December 26, 2014
By Tim Jenkins
The days of dabbling in mobile advertising are over. As I look ahead to 2015, I know one thing for certain: advertisers are going to demand more accuracy in how they match their mobile media spend to their results.
Here are my top five predictions for 2015:
1. Marketers will not need more data. So-called Big Data will not cut it anymore. Instead, advertisers need the ability to quickly make sense of the data so they can connect it to specific results, as in sales and brand share.
Brand advertisers will demand real numbers that show them exactly how their campaigns are performing. They cannot afford to accept guesswork, and with innovations in data matching, they will not have to. They will be able to distinguish between data that is useful and data that is truly meaningful.
It is those precious few bits of meaningful information that can determine the effectiveness of a campaign and help advertisers make informed decisions about their media spend.
2. Advertisers will realize that targeting mobile ad campaigns based on location can be misleading. Assumptions about audiences based on location are often wrong, especially when you consider the many factors that adversely affect the quality of location data – down to the settings on individual devices.
Moving forward, advertisers are going to want to know exactly who received their mobile ads and whether those ads affected purchasing behavior.
Used properly, location information can be powerful. But in the absence of precise targeting, it does not mean much. For example, a dog food advertiser will waste impressions if it simply targets everyone – including non-dog owners – within a given distance of a pet store.
So how will advertisers use location going forward? For context and relevance.
First, they will target the right person. Then they will use location to deliver the right message at the right time – for example, a dog food coupon that goes to dog owners when they are near a pet store.
3. At last, consumers are going to have real privacy options in mobile advertising. There is a limit to how customers are willing to be targeted. For example, a customer behind on his mortgage does not want ads for payday loans.
Consumers will demand more control of their personal information and advertisers are going to comply by adopting new technologies to give them greater transparency.
4. Banner ads are not going away, because they work. I hear it every day: banner ads in mobile do not work. I know firsthand that is not true. The numbers say otherwise, and I expect the misconception to start turning around.
Many advertisers are seeing significant in-store sales lift with campaigns using banner ads.
The real challenge is for advertisers to get back to the basics of good advertising.
If the message is right and the creative is killer, a banner ad is often all that is needed.
What makes a mobile ad effective is the same thing that makes any ad effective: a clear, compelling message, effective leverage of recognized brand marks, proper font size and good use of white space.
A rich media ad is not necessarily better than a well-executed banner ad. Great creative can happen in the smallest of spaces, and that is where we’re going to see advertisers challenging their agencies.
5. Agencies will get paid for work that actually works. Advertisers are going to demand more certainty about which efforts are driving sales.
I expect to see a shift in the way brands compensate their ad agencies, aligning compensation with the actual results of their mobile advertising.
It will simply no longer be acceptable to justify media spend based on clicks alone. AOL and Google both bought attribution platforms this year, and others are sure to follow.
Bottom line, advertisers want to justify their media spends, whether it is a traditional, digital or mobile campaign.
Smart advertisers are realizing the metrics that really matter are the ones that show whether the ad is generating sales – online and in store.
To measure what matters, they need transaction data.
Most advertisers do not want to share their transaction data wholesale with their agencies, but a third party can enable access to the information that will reveal the results of a campaign.
AT THE END of the day, all that really matters are results. And with the recent innovations in data matching, there is nothing to stop advertisers from measuring the results of their mobile campaigns in 2015.
Tim Jenkins is CEO of 4Info, San Mateo, CA. Reach him at email@example.com.