#MCS2014: Can digital brands beat publishers at their own game?

One of the expert panels at The Mobile Content Summit 2014 discussed whether brands can beat publishers at their own game.

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The group consisted of Cameron Hulett, executive director for EMEA at Undertone Media; Phebe Hunnicutt, digital director of Elle UK at Hearst Magazines; Ramaa Sharma, mobile editor at BBC World Service; and Ray Poynter, author of The Handbook of Mobile Market Research.

According to Hulett, customers want a product that has function, something that is free and is also entertaining. He said: “If you cannot do those three then you are toast.”

He explained the focus should be on high-impact, entertaining stuff as few people click on banners. 57 per cent of ad campaigns are bot driven, he said.

Phebe Hunnicutt said: “The younger end of consumers, the 15 to 18 year-olds, they do not believe us to be honest compared to Urban Outfitters. Anyone can go into the content play.”

Elle readers are also big users of mobile, with 67 per cent of them activating content on this device compared to only 10 per cent using tablet.

The majority of the BBC World Service’s mobile users are based in Nigeria, whereas markets like Russia and South America use multiple devices, Sharma said.

But overall, she believes more people are engaged with mobile than they are with tablets as we can take them anywhere.  “Big brands should keep content fresh and authentic,” she said. “They should not be complacent in the digital world.”

According to Ray Poynter, different strategies work for different people. He said companies should think about how strategies can change price elasticity in the long term rather than focusing on short-term gains.

How can your business make the most of its digital content on mobile? Click here to catch up on our coverage of The Mobile Content Summit 2014.

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