Mobile Ad Spend Is Up

Happy (Mobile) Holidays: Consumer Spending Is Up

by | Dec 17, 2014

In a technology discussion, a brand marketing director once asked me:

“So can you tell if I’m walking down the street drinking a Starbucks coffee?”

My response: “Of course we can…but only if I’m standing next to you.”

What’s Possible

Marketing technologies do not have NSA capabilities – we are not tied into national security satellites, for example (although that would be cool). Still, there are incredible opportunities leveraging the advantages mobile brings to the table for brand marketers.

Mobile is different than other marketing channels – even digital display. Programmatic opportunities in mobile have their own unique attributes as well.

We know from this year’s holiday seasonal spend that more purchases than ever are happening on mobile devices.

According to Forbes, mobile purchases increased over 24.5% on Cyber Monday 2014 compared to 2013. Of perhaps even greater significance, a massive amount of influence is happening on mobile and leading to off-line/in-store purchases.

In short, our phones are now are most powerful shopping tool.

Shifting Opportunities

But who is listening to this?

In a recent study from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council – in partnership with SAS – 61% of marketers surveyed have used mobile for engagement campaigns. Over half of the respondents agree that mobile is critical to interacting & retaining customers as well as brand differentiation.

Mobile does not change the rules – it just enhances the opportunities to win the game.

The same truths apply on mobile as they do with other channels: advertisers want to reach their target audience with the right message at the right time.

Data Leads to Informed Decisions

With the right mobile partners, we can glean more insights than from other marketing channels – we know location and in some cases even intent that is determined by a mobile devices’ activities. Of course, the devices themselves are not engaging in activities, but ultimately we are not the NSA and cannot know the person’s activity outside of the information their mobile device gives us.

However, the more pieces of data, the better we get.

The whole “data” terminology translates to “audience” in the minds of savvy marketers. Geo-targeted ads often receive a premium CPM spend, but things can get so much richer than simply leveraging a single location point.

Another popular term these days is “native ads”, or ads that are specifically aligned with content they sit next to. While native ads can be quite good, they cannot reach the scale nor accuracy as having the ad aligned with the location & previous data from the device.

In other words, having enough information about your audience (leveraging data) takes the guessing out of targeting ads to specific content. Instead of guessing, you can now find your target audience in whatever content they are enjoying.

Today’s Opportunity

When this entire mobile smartphone revolution emerged in 2007 with the launch of the iPhone, no one was anticipating the explosive growth of the iOS app ecosystem. It caused major reverberations in the digital technology industry. Over the next seven plus years, brands and advertisers alike worked furiously to find and implement best practices to take advantage of this momentum swing.

Today, though, there are fewer surprises on mobile. Their capabilities are better understood. Perhaps the biggest of all is that not enough technologies are being leveraged to take advantage of the opportunities in the space.