A recent panel discussion joined marketers from Kellogg's, the Mobile Marketing Association, and Dropbox to discuss the limitations brands face when struggling to integrate mobile into marketing.
At a panel discussion held in New York City this week, Kellogg’s vice president of global media and digital strategy, Jon Suarez-Davis, admitted that the brand was "woefully behind" when it comes to mobile.
Though Kellogg's is responsible for some truly iconic print and TV campaigns, such as "Leggo My Eggo" and breakfast mascots like Toucan Sam, its mobile efforts have often fallen flat. For example, last year the brand released an app that attempted a The Amazing Spider Man 2 tie-in by having users capture Spiderman-themed images on the sides of packaging in exchange for the chance to manipulate photos of themselves so that they appeared to be wearing a Spiderman costume.
"We've made great strides," Suarez-Davis said, "but we're not where we need to be, not in terms of the competition, but with the consumer."
On the same panel, chief executive (CEO) of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) Greg Stuart revealed that an upcoming study by the MMA found that marketers should be spending 10 to 15 percent of their budgets on mobile, and that even big global brands, like Coca-Cola, have seen sales increase upward of 5 percent from strategic use of the platform.
"Mobile is the closest you can get to a consumer," Stuart said. "Dunkin’ brands recently built an app that informs how they satisfy the consumer. Mobile makes that possible, and it’s a real threat to brands that don’t have that."
But the problem facing a global brand like Kellogg’s, which has more than 100 subsidiaries, including Morningstar Farms and Eggo, is that testing mobile on a large scale takes time, and convincing brands to risk that time on unproven methods is often difficult. "We don’t have a great understanding of the value proposition," Suarez-Davis said. "We understand TV, we know print, online video, and we have ROI on building brand equity. But only in the last 18 months have we tested the ROI on mobile."
In some ways, it’s easier for a smaller, newer company to explore opportunities for mobile marketing, according to Julie Herendeen, vice president of marketing for Dropbox. "When we run a campaign, 60 to 70 percent are probably viewing it on mobile," Herendeen said. "It’s great to have that data, but we’re also able to get deeper with customers and understand how they are using mobile in their lives. They’re touching Dropbox 70 to 100 times a day."
Consumer insights is definitely an area where smaller brands have the flexibility to make quick, actionable decisions in the mobile space, an advantage that larger brands still struggle to gain.
"It’s about the ability and the agility to activate more quickly," Suarez-Davis said. "We’re simply not designed the way we need to be to compete right now. It’s not a tech issue. It’s largely leadership and culture change we’ve got to embrace."