Event Market Trend: Mobile Advertising

February 26, 2016

It’s no secret big brands are using cutting-edge digital tactics to reach consumers in new ways. But big brands don’t have monopoly on new tactics; events large and small have the opportunity to use new technology and digital tactics to expand their reach and connect with their target audiences in creative ways. Mobile advertising is one possible tactic events can add to their marketing strategies—and some already have.

Many agencies and advertising companies are supporting clients in this space. Recently, TSNN spoke to James Lawson, managing partner and chief legal officer at AdTheorent, an advertising technology company, to understand mobile advertising and how it can work for the event industry.

TSNN: What is mobile advertising?

JL: Mobile advertising is advertising via mobile phones or other mobile devices such as tablets. Mobile advertising is surging in popularity because it is an effective and personalized way to reach targeted consumers. Mobile ad spending is projected to exceed $42 million dollars in the US alone this year.

TSNN: How is it different than traditional web banner advertising?

JL: The mobile medium is very different and presents new opportunities.  While web banner advertising can be an important part of an advertiser’s media mix, there are many unique benefits to mobile advertising. Among them, mobile devices are virtually always with consumers, which allows an advertiser to engage users at a variety of times, locations and circumstances. It also permits a deeper level of personalization. Existing information about a consumer’s behaviors and preferences, combined effectively with data about his or her real-time situation and context, can enable marketers to more effectively identify their ideal consumers.

TSNN: What is predictive analytics?

JL: Predictive analytics is the use of data, statistical algorithms and machine-learning techniques to identify the likelihood of future outcomes. In the case of mobile advertising, we use predictive analytics to identify and target consumers with the greatest likelihood of engaging with a given ad. 

TSNN: How would mobile advertising enhance conferences/exhibitions and events’ marketing efforts?

JL:  Mobile advertising can be an extremely effective tool to generate awareness for conferences and exhibitions. We often work with clients to help them expand their audience targeting in order to reach new audiences not previously perceived as a “target.” This type of audience identification is critical to expanding affiliation user bases and memberships.

TSNN: Would event planners have to commit to a big advertising budget or long-term contract?

JL: No, mobile advertising is cost effective because it can be so targeted. Campaign budgets always depend on the advertiser’s goals, and can be scaled up and down as necessary, including as a result of performance. 

TSNN: What are the first steps an event would need to consider to launch a campaign?

JL: There are a variety of ways to get started. The first thing to do is agree on goals, strategies and budget. Important questions to answer include:

·         Who is my target user/consumer?

·         What is my ultimate objective – am I looking to build brand or product awareness or to drive a specific action?

·         What type of user experience (mobile banner, mobile video, rich media, other?) is best suited to the brand and the message?

·         What is the broader digital strategy, and should it include desktop as well as mobile?

·         Are your other assets ready to maximize interest generated through the campaign, including mobile-optimized web sites and refined social presence?

Then comes partner selection. Do you want to go to one vendor that can handle creative development and media strategy and buying, or go to separate partners for creative and media planning and buying? Identifying the appropriate partners is crucial as they will help drive a successful outcome, and there are many vendors. Beware of untested mobile technologies and seek out technology partners who work with major brands and who have a track record of success.

This Q&A is a starting point for expanding the tools available to event planners. In today’s market, standing still is not an option. When event planners go beyond traditional marketing tactics and add mobile advertising or other digital tactics to their marketing mix they can effectively achieve their goals.

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