4G Quality Mobile Marketing in Ukraine (GMIC2013 Conference Report)

November 7, 2013

The mobile Internet is hopelessly stuck in 2G (+ Ukrtelecom) in Ukraine, while most of the U.S. has been already covered with high-speed 4G wireless. While Americans watch video in a train on the mobile device, Ukrainians can, at best, read the news. I want to believe that a similar story will not happen to the quality of mobile marketing campaigns.

After 2 days at GMIC 2013 (Global Mobile Internet Conference in San Francisco)  six-hour stream of mobile marketing, I’d like to share my experiences and new knowledge. Hopefully, the article will be useful for brand managers, digital agencies and developers dealing with mobile advertising.

Almost all the speakers talked about the high engagement rates, response rate and the coupon redemption in properly used mobile communications. Also, brands are interested in receiving deep analytics data about user activity as a result of campaigns, which mobile allows provides.

Motto of many presentations and discussions:

― nothing digital is closer to your consumer than a smartphone;

― use mobile responsibly, otherwise it’s annoying;

― it’s not about how many people you are reaching, but how many people are going to react.

Now about the details and opportunities:

  1. Modern analytics (Flurry, InMobi …) allows us to understand not only the specifics of using apps, but also what programs and how often users run on their smartphones. On the basis of this, it is easy to build clear segments of interest for targeting, for example, “young mothers” or “sport fans” (watch Flurry Personas).
  2. “Showing to all the users the same dull banner at the bottom of the screen is a crime. Even worse, when this terrible banner pops up on the screen. ”  InMobi has recently introduced the adaptable native formats of mobile advertising (watch InMobi Customs ads).
    The future of mobile formats: depends on the content (contextual, the analogy with the Google search ads), harmony in design to the application and its features (not obtrusive), use convenient format of user interaction with ads (user experience first).
  3. I’ve been an active smartphone user for about 4 years now, and with every new app that asks me a standard question “App X would you like to send You Push Notifications”, I confidently press: “Don’t allow”. I think many readers are familiar with this situation.
    Google clearly stated the inadmissibility of sending mobile messages through the notifications panel (push notifications) a month ago. The same policy holds Apple. There is, however, a gray area between reminding about the updates of the application and marketing. But you really win in the long run if you stick to the principle – push notification is a service for the users. The more useful and relevant messages (pushes) you send out, the higher the level of trust to the application users will have.
  4. In Mobile you know the place, time and device.It doesn’t mean that every time passing a coffee shop or restaurant, I want to receive a mobile coupon “Come in and get a discount”. But when I’ve already walked into the coffee shop and launched a specific application (whether it is Foursquare or this coffee shop’s app), it is more likely that I will respond positively to the “special offer just for you only at this location !”
    You can get a lot of analytics data on application usage. For example, I watch the weather in the morning, and then at the same moment in a weather application I receive a message from the taxi about the “discounts on this rainy day.” It is unlikely that the same message will be relevant for the user who is watching weather at 3 pm on Friday while planning a trip for the weekend.
    For marketers it is important to understand “the phenomenon of multiple personality” on your smartphone and tablet. For example, on a smartphone I am  a news reader, photographer and cards’ user. But on the tablet I transform into a reader of magazines, Facebooker and a buyer.
  5. At the conference many experts gave many examples of the active users’ participation in various surveys from brands and apps that already have credibility. Cosmetic brand asked about hair and skin types, and got a huge response rate. Users understood that their answers help future coupons  relevancy. It is worth mentioning that in the United States brands often give out small gifts for participating in the surveys. Technically, the creation of a simple questionnaire should not be a problem at all (there are many tools out there, also, you can check out a startup called Feedbackstr).
  6. Finally, consumers, bloggers and the media love when the brand + creative agency + developers create something unique, such as Murphy’s in IrelandAdidas in Germany or McDonald’s in Australia.

Looking back at the one of the first ad of beer brand in the popular news iPhone application in Ukraine, the user experience was below even 2G level. But at the same time I hope that brands + agency + developers analyzed the first cases. So we can expect truly personalized and interesting advertising campaigns in future. It’s be win-win both for the consumers and marketers.

P.S. For technical information on mobile advertising best practices visit Mobile Marketing Association Site.