Don’t Fear Mobile, Embrace It

Mobile advertising is an incredibly powerful platform, targeting consumers at a granular level never known to brands previously. Going forward, mobile will continue to go from strength to strength; we are seeing this first hand. Imagine being able to deploy targeted advertising, based on an individual’s browsing habits? It’s the most specific advertising platform ever made available to brands. A question we are often faced with is whether mobile is a viable advertising channel for brands? This is somewhat missing the point. Prospective clients are intrigued, but too often approach mobile with the same anxieties, citing various historic objections, none of which really relate to what mobile does.

The most common question is: “Why are mobile media clicks cheaper than online clicks?” Firstly, this is not damning of mobile as a channel, but is instead a simple case of supply and demand. In 2001, web clicks were also cheap. However, as more brands realised the true value of clicks, demand for online media grew, outstripping supply, and naturally pushing rates up. Admittedly, mobile is still in its infancy, in comparison to online, but we are seeing a steady rise in prices.

Exponential growth

The supply of mobile media exponentially grew following the emergence of the smartphone. As more consumers upgrade to smartphones, we are seeing an increasing number of brands commit to mobile media spends. The rates are gradually climbing, just as the internet did post-2001. Importantly, our clients are seeing the direct results from the mobile strategies we have helped them, to map out. Brands are now rushing to build mobile sites and apps which will unquestionably gain traction with the use of mobile ad traffic to drive consumers to them.

From the work we do, we can see that the mobile platform offers brands a huge opportunity, which in several ways, surpasses online advertising. Online targeting via an IP address is interesting, but not nearly as compelling as the ability to target the present and past location of a consumer, for example. The ability to pinpoint someone to just a matter of metres is extremely powerful. Imagine alerting consumers to a special offer, when they are only yards from your store.

We ran a campaign to engage active football supporters. We identified these customers by seeing who attended football grounds during home games. The best way for us to do this was by analyzing their movements via their mobile device. The web, alas, cannot deliver the same insight and accuracy.

Since 2010, we have seen unprecedented demand for mobile advertising solutions and mobile media. This growth is driven by the careful measuring and recording of user engagement and return on investment, which is continually being compared with other digital media. The vast majority of our clients spend more, month on month. In the current economic climate, this would certainly not be the case if our clients were seeing poor results or crucially, if results were worse than other digital channels.

The so called ‘year of mobile’ has well and truly been and gone. With mobile access overtaking fixed-line access in various markets, brands need to understand how to capitalise on the mobile revolution, rather than questioning the capability of the channel. When the dotcom bubble burst, many brands questioned the viability and benefits of the internet. Many of them are no longer in business.


M&C Saatchi Performance is an forward-thinking performance marketing agency focused on driving measurable results for organisations in all industries. Feel free to get in touch with us about your new project.