It is widely accepted that creativity is key to effective advertising. Yet, when it comes to creativity in mobile advertising, brands are hesitant to take a leap of faith. While a few big names have taken the lead with some incredible mobile campaigns, the majority are trailing behind.

Maybe this is not surprising given that, according to the International Advertising Bureau, 46 per cent of top 50 FMCG brands have no mobile presence, an essential building block for creativity in mobile. Yet, today's people not only expect a site to work on mobile, they are also increasingly willing to engage with mobile marketing. An Adyoulike report, which analysed over 500 million native ads delivered to publisher sites throughout 2014, revealed that 55 per cent of smartphone users engaged with native ads via their smartphones or tablets.

So why are not more local brands taking full advantage of mobile creative? For one, it is still a relatively new space and there is a lot of fragmentation in the market, often with multiple agencies or developers managing different mobile creative, which creates tracking and data ownership headaches.

Rather than viewing in-app creativity as a different world, the wiser souls out there recognise the opportunity to get involved in creative mobile ad campaigns that were previously the reserve of specialists. They also know that effective mobile advertising is much more than app downloads, and a Lifetime Value strategy is vital if they want to keep their seat at the table.

Mobile creativity does not always have to be beautiful – but it should be smart. Some short-term creative beauty strategies can prevent long-term customer relationships, where the creative idea focuses on a tactical one off. Yes, it grabs the headlines, cost lots of money and creates lots of immediate downloads, but it lasts two months, and then they remove the app from the store. You have immediately lost a strong comms vehicle, instead of extending the app beyond the campaign, and tracking and acting against the post download activity.

The truth is there are so many avenues for creativity in mobile, from in-app display advertising, TrueView video ads, app trailers, targeted push notifications, to expandable rich media Lightbox ads.

Nike is a great example of a brand that has thought creatively about how to make the most of mobile advertising. It created real-time ads inviting fans to celebrate, remix and share memorable sports moments just seconds after they happened during live television events. On mobiles and tablets, fans could span 360 degrees around 3D animated versions of their sporting heroes and use headlines, filters and stickers to create their own posters celebrating the moment. All this happened in the mobile browser, without needing to download or open an app. This is what creativity looks like in a multi-screening age.

While big - thinking creativity for the small screen is important, you will not see results without getting serious about your data. Where do your Android users come from? How long are they spending in the mobile site or app? What search queries drive the app downloads? Using your mobile analytics insights means you will effectively target your audience with a message that is right for them at any given time.

So do not make mobile an after-thought. Analysing conversion data, combined with clever adaptive creative thinking should be at the heart of today's mobile advertising. It is down to agencies, advertisers and developers to collaborate more to explore this new and exciting opportunity.