American Marketer


Agencies need to get over their fear of mobile marketing

April 27, 2012

Alex Kutsishin is president of FiddleFly


By Alex Kutsishin

With more than 1 billion smartphones in use worldwide and approximately half of all online searches now originating on mobile devices, this is the time for advertising agencies to fully embrace the new possibilities of mobile advertising. But many are still reluctant to do so. The reason? Fear of the unknown.

It is no exaggeration to say that advertisers and agencies who want to remain relevant need to get over their fear of mobile marketing – quickly.

Mobile Internet use is poised to outstrip desktop Internet use in 2014. Mobile device use already tops PC use in many major markets, according to a Google study.

Numbers game
If the threat of irrelevance is not sufficient motivation to take the plunge, ad agencies should also note that mobile customers are a highly desirable demographic group:

• 36 percent of mobile shoppers are in the 25-34 age range and an additional 21 percent are 35-44 – the exact demographic many advertisers are trying to reach.

• 52 percent of mobile shoppers use their smartphones to research product features, and 29 percent conduct comparison shopping online using their devices.

• 34 percent of mobile shoppers make $100,000 per year or more, and 18 percent make between $75,000 and $100,000.

With such attractive demographics and a marketplace that is increasingly turning to mobile advertising solutions, agencies that focus exclusively on print and PC-based advertisements have plenty of reasons to explore the prospect of mobile marketing.

However, many agencies are hampered by misperceptions about the technical complexity of the mobile medium as well as the expenses involved.

The good news is that these fears are misplaced.

Right party
Just as technology has generally become simpler and more intuitive for the average user, mobile technology is becoming more straightforward for both users and advertisers.

Today, it is easier than ever for an agency to develop and implement a mobile marketing strategy and take advantage of the huge opportunities the explosive growth in the mobile advertising sector presents.

Creative teams can now access an array of third-party offerings that can make creating branded mobile content a snap.

Offering truly user-friendly mobile content creation systems at an affordable price, third-party developers now empower advertisers to build and publish Web content and specialty apps complete with highly customizable buttons, fonts, headers and embedded video.

Agencies no longer need specialized technology expertise to operate mobile campaigns since their development partners can handle the back-end architecture.

With the right partner, agencies can leave worries about screen-size optimization and mobile viewing dimensions behind and focus on creating compelling content and campaign strategies that drive revenue.

A competent third-party provider can allow agencies to develop mobile ads in-house without programming knowledge, much as software programs enable non-techie users to create, edit and publish documents and social media content every day without ever entering a single code.

Many third-party services also make social media integration and analytics part of the package, with access to Twitter and Facebook widgets as well as campaign metrics from applications and programs such as Google Analytics and APIs.

IN LIGHT OF these new options and the rapid growth of the mobile advertising industry, the only question that remains is why any agencies are still reluctant to jump on the mobile marketing bandwagon.

With affordable new offerings and user-friendly technology, it is time for the last of the holdouts to mobilize their marketing campaigns.

Alex Kutsishin is president of FiddleFly Inc., a Columbia, MD-based developer of mobile Web sites. Reach him at