On Mobile - James Lodge (Fetch)

On Mobile, by Swrve, is a series of interviews with mobile leaders from across the world. In the first of this series I met up with James Lodge, Director of Mobile at Fetch, the global mobile-first agency, after his presentation “Measuring Mobile Correctly” at Mobile Moments in London.

Ross Hamer: What does a Mobile Moment mean to you?

James Lodge: I don’t think it’s about what it means to me; it’s about identifying what it means to a mobile consumer, and that could be anything. It could be an "I need help with ‘x’", it could be any task which is either premeditated or driven by a specific trigger, or by surrounding context, or the impact of an advertisement. It's the time at which information is needed and a mobile device is turned to for help. I think the challenge that we have as an agency working with clients is to understand what is the message and what is the audience's need at that point of time, rather than bombarding them with offers and codes. It's about understanding their real need - not just shouting “we're here” and “come and speak to us”!

RH: What is your big mobile prediction for 2017?

JL: We're currently undergoing projects around actively planning for mobile. When we've looked at this in the past we've found that mobile has been passively planned, as in it's a tick box on a schedule. By actively planning we mean: "who is that audience? where are they? what's the moment? what's the message? what's the creative execution?", and as I covered in the presentation, "what's the measurement of success?" If it's about loads of impressions then that's one thing, but if we can gain consumer's time within an ad unit, and increase the time they spend with a brand, be it a game, engaging content, or a vertical video, then content and creativity for me is going to be a key aspect of that planning process.

RH: As a mobile leader, what's the hardest challenge you've overcome recently?

JL: With the speed at which mobile is evolving, I don't think you ever overcome things; you just try and stay on the crest of a wave. I don't think you ever actually win, you just try and understand that along with the velocity at which consumers are adopting and changing, disruptive businesses are springing up on a monthly basis. Figuring out the technology tools that help us partially understand, as I don't think we'll ever fully understand, cross device and cross channel attribution for example. We need to stop being so focused on holistically understanding all data, and maybe just using the actual data that we need to deliver a good experience. I don't think we ever win things, we just stay as close as we can to it.

RH: What does success on mobile look like to you?

JL: There's a few answers to that. Delivering value to consumers, and to the right audience, would be one. I also think success on mobile is about speed, and it's about re-evaluating measurement, so if we're talking from an app perspective, if someone can come into my app, do what they want to do and get out quickly, then I've been successful. And if that means they've spent two seconds with me, it means that I've fulfilled the task orientation they had when they picked up their phone to go to my application. It isn't about “let's keep people in my application for as long as I can"; it’s about delivering value. Success on mobile for me is delivering value to a consumer so they're prepared to give up personal data in exchange for that value proposition, and until we get value propositions nailed then we're always going to struggle with that. Mobile isn't about trying to deliver everything. It's about trying to deliver something brilliantly in the moment somebody goes "I need to find a bus stop nearby, or I need to find some food nearby,” or whatever that may be.

RH: A frictionless, simple experience has been the theme of a lot of talks today.

JL: Completely. If I do decide to buy something on mobile, make it easy for me! We talked a lot about stopwatch shoppers and wish-list shoppers, and I think this is something that we have to understand better. If people are happy to just put loads of things in a basket because they want to revisit them at a later date, that should be fine. We shouldn't be bombarding them with 'actually why don't you check out, you've got ten items in your basket, check out, check out, CHECK OUT!', because they might not have used the basket for that task. They might have used the basket as their wish-list. Think about the functions of your proposition and ask ‘does it fulfil what the customer wants’? Have they been using your basket as a wish-list because there is no wish-list available? In other words, give people the right tools for their job.