Twitter’s head of sales for the UK Dara Nasr understands one of the fundamental obstacles facing media companies as they grapple with mobile publishing. Despite mobile devices’ omnipresence, most people don’t realise how transformative and impactful mobile publishing can be. 

Speaking at the IAB Mobile Engage conference in London yesterday, Nasr said:

“We all take [mobile] for granted. I promise you there’s ways people are working with it that will really surprise you.”

Proving the first part of that equation isn’t difficult. Many people simply cannot do without their mobile devices any more, and that’s backed up by studies like the following:

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Image courtesy of Mary Meeker.

Omnipresence of mobile devices can be safely assumed. Nasr contends that publishers and brands haven’t fully tapped mobile’s potential for vital campaigns that can add real value to their audiences and, as a result, boost their own bottom lines.

He cited the recent UK election, during which time Twitter worked with campaign group Bite The Ballot among others, as an example of how effective a well-done social campaign can be done primarily over mobile devices. He revealed that 34 percent of 18 – 34 year olds changed their voting intentions because of interactions on Twitter – primarily on mobile.

As an example of a brand delivering upon the promise afforded by mobile devices, Nasr revealed that because of a mobile-focused strategy that took advantage of people livetweeting images and opinions over the course of London Fashion Week, Topshop were able to generate 3.5million engagements and saw their financial results over the quarter improve as a result. The immediacy of a mobile-focused strategy is a boon to brands and publishers that, as yet, most are failing to get to grips with.

The three Cs

Nasr revealed his three Cs for people looking to perform well on mobile.

The first, communication, posits that it’s brands and publishers who understand why the rise in mobile has occurred who will perform best on there. The fact that mobile devices are so readily at-hand for people has led to a state where the nature of communication is near-instantaneous. As a result, publishers who understand this and engage in dialogue with consumers in real time tend to be the ones who proposer. 

The second, content, is something publishers should be reappraising. Nasr says:

“Online content is not a new thing, but I don’t think people understand how much there is or how impactful it can be.

“It’s not just something that lives and breathes on the internet. It’s taking it truly live, powered by the mobile.”

He used the examples of certain images that became memetic online, that were shared hundreds of thousands of times on mobile devices before being picked up by mainstream and print media to demonstrate a way in which publishers can benefit from an effective mobile strategy. The publishers who exist on mobile devices benefit by not just sharing those images themselves, but because they can better understand the types of content that perform well on mobile.

And it’s important that they do, because as Nasr made plain with the third C, consumption, mobile is changing people’s behaviour rapidly

“It’s really changing how we behave. YouGov have reported that 78% of us go into a state of heightened anxiety when you feel you’ve lost your phone or you’re out of signal. The selfie stick was one of the biggest selling items last Christmas.

“Of course internet access on mobile now outstrips what it does on desktop. Mobile is great because you can jump on moments. What’s important to recognise is that everyone has a mobile, they have it everywhere and they use it all the time.”

So while the headline figures won’t be surprises to publishers, who are after all seeing an increasing proportion of their traffic from mobile devices, Nasr’s contentions should still provide food for thought. He believes that people’s behaviour is changing as a result of their mobile devices, and the publishers who cannot adapt to the new behaviours will be those that fall by the wayside.