Turkish delights and insights from MMA

Following on from our initial write-up of the Mobile Marketing Association Forum in Istanbul we have gained further insights around how mobile is changing customer expectations and demand. With Turkey a burgeoning hub of digital brand engagement with consumers hungry for content, where best than to hear about some of the best practices brands can adopt for future successful mobile campaigns?

Robert Levy from BrandSpark outlined that 56% of brand marketers plan to implement mobile marketing campaigns in the next 12 months in Turkey, even though 39% of consumers still will not spend via the mobile. This is mainly due to a complex mobile eco system yet brands still perceive mobile advertising as innovative and believe it should be part of the marketing mix.

In addition to this, 83% of brands think that mobile advertising will grow, yet only 68% of them have allocated budget for it. Some people, such as Simon Podd from Flurry, believe that app marketing is the future and should be part of the marketing mix as its value through advertising is currently valued at $2 billion a year.

The reason why brands are concerned about investing in mobile advertising comes down to the perception that mobile ads can be invasive. They know they need to be very careful to balance context and content while maintaining the reputation they have built over the years while gaining value from this new media channel.

So, how can we help brands overcome this quandary they are in? With measurement and proof of ROI of course. As Robert Levy said, ‘marketers think mobile is ‘hot’ and they are looking to increase their spend on it. Yet, they are concerned about the lack of ROI from it.’ Cigdem Penn, Managing Director of Xsights Research & Consultancy says that, actually, mobile is a very measurable media which can prove ROI and have a real impact on sales. For example, 72% of brands are willing to pay for mobile media measurements and 25% are ready to pay 30TL to 35TL per year (where the average is 22,400TL).

Word of mouth is still the strongest advocate for brand promotion, regardless of whether in the Turkish market or elsewhere in the world. However, the good news is that smartphone penetration is expected to grow from two billion to 2.8 billion by 2015, according to Michalis Photiou of Nielsen. And, by analyzing end user habits in how they use their mobile devices, brands can create tailored campaigns that can aren’t invasive and that suit the user’s preferred method of engagement. As Steve Jobs said, ‘People don’t know what they want until you show them.’

For any brand, ignoring the mobile channel would be foolish. It’s always on, always in your hand or pocket and can offer in-depth insights on the user’s behavior. As my colleague Caroline Doussot outlined, consumers have clear concerns and expectations about mobile marketing and it is vital to encourage more permission marketing. Making content relevant and reward-driven are additional drivers for consumer acceptance and, without which, mobile marketing and mobile ads will unlikely be embraced. In addition, not all consumers have the same appetite, so knowing your customer base and applying an appropriate mobile marketing strategy per segment is key. For more information on this topic hear from expert Peggy Anne Salz here too.

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