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Engagement essential for mobile marketing

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Paran Johar is CMO at mobile ad network Jumptap Inc., whose recent MobileSTAT report detailed performance metrics of mobile devices and their impact on specific verticals. BtoB: In Jumptap's report, users of Google's Android devices saw twice as many Jumptap mobile ads as did users of Apple's iOS devices because of Android's greater market share, but Apple users were more engaged with the ads. What is the marketer takeaway? Paran Johar: In deciding between reach and engagement, the answer is “Yes, both.” You have to balance both. Another way to look at it is the history of TV advertising, which is based on audience, not device. Nobody advertises just on Sony TVs. Marketers should not focus on the hardware or software, but on the audience, which is cross-platform. But I would say that engagement is essential with mobile devices. Unlike with the PC experience, you'll only see perhaps one ad on a smartphone landing page, and no more than one or two on a tablet page. Here, rich media allows the advertiser to drive that engagement. It's a combination of art and science, but it's resulting in iPhone click through rates that are sometimes 10 to 30 times higher than those on computers. BtoB: How are the various vertical niches adapting to mobile marketing? Johar: A year or so ago, the main users were automotive and entertainment. Every new-car launch and theatrical release included a dedicated mobile campaign. But since then, the number of verticals has begun to broaden. While autos and entertainment still lead, telecommunications, technology and finance are increasing their mobile spending rapidly, as have insurance and consumer packaged goods, as they consider their KPIs. BtoB: We heard a lot a year ago about the potential of geolocation marketing but not so much recently. What metrics are you seeing with geolocation? Johar: I believe that geo data is important but it is only one component of what goes into driving relevancy. The geolocation of a teen versus a 45-year-old stockbroker means different things to different marketers. Marketers have to zoom out. Geolocation isn't just about offering a coupon when somebody passes a Starbucks. It is about relevance driven by multiple data points. Geo data is just one of those data points. BtoB: What mobile trends should we look for this year? Johar: It won't be just a two-horse race between Android and iOS platforms. We'll see an increase in the number of players in mobile marketing, in particular Amazon and Microsoft. Both will have an impact on the tablet market and perhaps other devices. Both certainly realize that there is an appetite for lower-priced devices, as users shift from PCs to smartphones and tablets.
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