Facebook will almost certainly integrate mobile ads into its Facebook Home platform. The interesting question isn’t if—or even when—but rather, how. The company has a tremendous opportunity to leverage its expansive global influence and dramatically change the mobile ad world. It’s time to shift away from a “one-to-many” mindset to what the mobile medium is better suited for: one-to-one marketing.
Even without Facebook Home, 56 percent of Facebook users access the site through a mobile device. The company has the potential to reach a television-like audience with mobile advertising, but it’s important for Facebook to acknowledge the fundamental differences between mobile and traditional broadcast media.
Traditional broadcast media is designed to be a one-to-many platform. Mobile, on the other hand, is designed for one-to-one communication. For instance, if you’re pushing a car commercial to every man over 30 via Facebook Home, chances are good that your message is irrelevant to over 95 percent of the recipients. Instead, mobile ads can reach the hand-raisers—the consumers who have said, “yes, tell me about your product when I’m in a place and time that your product matters to me.” In short, mobile ads should be relevant in a consumer’s path to purchase.
The ubiquity of smartphones and tablets has changed our culture. We’re constantly connected. But mobile devices are not pocket billboards. Mobile devices are personal devices. Consumers expect that the information they receive on their phone is of a personal nature; they don’t want a one-size-fits-all ad.
Additionally, it’s no secret that Facebook users have been quite leery of how Facebook uses personal data for marketing purposes. By leveraging an opt-in, 1:1 mobile advertising model, the social media behemoth can go a long way in rebuilding trust among users, and advertisers.
Advertisers shouldn’t have to spend vast amounts of money on a mobile ad only to reach a fraction of the audience that cares. Why? Because mobile advertising is about relevancy, it’s about efficiency and it’s about target consumers – not target demographics. For these reasons, advertisers can (and will) demand more from mobile ad platforms like Facebook Home.
At some point either Facebook or other innovators in the advertising industry are going to figure out that delivering mobile ads that hit the sweet spot – where location, consumer preference and privacy meet, are far more valuable and cost effective than a repurposed television commercial blasted out to the masses. With the latter, brands are spending a lot of money reaching a lot of people who at best will ignore the message and at worst will resent the intrusion and develop a negative association with the organization. With the former, we know every dollar spent is reaching a receptive consumer. When mobile advertising is used to its potential, it’s so efficient it’s waste-free.
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