What Are You Forgetting When Developing Your Mobile Advertising Strategy?

We have found ourselves at a point in time when people are so incredibly distracted that it becomes infinitely harder to grasp their attention. The minefield of consumer attention is a hard one to navigate; and those who are successful are the ones identifying more creative and engaging ways to forge these consumer connections. Writing exclusively for ExchangeWire, Nicole Liebmann, head of mobile, Exponential, outlines the often-forgotten fundamentals of an effective mobile strategy.

In 2016, mobile accounted for USD$36.6bn (£28bn); 51% of the total digital ad spend. Despite this increased investment in mobile, many still struggle to deconstruct this complex ecosystem, often falling short when trying to engage their mobile audiences.

The foundation of this problem frequently stems from a lack of education. The goal to incorporate mobile as an integral part of a media strategy exists, however, but without the right education and tools, marketers often find themselves simply repurposing creative from other platforms for use within mobile environments.

How many times have you seen a full TV commercial on your mobile? Now ask yourself, how many times did you watch that entire TV commercial on your mobile? I’d confidently say that the answer to the first question is ‘a lot’ and the answer to the second question is ‘not many at all’. Why? Because the use of a full-length TV commercial on a mobile device infrequently works. If anything, it just demonstrates a failed understanding of how people interact with these devices.

Redistribution is not a strategy. Advertisers need to create mobile-specific strategies that leverage device nuances and characteristics to complement the consumer journey, if wanting to successfully engage and drive consumer action.

Mobile strategies will differ from advertiser to advertiser; however, there are common elements that should be considered within them all. Consideration of the consumer journey is a smart starting point, as this helps to provide a sturdy foundation for the rest of the campaign’s strategy and creative.

Breaking down a mobile user journey, two things stand out – the first one being that these journeys are highly fragmented. This fragmentation creates a very limited window of time that brands can leverage for communication. Considering this element of fragmentation, and using the above example, instead of repurposing a 30-second TVC as a mobile pre-roll, a brand could, instead, build a much more engaging five- to eight-second vertical video that also complements the fact that smartphone users hold their phone vertically over 90% of the time.

The second element that stands out here is the hyper-personal nature of mobile user journeys. We have such strong affinities with these devices and it is unlike anything we’ve ever experienced with technology before. With three in 10 people saying they would stop seeing their friends in person instead of giving up their mobile devices, it becomes easy to see just how significantly smartphones have impacted our lives. Acknowledgement of this from brands needs to happen through increased relevancy and decreased intrusiveness and disruption, ultimately, giving the user far more control over the whole experience. With 25% of smartphone users reportedly using ad blockers, the guarantee of relevancy and the provision of user control shifts from just being important, to becoming essential.

Now, as great as it is to use non-intrusive units, brands should endeavour to drive further success by embracing rich media. We should be encouraging consumers to tilt, tap, pinch, shake or swipe in order to progress through ad content in a fluid and organic way. There are just far too many standard banner campaigns out there that don’t take advantage of the opportunity at hand.

A good place to start is to employ HTML5 when building mobile creative, as this means brands can build out highly interactive executions, use complex visuals, and more, whilst minimising file size – an important factor for mobile.

The platform for mobile advertising has never been greater. With continued education and improvements to our mobile advertising strategies, we will be able to enjoy the enormous opportunities that lie at our fingertips.

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