Mobile Marketing Dos and Don'ts
Mobile marketing spend in the United States is poised to hit $20 billion in 2015. Why? Well, adoption, for one. Marketers can't ignore a channel that's relevant to 91 percent of the population. Second, mobile's return on investment is huge. According to the Mobile Marketing Association in partnership with IHS Global Insight, the channel's marketing impact ratio is $1 (spend) to $20 (sales).
Of course, that's only if you're using it the right way.
As mobile technology and mobile marketing proliferate, it's critical to make sure that campaigns are fully optimized and designed for the smaller screens and all that comes with them. Otherwise, you'll fail to take advantage of the platform's many benefits. With this in mind, here are some mobile marketing dos and don'ts to consider as you build out your next mobile branding campaign:
DO draw consumers in with a succinct teaser, and then keep their attention. Consumers are deeply connected to their mobile devices, so ad experiences should reflect the same level of intimacy. Brand messaging should build this connection in two ways:
- A succinct brand message is a must in any advertisement, so when introducing your brand to consumers, make your initial teaser to the point and nonintrusive with a clear call to action. However, the banner should still capture the user's attention by staking sufficient screen real estate and incorporating video. As with display, viewability becomes an important factor for mobile ads. Invest in careful consideration of the teaser's size and placement.
- Following the introduction of the teaser ad, retain interest by developing engaging creative that can expand to the entire screen upon user initiation. A mobile setting is unique in that consumers are focusing entirely on what's on the screen since its compact size allows them to digest the content completely and all at once. Take advantage of the touch screen and other mobile-specific aspects to create personal and engaging experiences. Incorporating video, GPS, text/call functionality, multiple orientations and social media are just a few examples.
DO use the right metrics. Proper metrics give proper framing to a campaign. The key is selecting the metrics that best meet your goals. To measure the effectiveness of brand awareness campaigns, focus on post-clickthrough rate engagement metrics, which include time spent in-unit (e.g., interaction with features such as store locator maps and product demos) and video views. These specific measurements are more effective indicators of whether the consumer is actually absorbing what your brand has to say, indicating that they're moving through the purchase funnel and could be your next loyal customer.
DO leverage data and intelligence to reach your true audience. Knowing your true audience and having the right tools to reach them will save you money and time while increasing overall effectiveness. While traditional marketing research relied heavily on self-biased statements, page-level contextualization in the mobile web will look beyond assumed demographics. Rather than relying on what the consumer says they're interested in, contextualization will reveal what they're actually interested in.
And remember, to guarantee quality and accuracy of audience insights and the scale to reach them, you need to partner with a network large enough to offer sufficient premium inventory to reach your goals.
DON'T follow mobile trends that have nothing to do with your campaign. Trends aren't always good guideposts. For example, simply jumping on the hyperlocal targeting bandwagon could hinder a campaign since location is only one factor to consider, and it doesn't necessarily tell you anything about interest or propensity. It could also hamper scale. Just like taking the extra effort to use the right metrics, critically think about how to design a campaign properly that will execute on your goals.
DON'T port the same ads cross-device just to cut costs. Phones and tablets are different devices, used for distinct purposes — and should be recognized as separate experiences. Usage differs between the two, from screen size to purchase decision making, and creative experiences need to recognize the differentiators for the two. A visually appealing advertisement that fits and interacts well with the device on which it's being displayed will generate a positive user experience. Remember, you're making ads for the mobile world, not mobile ads.
DON'T focus just on traditional performance. If brand awareness is your ultimate goal, traditional performance metrics are only part of the equation. Mobile offers a medium rich with its own distinct advantages and different ways to connect with a brand; traditional performance metrics (e.g., clickthrough rates) only tell a part of the story. With the advantage of being featured on a personal, on-the-go device, mobile campaigns can be memorable, directly engaging and effective.
Well-developed ads spark human emotion and interest. This will make a brand feel more personable and campaign performance will thrive as a result.
Ultimately, mobile marketing success is dependent on the skill of the marketers themselves. Those who understand that mobile is a completely different animal from traditional display and varies within the category (e.g., tablets vs. smartphones, iOS vs. Android, mobile web vs. in-app, etc.) will have an enormous advantage over competitors.
Tom Bash is the manager of product strategy and operations at Exponential, a global provider of advertising intelligence and digital media solutions to brand advertisers.