithms will get better
  • struggling to analyse big data — how do you see it in the future
  • BSR: analytics show what works and what doesn’t, but also need to know why
    • use a lean approach: involve customers and gain knowledge

summing up from the panel

  • AM: need to target engagement
    • requires a different mindset & a different approach

some feelings from the audience afterwards

  • agencies not really looking beyond what is out there now…
  • still trying to talk to clients who are focussed on print & tv
    • constraining the agency thought processes
  • what will the landscape be like in 5 years or 10?
    • need to get brands to think ahead and plan for future
    • what will adverts be like amongst software agents like Siri or Google Now?
    • anticipate user intents:
      • don’t just catch their attention with flashy graphics & moving pictures
      • figure out what they might do and offer them help that fits with the brand

coming soon…

  • June 20th: Test on real devices: free London event from DeviceAnywhere #LondonMT
  • June 24th: Mobile Monday: Mobile, Mapping & Context
    • with Ordnance Survey who are launching their new mobile APIs
  • July 15th: Mobile Monday: Mobile Operating Systems
    • with Ubuntu who are launching their new mobile OS

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great writeup - very comprehensive. The only point I would add is about big data and ultra local advertising being potential game changers once small businesses (if any survive) can buy consumer data on a CPA basic rather than traditional cost per eyeball rate