In an era where people are becoming more reliant on internet technology and being connected with friends, family, and their employers and employees from remote work-from-home locations, they are spending significantly more time online, making mobile technology the biggest opportunity for marketers and brands.

Hosted by Siya Sangweni, the latest installment of the Future of Media online conference series in partnership with Out There Media probed the minds of industry professionals on the power of mobile advertising; how brands currently view it and its place in the media ecosystem within the context of ever-changing consumer behaviour in a pandemic era.

“Mobile has certainly made the world a lot smaller. It’s an extension of who we are. It’s our connection to our friends, family and colleagues. It’s the first experience of the internet to most people. It plays a huge roll in connecting the world.” These are a few of the facts Wandisile Nkabinde, senior manager: media and digital marketing at Multichoice attributed to why mobile is such a unique and powerful channel in 2021.

Now that we have established the power of mobile, where does mobile advertising fit into the performance media eco system? Clare Trafankowska, MD of iProspect SA answered by pointing out that she thinks that it’s firstly very important to establish what performance media is. “What we tend to talk about in the industry is performance being linked to business results, revenue and ROI. Though your world has gotten a lot smaller in terms of the palm of your hand, it has also gotten a lot bigger when thinking of the content expansion and digital experiences at our finger tips. So when we take it back to performance and the role of mobile, what we need to think about is mobile and social commerce- all happening on your mobile. Performance media and marketing are closely linked to business revenue.” She summed up by saying that mobile gives brands the opportunity of time, transactional ability and exposure as consumers are just one thumb print away from a purchase.

Having access to mass audiences to promote your brand sounds like a dream but with privacy laws becoming more and more important, Donald Mokgale, CEO Sub-Saharan Africa of Out There Media was asked how they manage this aspect of mobile advertising. “I think that for us, the super critical thing is to be compliant when it comes to privacy laws. Content has the world at large to be conscious of the importance of data privacy. We adhere to GDPR, which means all data is significantly regulated and we only work with opted in audiences. In instances where we run campaigns for clients who want to grow their audiences, we take things further by being extra careful with the new laws coming into play like the death of third party cookies.”

Trafankowska added that “The death of the cookie will force marketers to make very deliberate decisions that will influence and enhance the customer experience. The data the telcos hold will also push for partnerships that will help marketers create these personalized experiences.”

On the whole, the marketing budgets allocated for mobile have been increasing as a result of the rising penetration of mobile devices in the country but what percentage of budget should businesses, brands and agencies be allocated specifically to mobile for campaigns? Mbulelo Pahlana, media and digital manager at Reckitt Africa touched on a few things that need to be considered here.  As a starting point it’s hard to decide on a figure without understanding your client’s segmentation processes and how much time they spend on mobile. “In order to get a better idea of a budget allocation amount, know your audience profile and how much time they spend on their mobile devices, understand your campaign objectives and lastly be clear in what you want your audience to action.”

Sangweni went on to ask how brands should make use of various mobile ad formats to amplify their marketing. Nkabinde gave a few practical tools for agencies to use regarding video and social media content. “For high impact display, remember less copy is best along with good quality graphics and a very clear call to action is important. Regarding video, the creative needs to be good, shorter durations are generally better on social media and mobile. NEVER cut and paste a TVC onto digital. Lastly, take your remarketing into consideration and make sure your impact lands quickly.”

Implementing these suggestions will most certainly propel you into a good space to get the most out of your mobile advertising brand objectives and this was echoed by Trafankowska as she built onto this point. She said that in order for mobile advertising to truly fulfill a brands objectives, they must get the basics right. This includes having a good understanding of the role of the mobile channel as well as the consumer and to have the right creative and strategies in place. Keep in mind that there’s no umbrella strategy and finally, couple that with the best attribution model based on your objectives that will lead the consumer journey.

Brands should have a clear strategy that focuses on value when adopting this channel into communication plans. Mokgale is a huge advocate for brands and businesses driving value. He affirms that a way to do this is through data stacking. “This is the golden thread to a good marketing strategy. Putting the customer first is the conversation we are having with most marketers. Driving relevance at scale requires you to have data that helps you understand what the consumer is looking for and what makes sense to them.”

At the end of the day, every campaign, brand and investment needs some sort of ROI, so how can we ensure we received the best ROI value of mobile?

Simply put by Trafankowska, “Have an attribution model. Mobile is a channel and there is a difference between performances on desktop and mobile. Attribution models allow you to place value on various platforms and channels.” While Nkabinde said that they track return on ad spend. “How it’s calculated is revenue divided by advertising spend. The point is to know your businesses revenue structure and how much the business made from that specific aspect.” He did note that sometimes marketers don’t always paint the whole picture and urged them to share this information with the agency to accurately measure ROI.

We keep our devices with us wherever we go. They’re next to the bed, in the bathroom, worn on wrists…always within reach. Whether brands rely on custom apps, SMS messaging, banner ads and the like to reach consumers, our mobile devices are in prime position to do the job. In conclusion, the opportunity lies in collaborating, learning and forging a view of fast-paced changes in mobile media that will benefit both the brand and the consumer.

To watch the full discussion, click here.

Big Take-Out: When it comes to mobile advertising, it’s vital to know your audience profile and how much time they spend on their mobile devices, understand your campaign objectives and lastly be clear in what you want your audience to action.

If you liked this discussion, be sure to register for the next Future of Media online event on 24 June 2020 which will focus on ‘Neuromarketing: delving deep into the subconscious’. Click here to register.