by Jennifer Lum, Columnist, November 16, 2016
Time and again, industry experts assert that mobile is a critical component of the marketing mix. Yet for all of the years it’s been “the year of mobile,” only 3% of brands’ marketing mix was spent on mobile advertising last year. Yes, marketers are increasing their mobile ad spend, but there is still a lot of ground to gain to catch up to consumer adoption.
Investment in mobile as the driving force behind an audience-based approach can fuel real impact for brands today and set them up for success in the world of “connected everything” that’s soon to come. Not too long ago, when most internet use took place on a personal computer, search fast became the foundation upon which web-based activities took place. It’s becoming increasingly evident that the center of the next evolution of the web is, and will be, the mobile phone.
EMarketer says audiences are expected to spend over three hours each day on smartphones this year; I suspect that it is much higher. However, marketers have more opportunities than ever to learn about the consumer on a deeper level than other screens afford. It translates to a more robust data set – complete with both device and behavioral data – that can be used to create powerful consumer profiles that enable marketers to more effectively communicate with the consumer when, where and how it counts most.
But while today’s consumers are mobile-centric, it is not the only vehicle. They rely heavily on multiple devices as they perform a variety of everyday tasks. Shoppers might research a pair of shoes via mobile on their way home from work, and later make the purchase on a laptop from home. This constant switching of devices during tasks can make it difficult for marketers to track and understand where consumers are within the customer journey. To capture better insights and performance, marketers should consider shifting their center of gravity to mobile in order to inform future spend on that device as well as spend on other devices.
Most brand marketers now know that mobile must be a concentration moving forward, but brands that are under-investing in mobile might consider these simple steps to shift their balance:
Decouple mobile from other platforms. Surprisingly, some brands are not investing directly in mobile because they have bundled it into digital, search, or social. The power of mobile reaches far beyond walled gardens and search, so bundling mobile with other channels can be limiting.
Understand the channels patterns of your target consumer. Investigateyour customer’s typical day and the opportunities to create impactful touch points with them via their mobile and other connected devices. Use tactics like frequency capping and sequencing and ensure that the creative that is being deployed is screen-specific to ensure that your ads will provide a great experience for the consumer.
Use mobile data to inform other engagements. Mobile shouldn’t be thought of only as a means of engagement, the data from this most personal channel should be informing your understanding of consumers and how to best reach them across all connected devices. Mobile insights serve as a strong foundation for successful audience engagement, and they should be augmented with additional data from other connected devices. You’ll soon find that mobile is the glue that allows brands to connect with consumers across different screens and contexts.
Don’t treat mobile like other channels. Mobile while similar to other digital platforms, it is more different than alike. It’s far more intimate and engaging on some aspects like video, and requires more depth, say on commerce-related tasks. Read the research and go beyond your marketing mix modeling so you can ease into the channel that will like deliver better ROI for key campaigns.
Connectivity is changing the way that businesses must design and deliver their products and services to consumers. Marketers who anchor their plans in mobile will be able to design powerful new programs to reach and engage consumers.