“Mobile is truly the biggest opportunity in advertising right now. Sorry, but nothing else even comes close,” said Bionic Adversiting System’s Chris O’Hara in a recent column on AdExchanger.
O’Hara and similar voices are echoing what fast-growing media companies like VICE and Buzzfeed have known for some time now. Mobile is not just the fastest-growing, most exciting place to be in advertising right now, but it’s where the hugest opportunities are.
“We see most social traffic now from mobile, so if your site doesn’t work well on mobile, it guarantees that nothing you do will be shared,” said Buzzfeed Founder Jonah Peretti in an interview with Wired.
While mobile consumption of media now trumps all other platforms, last year less than half of Fortune 100 companies even had a mobile-optimized website. It’s time for us marketers to come together with our clients to really embrace this opportunity as an industry. Mobile isn’t just another distribution platform, it is redefinining media and therefore advertising.
In a memo to his staff, Jonah Peretti explained it this way: “We will stay away from anything that requires adopting a legacy business model . . . We are building the defining news and entertainment company for the social, mobile age.”
Ben Huh, founder of viral network Cheezburger had this to say about Buzzfeed’s model:
“If the medium is the message, then the format becomes the message. BuzzFeed is helping to prove the model –media is going through a revolution with billion-dollar opportunities as consumers change their consumption habits.”
These mobile-first media companies are on to something very important that every entertainment marketer should think about as they start putting their plans together for 2015 and beyond. It’s about more than having a mobile website, although that is a good start. It’s about a new way of thinking.
Brands need to look at what kind of content is actually being shared and try to participate in existing conversations. If the brand doesn’t have a credible or relevant reason to do so, it will just end up being ridiculed by users.
With people becoming more cynical towards advertising, advertisers need to provide utility and give them tangible reasons and benefits to engage with their brands. There are still a lot of conflicting opinions about what mobile means and that’s alright because we are debating an actively changing space, but we need to figure this out together.