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.