Undertone recently hosted a Mobile Roundtable dinner which brought together some of our key agency partners to discuss what’s happening in mobile advertising right now. It was a great evening with a lot of discussion. Some key themes and takeaways emerged:
1. (Most) clients are now fully committed to mobile.
There’s no long a need for most agencies to “sell” their clients on mobile – clients have realized the importance of including at least some mobile in their media mix. However, some clients are more mobile-savvy than others. Some have determined mobile ROI and dictate that a certain percentage of their budgets being allocated to mobile; others are still relying on their agency partners to designate part of the digital budget to test and include mobile on media plans.
2. There’s a lack of differentiation among mobile networks.
Agencies are looking to consolidate vendors and reduce the number of partners they work with. At the same time, they recognize that it’s still important to consider new partners in order to find innovative solutions. Many also think that cross-screen networks make sense, as they allow for optimization during campaigns and greater efficiency. Overall, agencies are trying to keep their RFP lists short and only RFP vendors with a high likelihood of making the plan.
3. Agencies are moving toward integrated mobile and digital teams.
Most agencies have approached mobile in one of two ways: either embedding mobile specialists on specific account teams, or creating separate mobile teams that handle all mobile buying and planning functions. Increasingly, agencies are now moving toward the first model – embedded specialists who do mobile buying at the account level. This approach helps ensure mobile planning is integrated with all other components of the digital plan, rather than happening in a silo.
4. Innovation and pricing are key considerations when selecting mobile providers.
Agencies are really looking for innovative and cost-effective solutions—even more so than quality. While everyone agrees that quality is important (and no one wants to get a call from a client who’s found their ad running on a poor-quality site or app), there’s a greater focus on efficient rates and innovative capabilities such as geo-fencing. Buyers acknowledge that capabilities such as geo-fencing might have long-tail inventory, but still see it as a very useful tactic.
5. “Mobile” is a state of mind.
“Mobile” doesn’t just mean reaching consumers on portable devices; rather, it’s a consumer mindset. When a consumer connects to the Internet in a way that isn’t tethered to sitting at a desktop computer, he or she is “mobile” at that moment—and in a very different mindset than a desktop-based user. It’s important to consider that mindset when developing relevant ad experiences for mobile users; the most important use of mobile is delivering the right ad at the right moment.