Mobile Advertising: Why It’s Got To Be Rich
by Elena Perez
Note: This article was originally published in Mobile Marketer’s Classic Guide to Mobile Advertising.
Jetpacks notwithstanding, smartphones and tablets have propelled us into the future, where rich information and entertainment leap off our screens, draw us in by fingertips so deeply that we crash blindly into one another while walking down the street. For Marketers, mobile’s growth represents an exceptionally personal environment in which to connect with consumers and an exceptionally fertile ground to deliver meaningful display advertising.
So with the future — in the form of mobile devices — now literally in hand, the question for Marketers is: why attempt to engage consumers that are hooked on the deeply engaging, rich capabilities of their beloved devices with static ads?
Mobile Rich Media Gives Consumers What They Want
Smartphones and tablets unleashed new creative possibilities that engage consumers in unprecedented and memorable ways. The ability to touch, shake and spin a device adds a new dimension of interaction that device owners love to explore, while the portability of the device raises the bar for the kind of media consumers expect on the go.
For brands, this new mix of interaction and expectation opens the door to truly meaningful engagement. By incorporating rich features like video content and image galleries directly into creative ad units, brands give users more options for response. The integration of Facebook and Twitter take advantage of mobile consumers’ social media habit (Nielsen recently reported that 53% of social networkers follow brands and 40% are accessing via mobile devices) and extend the connection between consumer and brand beyond the life of the campaign. Forms for data collection, store locators, click-to-call buttons and shopping carts directly in the ad unit drive users further down the funnel, right in the ad unit.
Not only is it possible to incorporate these features directly in a rich ad served to a mobile website or app, it’s also something consumers have grown to expect from advertising that occurs within their multimedia smartphones and tablets. Mobile device capabilities have raised the bar for display advertising.
Mobile Rich Media Preserves the Integrity of User Experience
It’s not just user expectation; it’s also user experience that drives value for rich advertising in mobile, particularly when considering in-app advertising. The fact is, your target audience is engaging with the app or mobile website because they’re interested in the content or information provided–anything that disrupts that experience can undermine a brand’s investment.
Unlike static ads, rich ads allow brands to fully engage without breaking continuity of experience, enabling consumers to watch product demos, scroll through product specs, virtually drive a car and even share a brand message with their 1000 closest friends — without asking them to a new environment. The recent Polo Ralph Lauren sponsorship of The New York Times’ iPad app made it possible to access an in-depth catalog, complete with live video and an in-ad unit shopping cart without leaving the app, providing a more seamless experience that fosters a better perception of both the publisher and brand.
The ‘self-contained’ experience of mobile rich media provides another important benefit. By enabling brands to lead users all the way down the funnel to lead generation or even purchase, mobile rich media becomes a viable alternative to developing, promoting and maintaining a mobile app or mobile-optimized landing page, both of which incrementally affect the cost and effort of your ‘simple’ static ad.
Mobile Rich Media Measures and Delivers ROI.
User experience and expectation are important, but it always comes down to ROI. This is where rich mobile advertising scores big, particularly compared to static.
Mobile rich media is 100% measurable. Whether delivered to app or mobile website, every one of the compelling rich interactions that are built into a creative – be it a swipe or a tweet or a video play – can be measured to give you complete insight into the performance of your campaign. Measure the time consumers spend engaging with your creative, track the number of users who share your brand message, how many times a form was filled out, how far down the funnel your creative leads consumers.
Rich media offers more than just a click-through, it tells a comprehensive story of the ad unit’s success and provides valuable insight for your next steps.
Mobile Rich Media Doesn’t Have to Be Complex
Today, a broad range of features can be built into mobile rich media creative without breaking new ground. Expandable ads, Growable ads and Interstitials have been battle tested across smartphones and tablets. Want an interactive catalog with flappable tiles? Done. Interested in a tablet creative with multiple embedded videos? No problem. How about a 360 degree rotating product showcase or an image gallery banner with video and sharing? Easy. Best practices exist for each of these ad types. (And, in fact, they can all be created without any knowledge of code using Medialets Creative Builder.)
So while mobile will always offer fertile ground for experimentation, mobile rich media is, in fact, a spectrum from which you can choose how simple or complex you’d like to be based on what makes sense for your campaign.
Mobile Rich Media Has Evolved Quickly
In just a short period of time, mobile rich media has evolved from an opportunity fueled by cutting-edge novelty to one that offers a full spectrum of creative possibilities that meet the needs of different brands, industries and – importantly – deadlines.
Now that you can use mobile rich media to deliver seamless experiences that rise to the expectations set by the dynamic devices on which they run — without getting cut on the bleeding edge — perhaps the next person who blindly crashes into you while walking down the street will be locked into a deep and meaningful engagement with your brand.
To learn more about Medialets, contact us.