This week I’ve been in London to present to a group of Product Marketing Managers how to use online advertising to promote their products, and in particular, what are the metrics that they should be looking at to take data-driven decisions and shape the success of their campaigns.
The tricky part in all this is that most of the Product Marketing Managers thought that they had it all figured it out, but then when we then deep dived in the way the run their advertising campaigns, they couldn’t be further from the most basic concepts and best practices. (I had more than person saying that they some parts of the presentation were “too basic” for them).
One thing that most people forget about when launching an online advertising campaign is the planning and setup phase, which I believe is as critical as the managing and data collection steps.
“Mobile first” is a slogan often used to stress the importance of having a solid mobile strategy for today’s business, in order to be prepared for tomorrow’s competitive environment. But saying “Mobile first”, goes beyond the mere consideration of a mobile approach in the overall planning of a business, it makes it a priority in the management agenda.
As Eric Schmidt has remembered at the Mobile World Congress earlier this week, “mobile first” is a prerogative for Google, since all the products that are rolled out have to be optimized for mobile usage (i.e. “mobile ready“). Even if this is a first step, a mobile strategy goes far beyond simple device compatibility and UI optimization.
Thinking mobile is probably the best way to understand tomorrow’s user behavior, and therefore adapt your business strategy to the ever-changing competitive environment in which it operates.
I believe there is not just one angle to look at the “mobile first” philosophy, but there are many different aspects that should be taken in to consideration. Thanks to my exhibitor-pass, I was able to participate to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and spot some very interesting trends that are going to define the way we are going to do business in the future (online and offline).
Allow me to present them and analyze their business implication:
When online advertising experts are asked what is the biggest shortcome of viral campaigns, no one will struggle to identify the problem of the difficulty to measure the returns on investments of such campaigns, due to the difficult quantification of the value of a parameter called “brand interaction“. This is not a new problem since even in old-school advertising, brand loyalty and brand fidelity were easily identifiable but hardly convertible in terms of added value to the sales.
In both cases we can measure the change in attitude towards the brand (and therefore sales) due to an external factor (positive or negative) influencing the purchasing behaviour, but we cannot directy see the effects, if people are not going to be tested against their consideration for the brand.
Most of the time, viral marketers promote the power of their iniciatives by showing the increase of awareness consequent to their projects. Unfortunately increased awareness by itself is not enough to qualify a successful social or viral campaign, since is nothing but the consequence of a branding initiative (by definition). Therefore what is often confused by viral, is nothing but a unusual and sometimes extravagant way of promoting a brand. If I put resources (monetary and human) in to diffusing a “viral” video on YouTube, or having people signed up to my branded page on Facebook, I’m not really creating something viral. What I’m just promoting an unconventional branding message, through what nowadays are already two (already) very commons media of mass communication.