Mobile Adver­tis­ing: The Glue Con­nect­ing Your Online and Offline Worlds

To a kinder­gart­ner, Elmer’s Glue is every­thing. It’s gooey, edi­ble, and fun. Sure, it’s messy, but what would kinder­garten be with­out it? Research shows that as more peo­ple use their smart­phones and tablets to research prod­ucts while in-store, “the mobile chan­nel is becom­ing the ‘glue’ con­nect­ing the online and offline worlds.” In today’s mul­ti­chan­nel mix, mobile is uniquely posi­tioned to con­nect and hold together all your mar­ket­ing efforts.

The McK­in­sey Global Institute’s “Dis­rup­tive tech­nolo­gies: Advances that will trans­form life, busi­ness, and the global econ­omy” reports that “by 2025, 30 to 50 per­cent of retail trans­ac­tions (40 to 70 per­cent in advanced economies and 20 to 30 per­cent in devel­op­ing economies) might take place online, with a poten­tial eco­nomic impact of $100 bil­lion to $400 bil­lion per year.” Given the busi­ness impact of dig­i­tal e-commerce, this is not a trend to be taken lightly. Whether you like it or not, mobile is dis­rupt­ing the way we do busi­ness. It has the power and poten­tial to hold together your dis­parate chan­nels, your brand­ing strate­gies, and ulti­mately, your bot­tom line.

In today’s blog, I will explore four sim­ple ways to strengthen the effi­cacy of your mobile strategies:

1 | Cap­i­tal­ize on the Mobile Click-Through

Does your orga­ni­za­tion pro­vide a mobile-optimized expe­ri­ence for con­sumers when they click through ads on mobile web­sites and mobile apps? Or does the click-through end in frus­tra­tion for the con­sumer because they receive an unread­able and unman­age­able expe­ri­ence on their smart­phone or tablet?

Accord­ing to the Adobe 2013 Mobile Con­sumer Sur­vey: “A sig­nif­i­cant per­cent­age of con­sumers … are click­ing through mobile ads pre­sented in both mobile web­sites and apps, with 31% click­ing through ads on mobile web­sites, and 25% click­ing through ads on mobile apps dur­ing the past 3 months.” Sim­i­lar to the Adobe study, the Inter­ac­tive Adver­tis­ing Bureau (IAB) has found that smart­phones and tablets gen­er­ate strong ad engage­ment: “Once these mobile device users engage with an ad, they are extremely likely to take action (80% smart­phone users, 89% tablet users).”

Mobile ad click-throughs are hap­pen­ing. Is your orga­ni­za­tion pre­pared to cap­i­tal­ize on it? Expand on it? Orga­ni­za­tions should make sure that they have the proper “tools to tar­get and opti­mize mobile-specific offers,” or they will miss out on this oppor­tu­nity. Your toolset should include dig­i­tal ana­lyt­ics, expe­ri­ence test­ing, and tar­get­ing solu­tions that sup­port mobile apps and sites.

2| Pro­vide the Option to Opt-In

Orga­ni­za­tions that pro­vide cus­tomers with the abil­ity to opt-in and receive mes­sages via mobile devices are prov­ing suc­cess­ful in dri­ving sales and cus­tomer loy­alty. For exam­ple, Amer­i­can Eagle Out­fit­ters pro­vides con­sumers the option to receive mobile SMS alerts regard­ing coupons and offers.

Research in mobile adver­tis­ing has shown that mobile mes­sages that are viewed by con­sumers “as most use­ful are those that the con­sumer has opted in to receive and those that include some sort of coupon or news of a sale or a pro­mo­tion.” After all, who doesn’t love a coupon deliv­ered right into their hands at the moment of need?

The 2013 Dig­i­tal Mar­keter Report notes that pro­vid­ing con­sumers the oppor­tu­nity to com­mu­ni­cate their pref­er­ences empow­ers them to spec­ify which prod­ucts and ser­vices they’d like to know more about. In the customer-centric era, it’s impor­tant to remem­ber that the con­sumers are in con­trol, dic­tat­ing when, where, and how they want to receive mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions. “By intro­duc­ing these dynamic opt-in options, mar­keters can engage their cus­tomers more effec­tively and build longer-term rela­tion­ships with their audiences.”

3 | Keep Ad Copy Short and Sweet

The Clas­sic Guide to Mobile Cre­ative sug­gests using mobile-specific lan­guage in ad copy. This trans­lates as lan­guage that’s short, sweet, and to the point. Mobile cus­tomers don’t have time to read long chunks of text or scroll through mul­ti­ple screens while rotat­ing their smart­phones and tablets. Quick, at-a-glance calls to action are con­sid­ered best prac­tice. Exam­ples of mobile-specific calls to action include “View a mobile demo of our soft­ware,” “Find our clos­est loca­tions from your phone,” and “Buy now on your smart­phone.” These exam­ples pro­vide a clear direc­tive in the form of an action verb—“view,” “find,” or “buy”—and are ide­ally com­ple­mented by an eas­ily action­able button.

In addi­tion, mar­keters should con­sider using mobile ad for­mats rec­om­mended by the IAB, such as the ads fea­tured in the “Mobile Ris­ing Stars,” which were judged on their “poten­tial to pro­pel brand cre­ativ­ity on mobile devices at scale.” Research indi­cates that higher inter­ac­tion rates and brand recall have been achieved through two sim­ple strate­gies: 1) Pro­vide oppor­tu­nity to swipe, tap, or slide. By appeal­ing to phys­i­cal action on the part of the con­sumer, you’re mov­ing them from pas­siv­ity to con­nec­tiv­ity with your brand. 2) Cre­ate a fun or enjoy­able mobile ad experience.

4 | Make Land­ing Pages that are Land-able

If an air­plane is look­ing to land, the land­ing strip bet­ter be clear and ready to receive the air­craft, right? In the same way, mobile users are look­ing with high intent. They’re fly­ing a plane and they want to touch down on your run­way. They’ve clicked on your web­site with a spe­cific pur­pose in mind. Will you be able to deliver? Are your land­ing pages really land-able?

The Clas­sic Guide reports a sober­ing sta­tis­tic: 61 per­cent of con­sumers who don’t find what they’re “look­ing for right away on a mobile site” will quickly move on to another site. So how can you get con­sumers to land on your page and stay there? Cre­ate a land­ing page “that offers a clear con­ver­sion process.” Fea­tures of ideal land­ing pages include “vertical-only scrolling, larger but­tons, sim­pli­fied con­tent and min­i­mal use of Flash and AJAX. If users are expected to fill out a form, the form should appear as a sin­gle col­umn that fits the width of the screen.” Do these things and your mobile users will land and stay.

In clos­ing, remem­ber that your cus­tomers are mostly mul­ti­chan­nel users today, doing a por­tion of their shop­ping, research­ing, etc. both online and offline. With that in mind, remem­ber the impor­tance of mobile: the glue that cements these worlds together. With the right mobile strate­gies and mes­sag­ing, your busi­ness will remain rel­e­vant and prof­itable for years to come.