Experts talk mobile innovation at FFWD

Despite promising interaction and engagement rates, marketers aren’t yet taking full advantage of mobile marketing, which Jake Norman, president and chief marketing strategy officer at Mindshare Canada, finds rather surprising. “There’s a lot more potential of what can come [from mobile advertising] and I think the impediment is often trying to make things overly complex […]

Despite promising interaction and engagement rates, marketers aren’t yet taking full advantage of mobile marketing, which Jake Norman, president and chief marketing strategy officer at Mindshare Canada, finds rather surprising.

“There’s a lot more potential of what can come [from mobile advertising] and I think the impediment is often trying to make things overly complex and that gets in the way of doing things because quite simple iterations can yield quite strong results,” said Norman during a panel discussion at FFWD: Advertising & Marketing Week 2014 in Toronto Tuesday afternoon.

“Because mobile advertising is still in its infancy, doing it well now can get you quite far ahead quite quickly, and it doesn’t have to be as complicated as marketers try to make it,” added Norman.

Joining Norman in the panel discussion was Steve Irvine, group director of global marketing solutions at Facebook Canada; Hucham Ratnani, co-founder and COO of Frank & Oak; and Jeremy Bornstein, head of emerging payments at RBC.

Norman highlighted three key areas when asked how the agency finds time to focus on mobile in such a fast-paced, deadline-driven work environment. He stressed the importance of experiencing and experimenting with technologies first-hand.

“You can read a lot of articles about Google Glass, but until you put it on and use it and you’re either excited or disappointed you can’t really understand what it will be,” he said.

Fostering collaboration among agency teams and experts outside of the agency’s walls is also important, as is formal training. Norman said 90 of the agency’s employees became Facebook qualified last year.

On the marketer side, Bornstein said he thinks about mobile and digital channels as a whole and approaches innovation from a number of different angles. “I certainly have as my mandate to change the way that clients pay from a plastic-based product today to something different, something that’s more immersive in the future,” he said.

One of the ways RBC is innovating in the banking space is through Facebook. Late last year the financial institution introduced person-to-person (P2P) electronic money transfers that allows users to send money transfers to their Facebook contacts through the RBC Canada app.

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