The Benefits Of Mobile (and On-Line) Channels Aren’t Always Obvious To The Advertiser

These are the STL blog notes from a talk I gave at the Telco 2.0 event in London:

We kicked off the workshop with a presentation from the new customer group: the advertiser. John Baker, Managing Partner at Ogilvy Interactive, highlighted several of the factors which would drive adoption of the digital and, especially, mobile channels from the advertiser’s perspective:

  1. Cost – make it cheap (and simple) to advertise
  2. Demonstrate audience growth
  3. Illustrate customer responsiveness through this channel – i.e. show a clear ROI to advertisers
  4. Be patient! There is a need for cultural change amongst advertisers. John highlighted this as a key barrier from the demand side for on-line and mobile advertising because brand managers and media buyers are measured and rewarded using metrics, such as Customer Reach, which do not easily square with the digital channels (where the focus is on engagement and interactivity).

Responding to these, John then suggested four areas of focus for Telco operators to add value:

  1. Make it easy to buy advertising – simple, low-cost and standardised
  2. Maintain growth of the on-line and mobile channels. In many markets this is less about adoption now (where markets are fully saturated for basic internet and mobile services) and more about HOW customers are using their PC and mobile. For example, growing content, entertainment and transactional services (e.g. mobile as a payment tool) is important.
  3. Produce credible research demonstrating the effectiveness of these channels.
  4. Educate the advertising community. It is not sufficient for operators to rely on a build-and-they-will-come approach. Instead operators need to educate advertisers on the benefits of their channel AND work together with advertisers to jointly develop solutions. The customer needs to be part of the development process.

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