Mobile devices have undeniably become an intrinsic part of our daily life and routine. They are so indispensable, in fact, that we are starting to associate them with our innermost circle of vital personal belongings — right up there with our keys, wallets, and watches.

And why wouldn’t it be? Calls, texts, email, online banking and social media is in the palm of our hand and instantly accessible. It’s a wonder then, that mobile isn’t hailed as the quarterback of the advertising platform team. In fact, it’s not even close. Mobile is like the third-string kicker. Who is only on the team because he’s the coach’s nephew…once removed. And if you aren’t following my American-sport analogy, mobile advertising’s performance is so underwhelming it is getting relatively no action whatsoever.

So what is holding mobile advertising back?

First and foremost, our preservative attitude about our mobile devices — they contain personal matters, i.e. contacts, pictures, messages, that we deem private. Unwarranted advertisements that appear on screen are generally felt to be intrusive and unacceptable.

Aside from being a general annoyance (fun fact: an individual is more likely to survive a plane crash than click a banner ad), mobile ads are difficult to read, unattractive and cumbersome. It is estimated that around 50 percent of mobile ads are clicked unintentionally due to awkward placement and tiny screens, making it impossible to gauge an ad’s effectiveness or collect an accurate reading.

Mobile campaigns are certainly facing some unavoidable hurdles, but who doesn’t love a good underdog story? Getting advertisements seen via mobile is possible, we just have to shift our focus.

Too often marketers exhaust their efforts by measuring the direct response success of a campaign when the most effective methods are those that are cross-platform and branding conscious. For the past few years, Starbucks has led the mobile marketing push with a carefully integrated, cross-channel programme. They operate with a high level of consciousness about their clients; by tracking mobile payments, rewarding customer loyalty and cleverly presenting ads across countless platforms, Starbucks’ success becomes measurable and their actions become branding experiences.

Mobile marketing, when delivered in an intelligent way, can certainly be advantageous to a brand. The challenge now for marketers and advertisers is to be open and experimental to find new and innovative ways to breed better ads that are delivered as a part of a larger, cross-platform campaign.

Curious with how mobile marketing could work for you?

Have a chat with Managing Director, Steve Ballantyne about how effective it can be on +64 9 950 2140