Editor’s note: Here’s a new post in our “Mobile Matters” series, where we seek opinions from advertising industry leaders on the top issues, challenges and opportunities in the fast-changing world of mobile marketing.
Today we hear from Eric Weisberg, executive creative director at JWT New York who leads the agency’s U.S. and global creative work for Johnson & Johnson, Royal Caribbean and other major brands. Eric also served as jury chair for the 2012 Mobile Marketing Association’s Smartie awards. We asked Eric: If you could solve one key challenge for mobile marketers today, what would it be---and how would you do it?
First of all, I don’t believe there’s such a thing as a “mobile marketer.” If your brand doesn’t have a mobile strategy in 2013, it’s doesn’t have a strategy. Everyone wants mobile – brands, media companies and agencies, but the issue is that people have started to think that mobile is an idea. Mobile is not an idea. And that’s why so much mobile work is disappointing and ineffective.
The questions to answer aren’t how much your brand should be spending on mobile or where it should be spending those mobile dollars. Rather, the strategic questions are: how can your brand use mobile to connect to consumers more intimately? More importantly, why would a consumer benefit from your brand being in mobile? If you can answer these questions, you’re well on your way to a mobile strategy and mobile ideas.
I think the big challenge for mobile is consumer behavior. People love their smartphones because they are fast, instant, geo-aware, and fun. On average we use them 40 times a day, we’re never more than a few inches from them, and most of us check them before we even get out of bed. But no one wants to pick up their phone and be interrupted by an ad.
As marketers, we have to stop interrupting what people are interested in and start being what they are interested in. The brands that are winning in mobile are doing exactly that.
What’s the biggest opportunity in mobile for online marketers in 2013?
I get asked this question a lot, but the truth is, there’s no one Holy Grail opportunity. There are different opportunities for different brands to win in mobile.
That said, one of the creative opportunities I’m most excited about are transmedia ideas – it was the buzz at CES this year — ideas that work seamlessly across screens.
We are already using multiple screens at the same time, but right now, those screens are working independently. We’re passively watching TV, while checking email on our smartphones and browsing or reading Facebook on our tablets. But those screens are about to be put in sync with each other – and the potential for transmedia content, non-linear video, and couch commerce are limitless.
No one has really cracked the code here – in large part because no one has cracked the value exchange. That’s where brands have the upper hand.