When asked what it takes for brands to successfully integrate mobile into their marketing strategies for effective campaigns, I reply with two fundamentals: creativity and innovation. Sounds simple, right? But what does it mean in practice? From the Mobile Marketing Association’s experience of working with brands and marketers around the world, it became clear that a concise framework of benchmarks would be invaluable, helping them to think more strategically about mobile across the purchase funnel and leverage the distinct attributes that only mobile can provide.
Fortunately, we are in the unique position of having access to some 450 global mobile campaigns, including the winners of the MMA’s annual Smarties Global Mobile Awards Program and marquis brands such as Delta, Dunkin’ brands, Mercedes-Benz, Nike, O2, Samsung, Range Rover, Ray-Ban, The Coca-Cola Company, Zyrtec and many more. Armed with this great resource, we set about conducting an in-depth analysis to create an Interactive Creative Framework on how to build and execute the most effective mobile campaigns. The analysis examined the innovative mobile creative approaches of successful campaigns, uncovering commonalities and differences and revealing five key benchmarks, which I’d like to share with you:
1. The “Brand Activation Remote”
Mobile is the consumer’s remote control to activate engagement with your brand. Using mobile as a brand campaign unifier, bringing access, experience and commerce together, is an unbeatable combination to keep consumers constantly connected along the path to purchase. The unique opportunity here is for advertisers to use devices and campaigns to close the loop on prospects and leads, drive conversion, commerce and loyalty and bring brand experiences closest to their consumers.
2. There is no time like the present
It is said that timing is everything—and mobile brings that to life with the ability to engage and motivate consumers in the present moment and on their terms. From real-time shared experiences to native executions, location-based incentives and dynamic ad serving, mobile’s power is that it’s personal (one or more phones per person, it’s a personal device); pervasive (it’s with you all day, from first thing in morning till last thing at night and at every opportunity, offering content, information, utility and transactions all day); and proximity (it’s always with you and marketers can use location as a predictor of human behavior).
3. Content rules
Across a number of highly successful mobile campaigns, compelling content was at the heart. Marketers gave consumers unique, shareable and first-access content, games, music, stories and collectables. The common thread among all of these was a desired and immersive set of interactions that put the consumer at the center of the brand story. In some cases, the mobile device was actually the unifier across all of a brand’s communication platforms, allowing consumers to move freely across and among a brand’s assets according to their requirements and on their own terms.
4. Enable bespoke consumer experiences
When consumers personally connect to some aspect of the brand and tailor that experience to their needs, preferences and tastes, everybody wins. Clearly, some brands are better able to customize than others, but again, results show that the ability to personalize brand communications with relevancy delivers a more meaningful response and depth of interaction. Brands can invite consumers in, make them feel heard and achieve significant impact when consumers can exert their preferences to create their own unique experience with your brand.
5. A toolkit to get things done!
Brands that can deploy tools on mobile devices that provide utility and save time can win in a big way. The big winners here used tools or calculators (some that learned what consumers liked), tech integrations that provide unique brand interactions or leveraged an ability to transact on the spot. All these enhance the consumer brand experience in a unique and useful way.
We hope this Interactive Creative Framework will stimulate new ideas and help the industry continue to raise the bar on mobile creativity, effectiveness and further innovation. We’re very much looking forward to seeing the results and continuing to chart the growth and success of mobile.
For additional consideration, a case study is detailed below.
Kontor Records GmbH
One campaign that stood out in particular for me was: Back to Vinyl—The Office Turntable
As the music industry becomes more and more competitive, recording labels are looking for new ways to promote themselves, including by reaching out to brands through their ad agencies. Unfortunately, creative directors receive so many promotional items daily that it can be challenging to cut through the clutter. Kontor Records GmbH decided to combat this by sending out vinyl discs, along with the world’s first “office turntable” to play them on.
Strategy and execution
The turntable was made out of an envelope that had a QR code printed on it. The creative directors simply had to flip the envelope over, activate the QR code with a smartphone, put the vinyl disc on the turntable and then place the phone over the disc to play it. Each disc could play multiple songs and linked back to the Kontor site. As a result, the mailing offered the recipients a simultaneous analog and digital experience.
Out of 900 mailings, 71% were activated, and 42% of recipients also visited the Kontor site.
This is a great example of how the innovation of mobile helped to disrupt in a very competitive environment and brought Kontor’s customers closer to their brand with a very personal experience. It is also a good example of how if you took mobile out of the strategy, the campaign would have fallen apart.