Thursday, August 01, 2013

How creative can mobile advertising be?

As the viewing platform preference  moves from desk top to mobile device, the concern of the new media owners is nobody clicks on the advertisements.

So who is expressing this concern? Well, according to the Technology section of the Daily Telegraph, "alongside Facebook and Intel now even Google, which runs the Android operating system driving the very growth of mobile phones said the difficulties of making money off advertising from smaller screens is a huge challenge." Despite this week's announcement of a £23 billion merger of Publicis and Omnicom to overtake WPP capitalised at £14.8 billion to create the world's biggest advertising agency, Google at £192 billion and Facebook at £54.7 billion still dominate.

Research meanwhile casts doubt on the effectiveness of search engine marketing advertising anyway and talks about it being "an ineffective marketing channel."  And it gets worse with experiments indicating a negative ROI  on much Internet advertising.

So why don't people click on the advertisements? Perhaps the simple answer is the lack of creativity - most are text only or text with an image - any old image for some - they are just not attracting attention. Advertising creatives working in traditional media know that you have to grab attention in an instant. Whether it is on a Google search result where most people know which are paid for and which are organic results, or the weird ads served on Facebook the thing is they all look much the same. They don't stand out from the crowd; they blend in. On mobile devices they just get smaller and less significant.

In traditional print media more familiar to b-2-b marketers, some advertisement positions are better than others in the book and space size an important factor, but to succeed all must have some compelling image or headline that grabs attention long enough for the reader to notice. It is the old fishing analogy - the brightly coloured fly is designed to attract attention, but then comes the hook. Having gained attention the advertisement should be crafted to rapidly progress the reader through the 5 stages from unawareness, awareness, comprehension and conviction to action. The 'call to action' is the response that 'hooks' the prospect. Its not what you get on Facebook and Google and the smaller the screen, the less impact, so is it much of a surprise prospects are manly not clicking on the advertisements?

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