LONDON: Marketers need to stop thinking about mobile as simply another screen and rather as a new ecosystem requiring a radically different approach, a leading industry figure has said.

Writing in the current issue of Admap, the focus of which is mobile creativity, Michael Bertaut, managing director, EMEA strategic accounts at AdRoll, argues that mobile is "a fundamentally new way of working for marketers".

If they are to succeed they need to rethink data, tactics, creativity, metrics, he says, and appreciate how different media and channels work together.

So, for example, most online purchases are completed on desktop or tablets, but smartphones are a crucial part of the research process. At the same time, however, mobile commerce boosts overall ecommerce.

Brands need to be ready with mobile-optimised sites and bespoke apps, according to Bertaut. "If you don't, you'll be out of the running in the evaluation stage – alienating potential customers long before they reach the point of purchase."

It's a given that such sites and apps should be user-friendly but Bertaut emphasised the necessity of going a step further and ensuring that content works for the new context.

He reported that AdRoll had found that consumers browsing retailer sites on their mobiles valued having information on store location and opening hours up front and centre, something that was very much a secondary issue for those using a desktop.

Similarly, creative on mobile has to be rethought – just shrinking ads is "one of the worst approaches mobile advertisers can take".

Bertaut suggests embracing the size constraints imposed by mobile and simplifying creative with punchy taglines, bright colours and a clear call to action. "Or even better, a personalised ad that takes into account the consumer's browsing habits – offering them free shipping, for example."

While mobile presents certain difficulties it has to be thought of not as a separate channel but as a core part of an overall marketing strategy. Thinking this way, Bertaut argues, will help tackle mobile while also boosting marketing methods overall and preparing marketers for whatever comes after mobile.

Data sourced from Admap