Mobile marketing is transforming the path to purchase, as consumers rely more heavily on their smartphones when making all types of purchasing decisions. The question for marketers now isn’t whether they should launch mobile campaigns, but how they can improve the effectiveness of those campaigns going forward.
Spending on local mobile display advertising is expected to reach more than $2.74 billion by 2017, and for that kind of money, marketers are expecting to see real results. Using analytics to fine-tune their campaigns, marketers are able build on the success of past mobile marketing efforts and optimize the effects of location targeting. Here are six strategies that marketers can use when fine-tuning their mobile campaigns.
1. Don’t be afraid to experiment. “We encourage clients to experiment and test their campaigns through multiple ads and messages to see what works — but only for a short period. Once it is clear that the ad is working, stop the others, so your message is not diluted.” (Kevin Bowers, ZettaMobile)
2. Optimize campaigns before they begin. “Pre-campaign mobile ad strategy should begin by forming audience-targeting tactics that align with campaign goals and reach the most relevant consumers. At xAd, we analyze data such as mobile search queries, consumer preferences, areas of location activity, and mounds of proprietary research to better inform, strategize and deploy the right targeting tactics. We combine information on past behavior, demographics, and brand preference to create the most targeted and relevant ad experience for the consumer. On a high level, analyzing data prior to the start of a campaign can better inform more accurate and targeted campaign solutions.” (Dan Silver, xAd)
3. Run A/B testing. “One of our clients wanted to run a campaign in densely populated areas where there was a high perceived demand for their service. We suggested A/B testing their message in urban and suburban areas, and found that both clicks and conversions were higher in suburban neighborhoods. Because location analytics introduces a link between the physical and digital world, insights like this can impact the overall marketing strategy, not just mobile campaigns.” (Henning Moe, Troglo)
4. Take an active role in parsing analytics. “Throughout the advertising industry, most analytics provided to clients are passive. Access to reporting is provided, but clients need to figure out what it all means. The whole industry needs to get a little better at explaining to businesses how to read analytics. At ZettaMobile, we send out a weekly email report card with campaign metrics, then direct [our clients] back to their accounts for more information. We also send out an “action alert” when someone taps on an interaction with an ad. This helps the business correlate the action with the conversion.” (Kevin Bowers, ZettaMobile)
5. Look at attribution through secondary actions. “We focus heavily on attribution through secondary actions, such as calls and actual store visits. In mobile — a medium entirely based on actual physical consumer behavior, location understanding and device activity — the learnings are evolving rapidly. Understanding not just in-store lift or landing page results, but actual consumer activity — what restaurants consumers who visited certain stores are likely to dine at or what search behaviors automotive consumers typically exhibit — these are learnings that lead to continual campaign success.” (Dan Silver, xAd)
6. Keep the big picture in mind. “We suggest advertisers look at location, device, app, date/time, demographics and history in combination, and measure it up against conversions — on- or offline. At Troglo, we measure conversions in two ways. One, we track store visits as a result of one or more impressions. And two, we measure long term impact — did the campaign actually change behavior or preferences. Looking at device and apps or networks alone doesn’t help, because over 60% of impressions originate from the home.” (Henning Moe, Troglo)
Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.