Why this story could be much bigger than it appears…

I was fascinated by this recent story in the Guardian news paper about an Indian company who are apparently planning to build internet ready tablets for $50. The project is part of India’s commitment to move from 150 million citizens online to 600 million in the next four to five years.

Why is this important?

Well apart from the very obvious implications for Indian media consumption patterns, the long term impact of internet enabled tablet devices, available  for very low cost and on a global scale are massive. Already many developing countries have largely bypassed the traditional “computer internet” access model, moving directly to smart phone mobile access. However we all know small screens have inherent limitations particularly for marketers. In a world with huge volumes of large screen mobile devices the media consumption shift will be significant.

Are we ready?

Typically I would say B2B marketers and even many B2C marketers are not yet embracing the power of mobile media. Issues around targeting are foremost in holding back campaigns since device, demo and geo targeting are fine for general consumers are of limited value when the audience needs to be more tightly defined. However as devices multiply and publishers create meaningful volumes of ad inventory in contextual relevant editorial specifically for these devices then many will be playing catch up.

What should we do?

Marketers need to carve out budget to test mobile. Now is a window for companies to use mobile while expectations are low and learn vital lessons. As an example as part of our 2011 EMC brand campaign we tested advertising in New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Financial Times iPad apps and gained a huge amount of insight. The client’s willingness to test means the whole team, from creative to media, now has a better idea of how the audience uses the devices and what content they engage with the most. We know now where to put efforts and investments of both time and money and have set some basic metric benchmarks for any future campaigns.

Next steps

2012 will be a mobile year for Just Media. We have already embarked upon a more aggressive research program to evaluate tracking and metric methodologies beyond those we know and use today. Our mobile campaign experiences with EMC and other clients has led to many questions and a desire to refine what we already do and find ways around the limitations that we face for targeting. New clients are invited to be part of that process of expanded knowledge building so we are collectively ready for “mobile campaign 2.0”.

Dick Reed
Just Media, Inc.

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