Why mobile advertising is not the future and mobile value is.
Since the mobile established it self as the ONE personal communication tool advertising agencies, brands and mobile technology enthusiasts has always raised it as the future place of advertising. And the more people that get their hands on a mobile, the more people seem to think that we will all walk around and view things while being exposed to ads.
Will this be the fact?
Instead I believe that we can expect the mobile to be the truly first platform where we enjoy information and entertainment without any kind of advertising as we know it today.
Advertising as a whole is moving away from one to many and instead personalization becomes more and more important every day. Of course brand communication in traditional media will hang on yet for another 50 years but it’s going to change as technology get’s easier to use and people understand what they can do with it. That all comes along with the generations to come.
New tools like Netvibes let’s us read feeds from major websites and blogs without having to see any ads. We read what our friends to through friendfeeds like Friendfeed and microblogs like Jaiku, Twitter and Bloggy. If we wanna view video we head for YouTube and search for content. If you’re a brand you might be lucky get a hit from us, but you’re fighting your way through the jungle of another 100 million videos a day. Banner blindness brings down effect of online ads. Campaign suffer from having people leaving the page before it’s even loaded.
Don’t disturb our personal sphere.
Since the mobile is our ultimately personal gadget I don’t think we’ll let any kind of ads into that space either. Instead we’ll make sure we read information through feed readers. When we view videos it’ll be through video readers rather than the ad-crowded page. We’ll hook up to Facebook and other communities via applications and widgets. We search for information on Google through specific Google search fields. Brands that send us information will be blocked. We’ll sooner or later stop paying for things like SMS or MMS.
How do you sell your stuff in a future where the buyer is empowered with superpower of turning our ears of? You gotta make us wanna turn them on of course. And the key to that on button spells NETWORK and FREE.
If you wanna utilize the fact that more than 4 billion people carry a mobile you have to start thinking different about your communication. You have to give something away. Plan your campaigns without knowing anything about the coming results in beforehand. Your advertising initiatives has to move away from campaigns to constant conversations.
So far the one and only social networking application that has been developed for the phone is SMS. Hmm, is it a social networking application? Of course it is. It let’s us communicate with friends, many at once. We send recommendations to one another and tell our friends where we are. The microblogging thing has been around here for ever, we’ve just haven’t been able to save the conversations.
The next coming years when more more phones get the functionality of the iPhone and the Android, brands will have to fight their way into the apps of the people. The start page of a browser will once again be something to fight for. If you’re selling shoes you better make sure you’re in that price comparison app cause when I’m thinking of buying a new pair of sneakers I’l tap the Pricerunner app and compare the price while I’m in the store with the price online. If it’s cheaper online I’ll press buy online. If I’m buying a car it might be the free mobile music, video and games kit that let’s me plug my mobile into my car entertainment system that makes me choose car, not an advertising campaign. When I’m choosing a restaurant I’ll consult my social network, not the Guide Michelin.
NO. We will not be walking down streets and have messages popping up in our handsets that tells us that there’s a sale 50 meters from our position. First, we would already have known. Secondly we’ll press spam and you’ll never hear from us again. If you’re unlucky, our spam filter is connected to our social network. Then you’re really screwed.
The winners in a future like this will be the value producers. Video, music, gaming and all kinds of entertainment will own us. When we shop it will extremely seldom be without consulting our social network and price comparison engines. And here lies the opportunity for the brands. Why not invest more than 70% of your entire media budget on giving value away. Imagine how much digital content you could produce if you did that. Do not sponsor, but instead produce. Do not product place but instead build your brand relevance. If you’re into running. How can you build the best running community world wide. How can you make sure that every marathon runner out there can in some way sign up to your site and improve their times no matter how fast they’re running. If you’re into burgers – stop creating boring advertising and instead start the greatest community for people who love to barbeque. Become the role model. If you’re into cars – build driving experiences and have people logging them in their mobile. BMW motorcycles are already there with their terrain program.
What ever you do, make sure the mobile is in the middle of it all.