To start, I find it fit­ting to share the below quote from the recent Google ThinkMo­bile event.

“One of seven Google searches comes from mobile. Not serv­ing ads on Mobile is like not doing busi­ness on a Thurs­day”

Quite frankly, we couldn’t agree more with Mr. Spero. The pro­lif­er­a­tion of smart­phones, tablets and other mobile devices is cre­at­ing a par­a­digm shift in the way con­sumers not only research but inter­act and con­sume media. Recent Google inter­nal data has shown that mobile queries have grown 4X since 2010, and by 2013 mobile queries will eclipse desk­top searches. This pro­vides an enor­mous incre­men­tal oppor­tu­nity for per­for­mance mar­keters to cap­i­tal­ize on not only acquir­ing new prospects but putting their brand in the con­sid­er­a­tion set dur­ing the research cycle. The abil­ity of con­sumers to access infor­ma­tion at their fin­ger­tips and use this data to assist in the decision-making process has led to a new ide­ol­ogy of the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT).  The foun­da­tion of this prin­ci­ple mar­ket­ing shift was cre­ated by Jim Lecin­ski of Google.  Mar­keters must embrace this phi­los­o­phy and imple­ment an inte­grated cross-channel strat­egy to ensure that their value propo­si­tion is con­sis­tent and engag­ing to cap­ture the minds of con­sumers. As a start­ing point to help adver­tis­ers achieve suc­cess in the mobile search land­scape, I’ve focused on a few key best prac­tices that can help accel­er­ate bot­tom line performance.

1. Mobi­liz­ing your site (smart­phones)
This is often the most over-looked com­po­nent of mobile and in many cases can take time, energy and resources, which are not read­ily avail­able. 79% of mar­keters still do not have a mobile-optimized site expe­ri­ence (source Google), so many brands can still be first movers and take advan­tage of their com­peti­tors. It is even more imper­a­tive to pri­or­i­tize mobi­liza­tion upon Google’s recent announce­ment that mobile land­ing page rel­e­vancy now weighs site expe­ri­ence and can neg­a­tively impact QS — inflat­ing CPC’s (cost per clicks) and los­ing place­ment on an already reduced SERP (search engine results page). A few best prac­tices for your site are: sim­pli­fy­ing nav­i­ga­tion, con­sid­er­ing HTML5, cre­at­ing a seam­less con­ver­sion process, keep­ing it sim­ple and con­tin­u­ing to test and iterate.

2. Track Smart­phones and Tablets Inde­pen­dently
A recent Effi­cient Fron­tier blog post pro­vided some con­text on the behav­ior of device type and the ROI. Many mar­keters are already tak­ing advan­tage of the flex­i­bil­ity to tar­get and mea­sure by device type within Google and Bing. This is a great step in the right direc­tion, but there is one often-overlooked best prac­tice that I will share. Not only does Google allow adver­tis­ers to tar­get device type, but one can also select an oper­at­ing sys­tem (e.g., Android, iOS). Although per­for­mance will dif­fer by indus­try, I have found that there are large dis­par­i­ties of con­ver­sion rates between con­sumers trans­act­ing via an Android Smart­phone vs. an iPhone. It would behoove per­for­mance mar­keters to embrace this level of tar­get­ing to not only opti­mize and allo­cate bud­gets more effec­tively, but ulti­mately pro­vide bet­ter trans­parency to truly under­stand the type of con­sumer and iden­ti­fy­ing their behav­iors across platforms.

3. Lever­ag­ing Time of Day Tar­get­ing (Day Part­ing)
One of the many chal­lenges of mobile is secur­ing the cor­rect amount of invest­ment to meet con­sumer demand know­ing your ROI vs. desk­top is undoubt­edly lower. The chart from Google artic­u­lates that desk­top usage peaks dur­ing work hours, with tablet and smart­phone traf­fic leapfrog­ging in the evening hours. Many mar­keters likely do not allo­cate suf­fi­cient bud­get to cap­ture a larger share of voice in the evening hours when these devices peak. To help alle­vi­ate the lack of PPC (pay per click) bud­get and increase mobile ROI, con­sider eval­u­at­ing a day part­ing strat­egy for your mobile cam­paigns. Effi­cient Fron­tier can help assist with this type of cus­tom analy­sis by review­ing ones trans­ac­tional data by hour of day to help jus­tify when one should have a pres­ence in the marketplace.


4. Mobile is Local
Although many mar­keters have an online-only pres­ence, I did want to quickly touch base on this key topic for those brick– and-mortar read­ers.  As many of us can attest, we are overly fix­ated on our wire­less devices, and we con­tin­u­ally inter­act on the go. 1 in 3 Google mobile queries has local intent, and a study by Kelsey Group has found that after a user looked up a local busi­ness on their smart­phone 61% called and 59% vis­ited in-store. Incor­po­rat­ing location-based prod­ucts such as click-to-call loca­tion exten­sions, hyper­local ads and seller rat­ings, is vital to assist in the con­ver­sion process. These resources will make it sim­ple for in-market shop­pers to reach your busi­ness and take action with the data supplied.

5. Test and Con­tin­u­ally Iter­ate
Like any other chan­nel, per­for­mance mar­keters need to deter­mine what they are try­ing to achieve from mobile and their core KPI for mea­sure­ment. Whether mobile cam­paigns serve to gen­er­ate warm leads by sub­mit­ting email addresses, reg­is­ter­ing for updates, click­ing to call, or actu­ally tak­ing a user through a full appli­ca­tion process for a com­pleted acqui­si­tion, there is no com­mon right or wrong solu­tion. I encour­age mar­keters to test these dif­fer­ent acqui­si­tion strate­gies to deter­mine what the ideal mix on the pub­lic mobile site is. Remem­ber to not over clut­ter the ini­tial page, but con­sider giv­ing the con­sumer dif­fer­ent social or direct response actions to ease the usage of your con­ver­sion process. Make sure to craft a media cal­en­dar for ad copy test­ing and lever­age unique call-to-actions/special pro­mo­tions; cer­tainly don’t over­look imple­ment­ing site links for addi­tional real-estate. Per­for­mance based mobile cam­paigns must cap­ture these users in the zero moment of truth and pre­vent them from exit­ing your site to research with a competitor.

There are many com­mon chal­lenges that per­for­mance mar­keters face in the world of mobile, but it is nonethe­less an emerg­ing trend that can­not be ignored. Effi­cient Fron­tier has been instru­men­tal with imple­ment­ing and putting many of these best prac­tices to use for our exist­ing clients to develop an ini­tial foot­print in this com­pet­i­tive land­scape. If adver­tis­ers have had pre­vi­ously neg­a­tive views of mobile I chal­lenge them to revisit their assump­tions. Rec­og­niz­ing social-cultural con­sumer behav­ior and accept­ing that usage across devices exists, but is not yet trace­able, are two prin­ci­ples that will help drive con­tin­ued growth in mobile per­for­mance marketing.

–Mike Fog­a­rty, Senior Account Manager

Annalise Field
Annalise Field

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Pierce Hilson
Pierce Hilson

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Lainey Cawley
Lainey Cawley

Lainey Cawley I truly appreciate this post. Much obliged.