Smartphone ownership and use has shot through the roof in the last few years in the UK, to the extent that we are now (as per Ofcom), a ‘Smartphone Society’. The combination of superfast internet access and highly competent hardware means that we no longer have to wait till we get home, we can reach the internet almost anytime and anyplace.

 

Naturally, this means that media can reach us more easily too; we are more likely to use our mobile devices to access the internet and spend time with media, than we are our old desktops and laptops.

 

It’s obvious to say that brands have to take this ubiquity into consideration. Even when it isn’t a primary format in a media plan, mobile is a nexus; a vital organ through which everything else must now pass, it connects everything else and does so regardless of the intentions of the marketing team. Mobile is ignored at the expense of fulfilling the potential of a media plan.

 

We all know mobile is important, but it remains the case (perhaps because of the speed of ascent), that many brands remain unsure of themselves with regards to mobile. It needs to be integrated, but how and why?

 

Here is a quick rundown of mobile from a media planning perspective, the realities that mean most to us right now.

 

Mobile offers a channel with very unique characteristics. For instance mobile ads can be more personalised and timely than most, but it is a mistake to think of (and judge) mobile as just another channel. It’s actually an organic platform. It carries and links all media, and is permanently attached to an individual.

 

Media plans shouldn’t create silos in a mobile world. That might have always been true to some extent (we have always encouraged an integrated approach to media), but it matters so much more now. Know the audience and plan to reach it with an integrated, multi-platform approach. You’ll spend less and reach more.

 

Mobile sits at the centre of the omnichannel world we all experience. It can change the context and impact of all other media, including traditional media like TV or OOH.

 

Having said this, mobile won’t fulfil it’s potential as a channel until advertisers can accurately compare like for like on different systems. Facebook, Google and Microsoft are all trying to encourage buyers to their space, but without a universal method of comparing the effectiveness of viewability this is at a cost to the industry as a whole. Advertisers, like ourselves, spend more when we have more data.

 

Plans should take into account the transactional nature of mobile. Where do you want the media to go? Outside of paid media, where could it end up? If a media plan includes mobile simply as another channel, it hasn’t considered the potential (good or bad) connections that are now possible. As a result, no media should be considered static.

 

Success on one device is less important than a successful overall campaign; one that reaches the target audience correctly and has as little wastage as possible. We can and should plan to audiences (and not devices) wherever they appear.

 

Mobile payment is already here and although it’s not in widespread use, it soon will be. This development serves as an indication of the way mobile is an intersectional device between the real world (of bricks and mortars stores etc) and the internet.

 

Mobile ad spend has been forecast to overtake TV this year. But there is more to this simple statement than meets the eye. Lots of money being spent on mobile is still ending up in the mobile departments of traditional media space owners. In terms of both ownership and consumption, media developments are increasingly allowing us to reach audiences across devices.

 

To learn more about how you can begin to get mobile (or to optimise your current performance) get in touch with our media planning and buying team who will be more than happy to discuss your best options. Get in touch today!

 

By Oliver Brown