Mobile sets agenda

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Mobile sets agenda
Mobile sets agenda
“When you're trying to build your brand or build awareness, context matters a lot,” says Laszlo. “With direct response, you want to cast the net very widely.” Typically, mobile ad networks have a percentage of premium publishing partners, and a longer tail of sites that wouldn't be considered premium. Marketers will want to know what kind of publishers a network can supply. As mobile ad networks continue to compete for market share, some will go bigger and wider, favoring quantity and others will use fewer, premium publishers. 

Matt Snyder, founder and president at MediaMob, a mobile agency with a client list including Mercedes-Benz and Best Buy, says marketers should consider the total media mix for a campaign when deciding which mobile ad network to use. “If you're going mobile exclusive, that's Millennial Media, Jumptap or iAd,” says Snyder, formerly a senior director of business development at Quattro Wireless. The benefits of working with MSN, Yahoo or AdMob, on the other hand, are that advertisers “can really do some diverse and blended campaigns, where you're hitting on all points,” including online advertising, says Snyder.

Another important consideration, according to Paran Johar, chief marketing officer at Jumptap, a cross-platform mobile ad network, is the ability to serve ads across mobile devices and platforms. “Never in the history of advertising have advertisers bought an operat-ing system or a handset or a hardware. They buy audience,” says Johar, alluding to Apple's iAd network. “If you only focus on one device, you're missing out on a big part of your audience.” 

Jumptap, which offers 61 targeting parameters for advertisers and sold out all of its inventory in Q4 2010, according to Johar, serves ads on sites including E! Online, Fox Mobile and several Hearst Magazine mobile sites. Jumptap, like Millennial Media and 4Info, serves ads across many mobile device platforms. (Rep-resentatives from Apple did not respond to calls or e-mails requesting comment for this article.)

“Agency folks tell me that they still need to educate marketers who may be overly focused on one particular platform just because it's cool, not necessarily be-cause that's the kind of device their audience owns in large numbers,” says IAB's Laszlo.

On December 8, Kellogg launched an Android and iPhone app for Special K, the first ever mobile app launched in support of any Kellogg brand. The app, called myPlan, targets weight-conscious women in their 20s to 40s, and features a two-week weight loss challenge, including customized meal plans, a shopping list function, and daily motivations to stick with the plan, according to Snyder. MediaMob partnered with the brand's AOR, Leo Burnett and media giant Starcom  MediaVest Group for the campaign. 

Jesper Lund Jacobsen, associate director for the Spe-cial K brand at Kellogg, described the launch as “a new touchpoint for the whole [Kellogg] company.” In addi-tion to the app, Kellogg selected Millennial Media and AdMob for a mobile banner campaign in support of the app, backed by a “heavy investment in the whole mobile space” beginning in January, just in time for new year's resolutions, according to Jacobsen. 

“It's not just a low budget [campaign] to test out mo-bile; it's really a heavy impact effort,” says Jacobsen, adding that the decision to go into mobile was easy, but deciding “what to bring forward was more complicated.” Jacobsen declines to discuss specific objectives for the campaign in terms of sales or app downloads, but says that Special K usually sees a jump in sales dur-ing the first part of a new year, and “our plan is to beat what we did last year.” 

4Info, a mobile ad network that offers SMS in addi-tion to several other mobile ad units, used a combination of SMS, mobile Web and in-app placements for a recent Energizer battery campaign, according to Julie Shumaker, 4Info's SVP of sales and marketing. “Most of our campaigns start out with a straight mix” of SMS, mobile Web and in-app, says Shumaker. As measure-ment data comes in, 4Info tweaks the campaign. 

Shumaker says advertisers interested in SMS look to 4Info to provide a broader scope to bear on the mobile space. “The ROI behind the low-tech ad products is usually the highest of the campaign,” when several different kinds of ads are used, says Shumaker. “But with-out the pretty pictures, it's hard to build a relationship with the consumer.” With around 300 publishers across the mobile web, 4Info has a smaller reach than some of the other networks. In terms of SMS, however, 4info has thousands of partners, including USA Today, The Discovery Channel, TMZ and the Weather Channel, among others. 

Shumaker says 4Info's history in SMS has allowed it to grow organically into display, in-app and the mobile Web, with many of its partners. The shift has been quick; 70% of 4Info's revenue now comes from display, video ads and app-takeovers, according to Shumaker.

Roughly 60% to 70% of its publisher partners are con-sidered premium, she says. The network's app takeover ad unit resembles Apple's iAd system, and features full screen interactive content and a 100% share of voice during the term of the campaign, per Shumaker. The network sells ads across Apple devices, Android,
Blackberry and other major platforms.

Mobile Web versus in-app

By the time this feature article goes to press, it's very possible that arguments pitting search and the mobile Web against in-app content will have disintegrated into an easy solution: do both. 

“Advertisers shouldn't have to choose between apps and the mobile Web, nor should they be thinking in those silos,” comments Jason Spero, director of mobile, Americas, for Google, by e-mail. “Wherever users are spending their time is where your brand should be.”

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