Pulse of the Profession

Friday Five: Mobile Advertising Attempts to Prove Naysayers Wrong

Mobile advertising is being driven by the sheer force of consumers’ voracious appetites for all things mobile. A number of big brands are beginning to view mobile as a substantially more capable vehicle for driving a brand message and creating better engagement on social platforms that consumers are already familiar with. Mobile is continuing to grow commercially, so being able to prove its value for marketing cements its position as a key advertising channel.

In this week’s PRSA “Friday Five” post — an analysis of the week’s biggest public relations and business news and commentary — we explore how a number of social platforms are using mobile advertising to increase the value of the platform while also increasing added benefits for the number of brands tapping into the exponential growth of mobile advertising. We will also look at how some brands have increased consumer engagement with mobile advertising campaigns.

3 Mobile Platforms Your Brand Should Leverage (Mashable)

Given the proliferation of smart phone and tablet adoption, mobile is the place to be. Mashable contributor Sara Kowal, vice president of product innovation at ePrize, discusses three mobile platforms, aside from Twitter and Facebook, which brands should be leveraging.

  1. Pinwheel — “All the benchmarks of successful social marketing are represented on this platform: brand building, community activation and social media advertising.”
  2. Path — “Over time, many blogs have shifted to a micro-blog format and we think Path has that same kind of potential to influence your brand advocate’s core social circle.”
  3. Tumblr — “Reach a younger, more diverse demographic: Users are, on average, younger than those on other platforms. High potential for viral sharing and amplification: Tumblr currently has 53 million blogs and generates approximately 17 billion page views a month.”

Twitter’s Mobile Ads Begin to Click (The Wall Street Journal)

Twitter Inc. is showing early signs of success selling advertising on mobile devices, something other social media platforms have struggled with. Twitter is now generating the majority of its revenue from ads shown to its users on mobile gadgets. It seems people who see Twitter ads on their phones are more likely to click or engage with it in some way. A number of businesses, including P.F. Chang’s, are benefitting from Twitter’s successful mobile advertising efforts. In the first four days roughly 1 million people clicked, recirculated or otherwise interacted with a Twitter ad created by P.F. Chang’s and the majority of those people engaged with the ad via mobile device. Mobile advertising is on the rise and Twitter’s potential growth in mobile ads seems exponential.

What Facebook Mobile Ads Mean for Marketers (Technorati)

Ad Age and other experts have reported that Facebook mobile ads have a higher click-through rate than similar ads delivered on PCs. Mobile ads will play a substantial role in Facebook’s advertising plans. Millions of Americans use mobile smartphones as their main device for connecting to the Internet. Moreover, Facebook is one of the top “go to” applications for mobile users. As Facebook picks up steam in the mobile advertising realm, Technorati’s Drew Hendricks explains what this will mean for marketers.

  • Marketers Should Shift Toward Mobile — “Ad Age research delivered the news that mobile ads had an average 0.79% click-through rate versus about 0.32% for PC-only ads with various types of placement.”
  • Marketers Need to Optimize Their Mobile Experience — You cannot use mobile ads solely for driving traffic to your homepage. “To increase conversion and reduce the bounce rate, a fully optimized web experience for mobile users needs to be realized from beginning to end.”
  • Marketers Have to Figure Out What Works … Again — Marketers will have to be patient as they explore the nuance of mobile marketing. They will have to experiment to see what works and what doesn’t and in time will see the benefits from mobile advertising.

Here’s How One Marketer Made Google Mobile Ads Pay Off (Forbes)

There have been a number of concerns that mobile advertising may never pay off. Google recently came out with a case study of how T-Mobile last year used Google mobile search ads to try to get more new customer activations to its cellular service in an attempt to show that mobile advertising actually does work when used the right way. The goal of the campaign was to guide users looking to purchase a new phone to the nearest store. The campaign served separate ads to mobile users, automatically showing both the nearest store on a map and a click-to-call button. In one month, the campaign attracted 162,000 people to T-Mobile’s website, garnered a 13 percent click-through rate, still higher than standard display ads, and generated 20,000 phone calls to stores. Forbes contributor Robert Hof discusses the campaign in more detail.

MasterCard Strengthens M-Commerce Presence With Mobile Rewards Push (Mobile Commerce Daily)

MasterCard has teamed up with shopkick, the first mobile app that gives you rewards and offers simply for walking into stores, to boost the mobile shopping experience. “[Cardholders] are increasingly using digital media, social networks, and mobile [applications] to uncover new information and opportunities for greater deals and discounts,” said Mario Shiliashki, group head of emerging payments for MasterCard. MaterCard’s example reinforces the value in providing these added services to consumers through the channels where they already exist.

Nicole Castro is the public relations associate at the Public Relations Society of America.

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