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4 tasks critical to mobile branding

August 17, 2012

Jim Piper is mobile brand strategist for agency at Neverblue

By Jim Piper

“The difference between mobility and mobile is like the difference between hardware and software. Mobile is linked to devices — it is always one thing, wherever it is. But mobility changes with context as cultures incorporate mobile technologies differently. Mobile itself is the nuts, bolts and infrastructure, while mobility is the context which determines if it all works together.” — David Armano, executive vice president at Edelman Digital in the Harvard Business Review

Before you allocate significant resources on a mobile campaign, your organization must first address how mobility integrates into your product or service offering.

How do you define the mobile experience within the context of your present marketing strategy? And, more importantly, is your campaign better suited to an optimized mobile Web site or perhaps your own application?

Whole scale
As per Mr. Armano’s perspective, mobile branding is presently defined by content, convenience and social interaction across multiple devices, screens and touch points.

In today’s competitive marketplace, an advertising campaign’s success is always defined by saturation and engagement.

But how do you optimize mobile sales strategies while developing a tactical business plan? How do you also effectively manage advertising resources that prioritize growth, scalability and differentiation without expanding costs?

My short answer is to embrace Web 2.0 mobile tactics.

Mobile branding scales in a way that traditional advertising typically cannot. Based on my own digital agency experience, I believe that the following four tasks are critical for success:

Engage internal product champions
The first goal is to identify internal leaders who can push responsibility for implementation down to front-line staff.

Once these product champions have been identified, they can be empowered to take ownership of your mobile agendas.

Communicate the message
The most successful mobile programs are reinforced through business platforms that emphasize core messaging.

Information regarding the client-vendor relationship by necessity should flow through horizontal silos.

Without an enhanced communication strategy, there is limited capacity to address the organizational culture required for success.

Speak to the culture
Stakeholders must understand that each client has a cultural center, a stated activity and mandate.

The next step is to identify the language and expectation thresholds as they move into unexpected territory. It is important to remember that mobile engagement is much more than simply creating an app or Web site.

Unfreeze – change – refreeze
To succeed in the mobile world, you need to continually re-shape your programs to optimize scale while you embrace the client-centric nuances necessary to remain engaged in the process.

A difficult balancing act, but well worth the effort as you move towards increased market share and profitability.

I ENCOURAGE CLIENTS to explore mobile as their primary marketing vertical.

Unfortunately, ad traffic in the mobile space is highly fragmented. In fact, I personally believe that no single mobile ad spend covers more than 30 percent of the entire digital landscape.

To address this specific issue, the industry has moved to an auction-style environment where companies bid for specific mobile properties.

This real-time bidding process ensures significant market penetration for advertisers over multiple platforms, devices and touch points.

Jim Piper is mobile brand strategist for agency at Neverblue Media, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Reach him at

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