Conversations key to using mobile

17 August 2009

LONDON: Mobile advertising will be transformed by 2020, when brands will be required to produce content that consumers will "seek out", and engage in continuous conversations with their customers, a report by Acision and OgilvyOne predicts.

It has been argued that Apple's iPhone has transformed the mobile market, and an increasing number of advertisers and media companies are utilising this tool in an effort to connect with this increasingly importance audience.

According to Acision and OgilvyOne's Mobile Advertising – 2020 Vision, wireless devices will have become "Life's remote control" for many people in just over ten years time.

In response, the activities of agencies will have to increasingly be led by an individual perspective, rather than focusing solely on the particular needs of the brands owned by their clients.

More specifically, it will require an emphasis on developing ideas that work across a range of different media platforms, and producing content that consumers will endeavour to "seek out and incorporate into their own world."

The report further argued that mobile advertising will be based around enabling "individuals to decide where, when and on what screen they would like to receive their chosen advertisement."

In this "opt-in" culture, consumers will "grant" brands "permission to reach them. In many ways, each individual creates their own digital cog which powers the selection of brand information."

This means advertisers will have to "collaborate with individuals", such as by including "them in communities and rating of their products or services," as part of an effort to generate "constant conversations, where both parties participate."

Another key aim of marketing communications via this medium will be to drive word-of-mouth and "peer advocacy" among mobile users, be it with their friends and family or their online contacts.

Key challenges facing mobile operators during this period include establishing measurement metrics that satisfy advertiser demand for accountability, and increasing integration with other forms of media.

Microsoft, the IT giant, has made some progress in showing how this latter objective may be achieved, but it also appears there is a considerable way to go before this channel enters the mainstream.

Proctor & Gamble, the world's biggest advertiser, spent just $10 million (€7m; £6m) on mobile advertising last year, just 0.17% of its global media budget, according to Informa Telecoms & Media.

Similarly, while some global brands, such as Nike and Coca-Cola, are involved on mobile, they current only do so on a "national or country level", according to the report, meaning there is substantial variation between markets.

Data sourced from Brand Republic/; additional content by WARC staff