Marketers are "lazy" on mobile

02 April 2014

LONDON: The marketing industry has been lazy and risk-averse on mobile and needs to make better use of data, declared a panel of industry experts at Advertising Week Europe in London.

"Capturing data is not problem, it's what brands do with the data," said Rob Thurner, managing partner at mobile agency Burn The Sky.

"There's ten times more data available from a mobile device than a PC," he continued, "it's how that's woven in real time into your CRM data and used for ongoing targeting that seems to be a technical issue among data teams in companies."

Thurner was joined on the panel by Simon Andrews, founder of Addictive Mobil, Greg Grimmer, COO at Fetch, Jakob Nielsen, MD of GroupM Interactive, and Sean O'Connell, product director at Weve.

"We are lazy," admitted Nielsen. "It's easy to do performance campaigns, buying impressions and then you saying you are mobile but you haven't actually done anything."

The panel conferred on how brands are still not getting the basics right with many not even having mobile-optimised sites. Criticism was also aimed at those working in creative spaces, such as copywriters and art directors, who need to embrace mobile more and appreciate that technology can be used to create "cool" environments.

Andrews highlighted a major development that will change this sector in the coming months, when mobile-optimised sites will rank higher on consumers' devices from mobile Google searches. Currently Google displays all results regardless of device and location.

On a more positive note, the panel all highlighted brands that were using mobile effectively and creatively. Halo, the taxi application, was cited as one, with Thurner stating "it uses location, it uses a quick and easy payment mechanism without any complicated registration and it will get multiple use".

Nielsen talked about Unilever, primarily because it uses mobile as part of its marketing, linking it into all it does. In terms of rich media mobile responses, Mastercard's work with Mashable was highlighted, while Microsoft's work for its Windows platform, which enabled users to try the new Windows interface on their handsets, was widely lauded by the panel.

Brands were advised to always think "easy, convenient and personalised" with their mobile user experience, whether app based or site based.

Event reports from Advertising Week Europe will be available on Warc from later this week.

Data sourced from Warc