Is Your Advertising Strategy Mobile-first?

Issue 22

Ian Stewart is an experienced media buyer for full-service marketing, advertising and digital agency The Works. Having planned advertising campaigns for a range of clients and managed budgets of up to £2million, here he talks about the biggest shift he has seen in recent years; the rise of mobile advertising channels.

According to leading cross-platform measurement company ComScore, mobile usage has now officially overtaken desktop and nearly 50% of the time we spend on social networking, gaming and news sites happens via a smartphone – no surprise there then! So, you would think that the majority of UK digital advertising spend would be on mobile channels then, wouldn’t you? Well, unfortunately not.

Last year, despite mobile advertising bookings increasing 56% in the first half of 2016 (something which is only set to continue increasing this year), only 18% of UK organisations’ budgets went towards mobile advertising. Yet, mobile advertising offers organisations creative, strategic opportunities that have simply not been possible before. For instance, three quarters of adults used their mobile to buy something last year and, of those adults, 36% of their total spend was via mobile, nearly equalling their in-store purchases of 41%. The opportunities as an advertiser to engage with such a captive audience are endless and something an organisation may have struggled to do as effectively in previous years.

These days your mobile knows more about you than you think. It tracks everything you do where you go, what you’re interested in and what websites you visit. Your mobile DNA then allows advertisers to target their adverts to the right person in the right place and at the right time – the epitome of targeted advertising.

Location or ‘ring-fenced’ targeting, in particular, is a very effective way of doing this. This clever method identifies phones that enter a given target radius and displays adverts to them once the user starts browsing websites. Add to that the fact that the advertiser only pays for click throughs, not impressions, and you’ve got a very sophisticated and efficient method of mobile advertising.

Last year, careful ring-fencing of one of our client’s competitors’ sites delivered our advert in front of a potential customer intrigued and amazed by the timing of the advert, the customer visited our client to find out more. If that’s not effective targeting for you I don’t know what is! But the focus shouldn’t just be on competitors. Your own footfall is just as important, if not more so, if you have a physical presence for sales. Strategic mobile advertising enables you to target visitors whilst they are on site or in its vicinity, increasing the opportunities to sell or upsell at the best possible time to convert.

If that all sounds a bit Big Brother-esque to you then look away now as it’s only going to get worse! There are increasing reports that the likes of Facebook and Google are listening to your conversations and delivering adverts to you based on what they hear! Last year, American news outlet nbc4i ran an experiment to test whether Facebook was listening to them so they recruited Kelli Burns, professor of mass communications at the University of South Florida. Burns enabled the microphone feature in her Facebook app and said aloud to the phone: “I’m really interested in going on an African safari. I think it’d be wonderful to ride in one of those jeeps.” A minute later a safari story appeared in her Facebook feed!

As an advertiser, this would be a brilliant service to offer our clients but, as a consumer, I was sort of pleased when my discussions about holidays failed to show me any adverts about luxury 5* villas in Bora Bora!

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