Smartphone usage is higher than ever, with an estimated 5 billion people owning and/or operating a device. With the amount of time the average person spends on their phone each day, there’s a large window of time advertisers could be taking advantage of to get their content in front of their audience.
Tailoring your advertisements to be both user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing on mobile devices makes it easier for users to engage with content on the go. That’s why we asked members of Ad Age Collective to share some simple, yet effective ways agencies can move toward mobile optimization. Their best answers are below.
1. Deeply understand your customer.
To optimize the consumer experience for mobile, agencies must answer, “Who are they, where are they and why are they using this device at this moment?” Because technology enables us to know they’re on a mobile device and where they are, you can deliver the right content and capabilities at the right time, thereby eliminating anything that distracts from the intended path. Reid Carr, Red Door Interactive
2. Say less.
Advertising has struggled since its early days to deliver impact with focus. Don’t say everything; say the most important thing. It’s even more essential now when you have only a few words and an engaging image to connect. Know “this.” Do “this.” If you’re successful, they’ll learn more later. – Moira Vetter, Modo Modo Agency
3. Keep it quick and easy.
Mobile optimization should always be part of a brand strategy. Creating a mobile interface that is optimized for quick and simple reading with easy buttons to click through to complete the process is key. Also, audio advertising where the user can verbally respond to “learn more” from an ad or Google’s Accelerated Mobile Page ads are gaining popularity as they optimize the advertising experience. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising
4. Focus on mobile-first creative.
The most effective way to move toward mobile optimization is to ensure clients are focused on creating mobile-first creative, such as 4:5 video, which is supported by both Facebook and Instagram feeds. According to Facebook, mobile-first creative aided recall by 46%. – Michael Lisovetsky, JUICE
5. Create lite and full versions of your ads.
Agencies and brands alike can optimize mobile campaigns by creating varied lite and full versions of ads that are easily viewable and clearly readable on both smart and feature phones, while maintaining the integrity of the brand message and creative. Along with a well-thought-out audience segmentation strategy, this approach empowers agencies to engage more people with a consistent brand message. Anas Ghazi, WPP
6. Think like a consumer, not a marketer.
So many brands and agencies think too much like marketers when building an online strategy. We need to be concerned about the end consumer’s experience with the brand, more than about getting a message out. If we think like we live, we will always have mobile first in mind. Figuring out how your consumer accesses and uses your brand on the go should be a first step in building any strategy. Maggie O’Neill, Peppercomm
7. Develop websites in React.
Creating a mobile app can be expensive, and more consumers are looking for mobile-friendly browser experiences. By implementing React as your front-end language, your site will be responsive and optimized for the browser experience. – Patrick Ambron, BrandYourself.com
Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, CEO of agency Hawthorne.
As marketing budgets have soared, so has the need for accountability. For direct response marketers, this comes as no surprise.
The 2016-2017 “CMO Spend Survey” from Gartner found that marketing budgets increased to 12% of company revenue in 2016 and CMO marketing technology spend is on track to exceed CIO tech spend in 2017. Along with all this money flowing in comes the need for marketers to demonstrate results — to prove that those marketing dollars are dollars well-spent. This has made accountability a buzzword and guiding principle for forward-thinking marketing teams, but it’s a principle that has guided direct response (DR) marketers for years.
DR is an accountable, measurable and actionable way for brands to engage and collaborate with their customers. Digital marketers may have made accountability cool, but DR pioneered the concept when most brands were pouring all of their dollars into image-based advertising.
It’s a mixed-media world
The proliferation of mobile devices has made marketing more complicated and results more difficult to track. Between traditional media like linear TV and newer formats like social media and mobile apps, brands have to market across channels and embrace mixed media campaigns to stay relevant. However, campaigns across multiple channels are more difficult to measure than campaigns across just one. Organizations that value accountability need tools that can measure and track across platforms.
One of the tools driving the shift towards accountability is marketing automation, which is used to market across multiple online channels, automate repetitive tasks and measure and track results. It gives organizations the tools they need to measure mixed-media modeling, which involves analyzing sales data to determine the effectiveness of the marketing mix. Today, half of companies use a marketing automation solution, which is more than 11x the rate of use in 2011.
We’ve observed this surge in our own work at Hawthorne. Marketers are using technology applications and platforms to figure out how much “weight” to put on which advertising channels, which platforms are performing the best (and worst) and how to effectively allocate budgets among those various options. These insights can then help determine the optimal media mix, which can be a major challenge in today’s highly-fragmented digital media world, where consumers hop back and forth between devices and view ad content on each.
One solution is pixel technology, which can be used to figure out and track consumer engagement levels. This technique means adding pixels (or small lines of code) to client websites to track the consumer from beginning-to-end on a website in order to timestamp when they first saw the advertisement and then went directly to the website (or Googled it). Then it tracks their path through the website on each individual page and even creates a heatmap of what they are looking at on each page. This tracks consumer engagement and whether or not they made a purchase.
Accountability and automation
The combination of DR and marketing automation enables advertisers to seriously up their accountability. They can use an array of online and offline media choices to quickly capture engagement and directly pitch clients at the top of the sales funnel who are happy because they know their target audience is on the radar.
For example, Hawthorne recently created a campaign that targeted 18- to 25-year-olds, who represent around 10% of people in U.S. households with TVs. Hawthorne created a customized marketing plan that incorporated programmatic and addressable TV and targeted that specific demographic, similar to how online media can target specific niches. We then used mixed-media modeling to demonstrate the campaign’s impact across multiple platforms and to maximize the advertiser’s message across channels.
It was a highly targeted and highly accountable campaign that resonated with the audience and the client alike.
The learning curve
Automating and fine-tuning a campaign is a big challenge that involves a learning curve with new technology and requires research upfront, particularly in terms of identifying and leveraging cross-device segmentation.
Marketers have to figure out the paths that different demographics are going to take, as well as understand how quickly they will move through the sales funnel and make a purchase or sign up for a service. In addition, marketers have to identify which advertising mechanisms work the most effectively in each case. Or, to put it more succinctly, marketers have to understand how people respond from one end of the sales funnel to the other, including how they engage across devices. It all boils down to understanding the lifetime value of each customer and connecting that information back into advertising, station selection, creative and any other element that has an impact on sales.
The more consumers use multiple devices to consume content, the more marketers will embrace mixed-media modeling (and related tools) to automate certain parts of the advertising process. And, as consumers embrace more ways to connect with their favorite brands, agencies and marketers will have to evolve along with them, or fall behind. Greater accountability in marketing is better for everyone.