With spending on mobile advertising expected to reach more than 29% of total online ad expenditures in the U.S. by 2018, per Forrester Research, it’s incumbent upon advertisers to embrace the notion that tablet and smartphone device usage is tied not only to timing, but consumer preference.
“It’s really recognizing that you need to be present for the consumer across all media, whether it’s messaging, Web, apps, or elsewhere,” Michael Becker, managing director, North America, of the Mobile Marketing Association told AdExchanger. When presenting the right ad to the right user at a relevant time of delivery, “advertising actually becomes part of the content and an emotional utility and engagement experience and less intrusive.”
Marketers have barely scratched the surface when it comes to optimizing for and analyzing Web and mobile behaviors, according to Becker. “We’re nowhere near completion in the analytics discussion,” he said. “We’re just getting that off the ground. Likewise, creative’s really got to start from ground zero. We have to learn how to convey [brand/buyer] messages” uniquely for each channel.
When asked how they search for and discover brand-specific information, 66% of respondents report starting a session on a smartphone with 61% finishing the session via desktop PC, according to a global survey of 5,000 consumers conducted by adaptive mobile experience company Netbiscuits. When it came to ecommerce-specific sessions, 67% of those browsing the mobile Web with the intent to purchase say they began shopping on one device only to finish the transaction on another. The study, called People’s Web Report, was released today.
These browsing behaviors are inherently impacting traffic and conversion rates, and, down the line, could alter the weight and scale of media buys if one mobile “use case” is more desired than another. Online food reviews and research site Yelp, for instance, found that mobile accounted for 10% of unique visits to its site monthly, but took up 40% volume in search queries. One Netbiscuits’ customer, eBay, generates a sales transaction over mobile every two seconds.
“The thing we keep running in to when we work with these large consumer brands is we have to understand traffic,” remarked Daniel Weisbeck, CMO of Netbiscuits. “Because they’re spending a good chunk of their budget on search marketing [figures indicate more than 60%] they’re realizing that people who are clicking on these ads are not going to engage” with the brand if there is a missing link in the journey or if, say, a mobile-optimized ad links the consumer to a non-optimized site or dead air.
“It’s critical people get all of these different advertising elements right with this multi-screen journey,” Weisbeck added.
One way to start, according to Becker, is by defining what the brand objective is. There has been a lot of dialogue about becoming an “omnichannel” company to enable the customer to buy and fulfill an order essentially anywhere. But, where many companies fail, he said, is automatically viewing a “purchase” as the most desired objective or outcome. In Yelp’s case, search queries and reviews hold the weight.
“Location marketing tied with other contextual elements” such as time-of-day and expectation for the experience at that particular time of day will help marketers become more relevant. As Becker summed it up, “Times Square is very different at midnight than it is in the morning."