Mobile Marketing in 2013

White Paper

The money invested in mobile marketing is growing exponentially as new platforms and technologies vie for power in the modern age. While the tech giants struggle for dominance, it’s easy to get caught up in the newest platforms and shiny new toys. But before you throw your investments at a cool new idea, it’s crucial for brands to understand the key trends, changing habits and new opportunities that mobile will bring in the year ahead.

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Mobile marketing is coming of age, and the pace of change is now exponential. In 2012 alone, 1.75 billion mobiles were sold globally. And as marketing budgets follow eyeballs, it is conceivable that mobile devices will become our most important communications platform, eclipsing the TV set and the desktop computer at work.

Analyst firm eMarketer projects a near-fivefold rise in mobile ad spending from 2011 to 2017. It forecasts that US advertisers will devote $27.13bn (£18bn) to mobile representing, which is around 45% of all digital ad spend and 13.8% of total media spend.

As the pace quickens, the battle for the hearts and minds of marketers and chief information officers has already begun. So-called “smart mobility” is now a fact of life for all businesses as well as consumers, with almost half of CIOs and 32% of IT professionals accessing business and technology information websites on their tablets, according to Forrester Research.

Gartner advises IT executives to “just say yes” and embrace the benefits that the BYOD (bringyour-own-device) movement brings to the B2B marketplace, despite any challenges posed by security.

All this means that marketers are faced with a dizzying array of new platforms and possibilities. For example, we are witnessing the advent of Google Glasses, an evolution from a holdable device to a wearable one, which may or may not take off.

The key to avoiding this cult of the new, however, is understanding the crucial developments in smart mobility that count.

1. Google and Facebook are determined to win your mobile ad budgets…

Google, Facebook and Twitter are likely to be at the top of marketers’ mobile platform wish lists, according to new forecasts by eMarketer. eMarketer predicts that Google will take half of the US mobile ad market in 2013, largely through its ownership of YouTube.

Facebook will come second, with eMarketer projecting it to grab nearly 30% of mobile ad dollars this year. Microblogging service Twitter took 7.3% of US mobile display ad revenues in 2012, its first year offering mobile ads, putting it amongst the top five platforms used by brands.

eMarketer says brands are drawn to Facebook and Twitter’s use of so-called native ad formats that are seamlessly integrated within the core user experiences of their respective products. This allows both sites to deliver mobile ad impressions at much higher volume than many traditional ad publishers.

2. ...but don’t write off the competition

Size matters when it comes to choosing a mobile advertising platform. The competition from tech giants Facebook and Google is so imposing that operators EE, O2 and Vodafone, normally arch-rival operators, have banded together to entice brands with greater critical mass and less fragmentation. By creating Weve, a mobile media advertising platform, the collaborators are promising to simplify mobile media for brands by offering a standardised platform across the three networks on which marketers can run targeted mobile display campaigns.

Significant for brands too, is the fact that the three shareholders have integrated their opt-in databases to create a pool of 15 million customers and will attempt to offer mobile campaigns that are less “blanket” and more segmented and targeted.

CASE STUDY For a travel brand, only a mobile app will do

Given consumers’ preferences for booking holidays online, it makes sense for a hotel booking site to have a strong mobile presence. and its UK agency, Fetch Media, initiated a global mobile programme that boosted the brand’s global traffic through mobile technology and helped acquire new customers by increasing visibility.

Fetch advised on the design of an easy-to-use app to help customers book a hotel room quickly, which then built in-house. A global marketing campaign was launched across 42 markets on the Android and iOS platforms.

The agency also created relevant App Store content and search optimisation to increase downloads after the launch. To keep the app at the top of the App Store travel rankings, Fetch targeted bursts of advertising across key times of the day and days of the week.’s app reached number one in the travel category on the App Store in 29 countries and was in the top 10 in all 42 countries.

CASE STUDY Mobile training helps Papa John’s expansion drive

With 3,000 restaurants located in 49 states and 22 countries, Papa John’s International is now the world’s third-largest pizza company. Papa John’s is expanding rapidly, with plans to open dozens of stores each year around the world, including in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Global expansion on this scale could create a dilemma: trips to distant countries for training and meetings are time-consuming and expensive. Papa John’s wanted to keep travel for critical events such as store openings and in-person training, according to Don Clark, senior director-international finance and administration for Papa John’s.

Papa John’s employees now use web conferencing from Citrix GoToMeeting to review store layouts, provide franchisee training, hold international staff meetings and securely conduct business around the world—all from their office desks. Features such as application-sharing and annotation tools increase employee productivity and franchisee interaction.

The company has saved $50,000 in franchisee travel alone, Clark says, crediting GoToMeeting technology with helping Papa John’s expansion. “I have no doubt that GoToMeeting has given us the ability to open more stores.”

3. To 4G or not to 4G: the “ifs” and “buts”

If content is king of the Internet, then mobile is the king-maker, liberating content from being consumed only at home or in the office. It has already given birth to new formats, such as Twitter’s Vine and Angry Birds, but the game changer for content on mobiles is 4G. As more carriers hop on the 4G bandwagon in the UK—EE, Three, 02, BT and Vodafone have won the 4G spectrum auction—they promise faster download times and a richer, more seamless experience for consumers and business users. EE was first out of the traps with its offer, and the remaining operators are expected to launch their own 4G services this summer.

There are several big “ifs” around the promise of 4G, however, not least of which is a lack of universal WiFi connectivity. In his keynote speech at the World Mobile Congress in February, Deutsche Telekom CEO René Obermann also warned of rising expectations: that customers expect more bandwidth, coverage and capacity with simultaneous reductions in price.

These challenges notwithstanding, 4G’s faster data download times mean brands can look forward to mobile advertising becoming more creative. Right now, mobile’s creative capabilities are limited by slower loading from 3G, which inhibits brands from using higher-quality video in their mobile ads. 4G is likely to tackle this with faster streaming speeds when on the go.

4. B2B mobile content must be snappy and engaging, too

Business people are consumers too and as a result, customers will have little patience for companies that can’t engage with them via mobile devices. That’s the conclusion of a Forrester Research report “2013 B2B CMO Imperatives”, which argues that business mobile initiatives in 2013 will need to move from basic functionalities like store locators to content that tangibly aids the buying process.

In its report, Forrester uses a statistic from the Associated Press —stating that the average attention span in 2012 was 8 seconds and shrinking—to conclude that B2B content, like its B2C counterpart, needs to be “snackable, interactive and engaging”, as well as shareable.

In Ogilvy’s 2012 report “Hidden in plain sight: How mobile is quietly revolutionizing the B2B world”, a compelling picture is painted of how BYOD is fuelling smart mobility. Amongst Fortune 500 companies, the report points out, 92% are deploying or testing the iPad, with regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals amongst the early adopters.

Productivity is a big beneficiary of smart mobility [see Papa John’s International case study – page 2]. Joe Jimenez, CEO of pharm giant Novartis, praised the iPad for offering game-changing technology that enable sales reps to save 250 hours a year and make “an incredible 35,000 extra customer visits a year.”

CASE STUDY Unilever eschews apps in favour of mobile ads

Hair loss is far from an exclusively male problem—it is an increasingly common issue for women, but the subject remains largely taboo. Unilever used mobile marketing in its Singapore market to communicate on this sensitive topic and promote its Dove Hairfall Rescue product.

Mobile was chosen for the task, which makes sense because mobile penetration is very high in Singapore. The local offices of Mindshare and InMobi devised a campaign designed to be an immersive experience for viewers, fronted by Claire, a girl in her late 20s and suffering hair loss.

Rather than an app, however, the campaign was based around a banner ad, leading to Claire’s story within an HTML 5 ad unit. The ad allowed people to interact and find out more about Claire’s story at their own pace, without having to download an app which might have disrupted the experience.

A bottle of Dove’s Intensive Hair Tonic is then introduced in the ad unit, whereby users could actually perform the motion of applying the solution to demonstrate ease of use.

The campaign achieved a high engagement rate of 30.96% and an average viewing time of 3 minutes and 28 seconds.

5. In B2B especially, think app, not ad

Businesses are increasing investment in mobile business apps, and indeed there is a growing argument that the best way for marketers to communicate through mobile will be via apps. Users do not perceive apps as advertising; they value them for their functionality and find them less intrusive. Ogilvy’s “Hidden in plain sight” report points to how the business category was shown to be the fastest-growing category in the App Store, with a 186% increase year on year.

Perhaps more so in B2B communication, users will favour any app that provides functional benefits and eases the pain of logging in to content when on the move. Registering for conference calls and webinars, for instance, can be a cumbersome process, but the newer generation of business apps for mobile iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices can sync with calendars and make the process more automated. Similarly, mobile apps allow flexibility so that attendees can access webinars on the move from all over the world. Increased webinar access means companies can broaden their reach and grow their business. (See Inspired Marketing case study opposite.) And also bear in mind the conclusion of many reports on this year’s Mobile World Congress in February: Android is in the ascendancy.

CASE STUDY Revenues rise exponentially with webinars

Inspired Marketing, a company selling digital tools and online training programmes on social networking, wanted to find a more efficient way of reaching customers. Company founder, Lewis Howes, didn’t see the potential for growing his business until he participated in his first webinar. “I presented my talk and at the end offered a $150 training product to the audience. I was amazed to check my PayPal account and see $6,500 in it. It opened my eyes to a whole new world.”

Today, Inspired Marketing not only continues to offer free, educational webinars on social media strategies, but also presents fee-based training webinars for client companies. Webinars are accessed by attendees, all over the world, on mobile and desktop devices. “Webinars are an incredibly efficient way to generate business,” Howes noted. “They are extremely powerful tools. For example, in January 2011, we had sales of $250,000 from just seven GoToWebinar events.” In addition to these high conversion rates, GoToWebinar offers ease and flexibility, as presenters and their live audience can dial in remotely using mobile devices and interact without having to travel.


Smartphones and other mobiles devices are now embedded in our work and leisure lives; changing the way today’s executives do business and how consumers transact with brands. The problem is a familiar one for many businesses and consumers: too little time and so much to do and learn. If marketers take one statistic away from this paper, it is that the average attention span in 2012 was 8 seconds, and shrinking. Therein lies the challenge, and the opportunity, for both B2B and B2C marketers.

The good news is that when 4G becomes more universal over the next year, the creative possibilities in formats such as online video, and enhanced productivity offered by work tools such as mobile conferencing and webinars, become infinitely greater. Smart marketers know to ignore the hype and hysteria around mobile’s ‘next big thing’ and that the only differentiation that counts in smart mobility is a better, simpler, more engaging customer experience.

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