Outsmart the Smartphone

Over the last couple of years, it's been said many times, many ways by many different people: interactive is the future of marketing and advertising operations.

This generally held opinion is well on its way to becoming fact as AdWeek.com reported Wednesday that thanks to the ever-increasing presence of smartphones in society, mobile display advertising has more than doubled over the past two years (Mobile Display Ads More Than Doubled in Last Two Years: Smartphones played key role).

For most of us, this statistic is far from surprising. It's hard to go anywhere and not see a suit in a cellular-supported business meeting or a text-happy teen almost dangerously distracted or even a small child being entertained by a mobile movie or touch screen game of some sort.

It would be imprudent of marketers and advertisers to ignore the uprising ubiquity of the mobile medium and dismiss this promising goldmine as a passing trend---but by now, few are so foolish. Now it seems the uncertainly looms in how this revolution in technology can be effective in advertising and beneficial to the brands brave enough to risk venturing into this unknown territory.

Smartphones have helped further shape social networking by making popular programs like Facebook and Twitter instantly accessible with the touch of a finger---but how to successfully execute marketing tactics on these sites has proved to be just as mysterious. Transparency becomes even more critical as it also becomes easier for marketers to be tempted to make the mistake of oversaturation.

And what about the baby boomers? Their participation in smartphone activity pales in comparison to those of the younger generation, so is this extremely influential and financially fertile cohort being ignored in the conquest of the new medium? Does the so-called 'Facebook generation' take kindly to the frantic fight for their attention? Or will all this effort to win the web space race be done in vain?

The key to successful advertising lies where it always did: in understanding the audience. Advertise to your target by choosing the most effective medium by which to reach them. Don't expect a new medium to save your marketing plan; you still have to do it right.

Be smart. Stay true to the strategy, but don't be afraid to customize your tactics to fit the medium.Be creative. Don't treat interactive media like traditional media with a click through option.Be brave. Seize the opportunity to make a difference in the midst of the mobile and interactive revolution.

After all, no guts means no glory.

-Savannah Harper, Lifeblue