Marketers Agree: To Succeed in Mobile, Keep Consumers Top of Mind

Panel discusses how to approach burgeoning ad vehicle

When it comes to mobile, brands need to keep the focus on consumers and creating real value, digital marketing experts said on Thursday at an Advertising Week panel moderated by Adweek editorial director James Cooper.

Michael Lazerow, chief marketing officer of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, pointed to Delta as an example of a company offering a mobile app that provides a lot of utility. Lazerow books flights and secures travel information without even going to the company's website, he said.

It's also important to remember that mobile is not the same as desktop, said Joao Machado, director of mobile for OMD. He recalled a couple of months ago when he clicked on a mobile banner ad from a major smartphone manufacturer only to find it redirected to a non-mobile site.

"A lot of brands are forgetting that mobile Web experience, that engagement to create that one-on-one marketing opportunity," Machado said. "That's where we see some of these mistakes still being made. And it's our job to educate, to make sure content being discoverable is first and foremost, before we start running the display or any other … marketing."

Machado added later that brands have transitioned from asking "Should we do mobile?" to "How do we do it?" Smartphones are modern-day Swiss Army knives, and the challenge today is figuring out how to be more nimble on the platform, he said.

To stay relevant in the mobile space in the coming years, the panelists agreed it's all about maintaining the value for consumers.

"At the end of the day, think about how you use your phone. Are you going to want to be intruded with ads and things that don't make sense and don't offer you some kind of utility or entertainment value? No, you don't," said Craig Weinberg, mobile practice lead at Mindshare.