ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Marketing Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Marketing Dive site for the latest marketing news.

SapientNitro exec: Mobile marketing lacks emotional connection due to data overreliance

NEW YORK ? A digital executive at the ad:tech New York conference called for more creative ideas and customization in mobile mass messaging to connect with consumers on a more emotional level.

In the ?Reaching Creative Addressability at Scale: Myth or Mass Messaging? session, the executive claimed that most brands are relying too heavily on data instead of leveraging creative to develop better brand awareness and emotional messaging that resonates with large audiences. Unless a consumer is already on the verge of making a purchase, auto-messaging will likely not offer that extra call to action to buy an item or service.

?What?s happened is that we?ve been very seduced and distracted by a lot of things in the industry at the moment,? said Alan Schulman, vice president of global digital marketing & brand content, SapientNitro, New York, NY. ?It isn?t really moving people emotionally.

?We have to ask ourselves a question as an industry: is this advertising going to move anybody, or is this just auto-messaging at scale??

Creativity over data
Brands should impassion their chief marketing officers to creatively message consumers one-on-one through social media, iBeacons and geo-fencing. The data should drive the creative, not the other way around.

SapientNitro offered a prime example of X Games, an annual sports event organized by ESPN, leveraging social media on mobile devices to create a Hypemeter, which allowed X Games attendees and fans to rate significant moments which were then assigned a Hype number. Fans could then visit social media sites such as Twitch, Twitter and Facebook to sort through big moments based on their Hypemeter scores.

This type of streamlined creative marketing resonated wonderfully with fans and saw the event gain considerable traction on mobile devices. Another example of personalized, creative messaging related to luxury car brand Ferrari.

Consumers were encouraged to test-drive Ferraris at specific locations in the United States, and were later given the option to turn the experience into a piece of personal art that they could bring home with them. This was helped to augment the brand even among consumers that are not able to afford the vehicle.

?There are ways of taking real time data and creating great cultural currency of what the brand is trying to communicate,? Mr. Schulman said.

Data enabling experience
Data should be used to surprise and delight consumers and should be an enabler of experience.

?In many senses, we?re putting the plumbing ahead of the poetry in our business,? Mr. Schulman said.

Another relevant example was Nike embedding chips in marathon runners? shoes, the data of which was used to create abstract imagery of running maps that were placed on packaged shoe boxes. This proved to be an extremely contextually relevant experience for the products? target audience: aspiring marathon runners.

Ultimately, when creating opportunities for mass messaging, marketers should think more about the psychology behind the creative process and emulate brands such as Nike and Ferrari that have connected emotionally with their consumers. While data is important in creating marketing strategy, the users? experiences and emotions are what will drive the purchase decision.

?It?s the means to a more powerful end, but it?s not the end itself,? Mr. Schulman said. ?We have to get back to brand ideas and ideals that reward the consumers for the time they?ve spent with us and invite the consumer to participate in our store.?

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York