This year may be the first time that more time is spent online via mobile devices than through PCs. What does this mean for your business?
At Microsoft we see this is as a particularly promising trend and it highlights the significant opportunities created for consumers and advertisers in today’s mobile world. 2013 is an exciting and transformational year for our business with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. We’ve reimagined our content and advertising experiences with advertisers through our devices and services ecosystem to reflect the same trend. As a business we are focused on mobile in a number of ways, not just through our own brand marketing activities, but also for the solutions we provide to advertisers and developer partners.
Where are the key opportunities in mobile at the moment? Why?
Firstly, building destinations and experiences through mobile sites and apps have been common successful components of many brand mobile strategies. With the high level of UK mobile internet penetration and usage, combined with app ecosystems such as Windows & Windows Phone, iOS and Android there’s never been a better time to create your brand experiences and destinations at scale, delivering seamless experiences for consumers across a variety of mobile device form factors.
Secondly, in terms of mobile advertising, Display, Search & video channels are well proven and tested in the UK. These product areas are reaching significant scale for advertisers and seeing a great deal of innovation such as location-based capabilities and rich media which provides interactivity with native device features, giving the user a much deeper and immersive experience across all their devices: particularly mobile.
What are the key challenges in mobile at the moment? Why?
The biggest challenge for brands is to harness the growing mobile ecosystem and overall opportunities within the channel in the most meaningful way to drive impact. The key to success is to make sure they have a mobile strategy as part of their overall business design and start by focusing on the areas of Mobile that will deliver best against their business objectives. Doing fewer things better as a brand can drive richer and rewarding experiences for consumers, with greater results for the business.
In terms of a macro challenge, I think we are only at the start of mobile advertising in many ways. As the digital advertising landscape moves towards an ‘invite’ vs ‘interrupt’ marketing model, the opportunities for engagement will change completely. We are focused on using technology, data and insights to help our partners create “consumer first” solutions that are engaging, relevant and add value.
What will the mobile marketing landscape look like in five years’ time?
Mobile is only going to grow and become much more central than today as a marketing medium in my opinion. The use of ‘big’, dynamic data will be integral in the fabric of marketing like never before for both content and advertising experiences. Devices themselves will interface with more sensors, data and physical environments and will unlock new and dynamic advertising scenarios. In terms of location-based services we expect these will have improved greatly with advances such as indoor mapping and positioning at more scale and accuracy. We expect natural user interfaces to have started fundamentally changing to the next generation in terms of design and functionality principles; this will have a profound impact on apps and advertising and will bring heightened opportunities for personalisation and interactivity for mobile consumers, marketers and content owners alike.
What is your top tip for anyone looking to get more involved in mobile?
Always start with developing a mobile strategy and setting clear goals for what you want to achieve for your brand that works with and adds to all your other marketing activities and initiatives. Take advantage of existing research, insights and experiences from other relevant brands and be prepared to commit, differentiate yourself and take calculated risk on building mobile into your overall cross-screen marketing strategy.
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