The 2012 Mobile Marketing Association Forum kicked off last week in New York. The event brought together experts from Google, Microsoft and a number of big name brands to discuss how to use mobile apps and the mobile platform to reach consumers and create new business opportunities.
The event was dominated, rather predictably, with big brands talking about how mobile has gone from an optional add on, to one of the most important channels to engage their audience. Beer company Heiniken made its intentions to prioritise mobile very clear, saying that mobile is “woven into everything we do”.
“When people are engaging with content, mobile is a part of every aspect of that so whether it’s an upfront deal or whether it’s a local partnership with our distributors, mobile can be activated and involved at every level,” Heineken USA director of marketing Ron Amram told Mobile Marketer. “For us, the media and the message is much more about building the brand and getting people passionate about our brands, and mobile can be an incredibly powerful lever to do that.”
Amram said that every piece of marketing activity Heineken now does, from TV spots to magazine ads, has to take into account the mobile audience. Heineken says that beer brands as a whole must look at where their audience is spending their time and engaging with content. “As more of their content is consumed mobilely that’s where the media dollars are going to go.”
During the event UK bank HSBC also said it was increasing its spend on mobile advertising, having planned to roll out two tests with mobile video and experimenting with click-to-click call advertising. “We know we have to be there and where our audience is,” said HSBC’s head of media Elmear O’Connell. “It’s how far do we go and how do we do it?”
Google was also at MMA 2012 and its head of marketing Jesse Haines argued over the past year a change taking place, from customers trying to understand the mobile space, to customers wanting to invest in mobile. Haines outlined a number of tips for businesses. She talked about the increasing trend toward ‘showrooming’, where customers enter a store to view products, but then then use their mobile devices to find better deals elsewhere online. “Showrooming isn’t going away, and it’s the innovative retailers who are thinking about how to transform their value proposition that win,” said Haines.
Haines also highlighted research from Compuware that found 57% of consumers will not recommend a business with a non-optimised mobile website and 40% of consumers will visit a competitor mobile site if their first choice is not optimised.
Tablets are also becoming more important for brands. Tablet penetration is still small, but it’s increasing rapidly and tablet owners are seen as high value consumers. Users also exhibit different behaviour on tablets compared to mobile – and are increasingly being treated differently by brands.“Tablets are amazing when it comes to shopping and an amazing platform for brand-building,” said Haines. “The reach might be small now, but the consumer is valuable and it’s worth paying attention to the tablet.”
The 2012 MMA Forum really drove home the importance of mobile when it comes to building your brand and business. The question for every business should no longer be “if” you get into mobile, but when and how. If you’re interested in finding out how My Social Agency can help your business benefit from the mobile revolution then contact us today for a chat.