Are you choosing the right mobile advertising channel?
By : Mustafa Gadiwala
Deputy Manager – Business Operations, mADmart
One of the hardest decisions for advertisers is choosing the right channel for reaching out to their audience segments. The mobile revolution has led to an explosion in the use of smaller screens for advertising. On mobile media itself, there are text, voice and video channels which can be exploited. So picking the right channel within the mobile platform on the basis of the content, target audience and objective of the campaign can be tricky.
Be it a bar of Soap, Car, Insurance Policy or a Real Estate property, the beauty of mobile advertising is that anything and everything can be sold through various mobile channels. Apart from the advantage of smaller form factor of smartphones, marketers enjoy a diverse portfolio of channels that offer better CTRs and conversion rates.
There are a number of reports which suggest that digital marketing spend is consistently increasing. It is also a known fact that digital marketers stand to gain by traditional ads dying. Traditional advertising medium like TV, radio and print do not offer a personalised touch point with the customer. Mobile advertising solves this problem to a great extent. Moreover it is more integrated too since consumers may now click on any ad and proceed to buying seamlessly.
Mobile advertising works great for a wide range of ticket sizes – be it large and remote businesses or even local businesses. The mobile medium offers the ability to ‘geofence’ prospective new customers which allows businesses to only spend money on customers who are located within a specific geography. Such level of precise targeting may not be possible with most of the traditional advertising medium.
And a few misses
It is a no-brainer that advertising entertains, emotionally moves and can also just inform users. But there can also be a negative reaction to advertising like irritation and fatigue which can adversely impact the performance of a campaign. Hence, care should be taken in choosing the right channel for a product to be marketed for better campaign performance.
Let us draw a comparison of advertising on Television vis-a-vis advertising on a Mobile Phone. While the consumer largely views the television at the time of leisure but the same is not the case with a mobile phone. The consumer uses his mobile handset for work as well as for leisure.
Hence, the mobile channel chosen for a campaign plays an important role so that we do not invade someone’s personal space at work as this may have a negative reaction to the campaign. This needs to be kept in mind largely when a campaign is to be run in urban areas.
Making the right choice
Each mobile advertising channel has its unique reach and unique strengths. More importantly, a number of factors play a major role in determining what channel you must choose for mobile advertising like the product categories, audience profiles and behavior, location and the overall objective of the campaign.
Display ads are great to build a brand while SMS marketing is very effective when you want to market exclusive offers. On the other hand, a combination of channels can be used if you want to alert your users about anything from a new feature update, to a sale, or a new product.
Picking the right channel for your business vertical is a matter of understanding your consumer’s psyche and intent. The ‘idleness’ of the user can also determine success of a channel. A promotional SMS and MMS delivered to and read by the user when he is at leisure will command a high visibility. On the other hand, promotional OBD mandates the user to pick up the OBD call, in this case the ‘irritation’ factor needs to be kept in mind.
Let us assume that your campaign targets a group which includes working professionals like Salaried Employees, SMEs or Proprietors in urban areas. If the advertiser is marketing a Real Estate property and if advertising time slots allotted by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India are between 9am to 9pm, then a promotional call during their working hours can leave a negative impact.
Getting the best for your business
The suitable channel or channels may differ from vertical to vertical depending on the audience to be targeted. The target audience for automobile and real estate comprises mainly urban male citizens with smartphones. In such cases, RCM may be a suitable channel.
Channels may also differ based on the appropriate content for certain verticals. Much like the highly colorful yet disposable nature of FMCG goods, the vertical also demands an engaging content for a shorter span. However, it also needs channels with a wider reach across multiple regions including the vernacular-speaking, feature phone-using tier-2 audience. And hence SMS and OBD channels work the best. Promotional content for entertainment sector needs to be appealing – visually and also to the ears. Hence, MMS, OBS and to a lesser extent SMS should suffice. Somewhat like the entertainment vertical, the travel sector is also a lot about the visual experiences and the MMS channel can do the needful.
To conclude, channels are meant to support each other. One message in one channel may not reach all the potential users. As an advertiser, it is important for you to distribute your messaging across multiple channels using a single platform at the same time or in a sequence or in a scattered form for maximum reach. In the end, the success of a campaign depends on picking the right channel to reach out to your audience.