I am a fervent believer that mobile is today, and will be in the future, one of the strongest channels for true brand engagement, and I am talking TV-level top of the funnel break through the clutter brand engagement. (I also believe that mobile will be one of the first marketing channels to perform very well at the very top of the funnel and at the very bottom of the funnel. Think about consumers making calls for bookings. I mean it is a phone! But, we can talk about that 1-2 punch in another blog.) My belief in the strength of mobile to drive brand engagement is long held, but today I am even more gleeful about this potential based on the results from strong research that AOL & BBDO released.I had the good fortune of attending an AOL mobile client event in Los Angeles yesterday where I presented InMobi Mobile & Movies research that we did with IAB. http://www.inmobi.com/insights/2012/10/03/67-of-regular-moviegoers-use-mobile-to-pick-movies-2/ At this event, AOL presented their research study with BBDO, 7 Shades of Mobile. http://advertising.aol.com/research/research-reports/seven-shades-mobile. Praise to the boudoir Shades reference, but more importantly to this very comprehensive mobile research study that leveraged qualitative, quantitative and ethnographic methodologies, and got me thinking. The biggest takeaways were that Mobile might not be that mobile for US smartphone consumers, 68% of mobile usage is in home. And, just to clarify, this study did NOT include tablets “ so we are talking smartphones only. The study defines seven shades or motivations of why US consumers use their smartphones - accomplish, socialize, prepare, me time, discover, shop and express myself.Â While you might think of smartphones as highly utilitarian, the study found that 46% of the motivation behind why US consumers were using their smartphones was for Me Time. Me Time was the largest motivation behind US smartphone usage, and Me Time is defined as seeking relaxation and entertainment in order to indulge oneself or pass the time. Now that is a brand marketer dream .. a high reach device that is personal, used outside of work (we've all seen the slides that show that PC usage spikes at work and mobile usage spikes during morning, night, weekends and holidays), touchscreen (no mouse separates you emotionally and physically from the brand experience) that you predominantly use during Me Time when you want to relax, entertain and indulge yourself, and that gives marketers the opportunity for a full screen, non-cluttered experience. AOL found that ad effectiveness was poorest during Me Time compared to ad effectiveness during any of the other motivations “ so we might not yet be fully executing against this potential, but that is what I love about the media industry.We ar e always learning and reacting so that we can unlock the true potential that new marketing channels offer “ so I know that together we will get there, and we already see some bright spots. You can check on some great examples of brand engagement on mobile at http://www.inmobi.com/adgallery/.
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