Tech viewpoint on mobile creativity
A view from Max Macintosh

Tech viewpoint on mobile creativity

It’s widely accepted that creativity is key to effective advertising. Yet, when it comes to creativity in mobile advertising, brands are hesitant to take a leap of faith.  

Maybe this isn’t surprising given that, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau, 46 per cent of the top 50 FMCG brands have no mobile presence. And yet, today, people not only expect a site to work on mobile, they are increasingly willing to engage with mobile marketing.

An Adyoulike study revealed that 55 per cent of people engaged with native ads via their smartphones or tablets.

Rather than viewing in-app creativity as a different world, the wiser souls out there recognise the opportunity to get involved in mobile ad campaigns that were previously the reserve of specialists. They also know that effective mobile advertising is about much more than app downloads, and a lifetime value strategy is vital if they want to keep their seat at the table.

Mobile creativity doesn’t always have to be beautiful – but it should be smart. Some short-term creative beauty strategies can prevent long-term customer relationships. Yes, it grabs the headlines, costs lots of money and creates lots of immediate downloads, but it lasts two months and then they remove the app from the store. You’ve immediately lost a strong comms vehicle instead of extending the app beyond the campaign, and tracking and acting against the post-download activity.

People not only expect a site to work on mobile, they are willing to engage with mobile marketing

The truth is that there are so many avenues for creativity in mobile, from in-app display advertising, video ads, app trailers and targeted push notifications to expandable rich media ads.

Nike is one brand that has thought creatively about how to make the most of mobile advertising. It created real-time ads inviting fans to celebrate, remix and share memorable sports moments seconds after they happened during live TV events. On mobiles and tablets, fans could rotate 360 degrees around 3D versions of their heroes and use headlines, filters and stickers to create posters celebrating the moment. All this happened in the mobile browser, without the need to download or open an app. This is what creativity looks like in a multiscreen age.

And while creativity is important, you won’t see results without getting serious about your data. Where do your users come from? How long are they spending in the mobile site or app? What search queries drive the app downloads? Using your mobile analytics insights means you will effectively target your audience with a message that’s right for them at any given time.

So don’t make mobile an after-thought. Analysing conversion data, combined with clever adaptive creative thinking, should be at the heart of today’s mobile advertising. It is down to agencies, advertisers and developers to collaborate more to explore this new and exciting opportunity.

Max Macintosh is the agency head at Google UK