Mobile Madness: Expert Roundup 2

Mobile has been a hot subject for the past year as marketers and technologists figure out how to map customer behavior and orchestrate marketing in the wake of Apple’s anti-tracking AppTrackingTransparency policy. In this roundup, experts from CatapultX, Ericsson Emodo, PPRO, and Mobivity weigh in on best practices for one of digital marketing’s most important devices.

Zack Rosenberg, CEO and founder, CatapultX

In recent years, mobile marketing has become one of the most popular and effective ways to reach consumers. This is because more people are using smartphones and other mobile devices than ever before. In fact, a survey conducted by Statista stated that 50% of mobile users spend 5-6 hours a day on their phones.

However, as the use of mobile devices continues to grow, so do the challenges that marketers face. These challenges include everything from designing mobile-friendly websites to creating engaging and effective mobile ads.

In terms of advertising, as high as 75% of video views come from mobile, so it’s natural that marketers would be looking to plug into video content as a way to reach users in the moment. YouTube and TikTok take most of the cake in terms of video views, but platforms are constantly bidding to be the next big thing.

The secret to the future of mobile marketing is twofold. One, CTV platforms are now on the rise for mobile reach. Netflix has 25% of its viewers on mobile, Hulu has 13%. The second is moment marketing, where ads are more related to what the user is viewing on their mobile device. New forms of AI are helping to make this happen for more relevant, impactful advertising.

Jake Moskowitz, VP of data strategy and head of the Emodo Institute, Ericsson Emodo

The importance of ATT can’t be minimized. Many may de-emphasize it as “only iOS, not Android” or “only mobile, not PC,” or “only in-app, not web.” But the reality is ATT was the first major impact in the US of what is clearly a massive paradigm shift in which the needed scale is no longer going to be available for 1:1 targeting. Google’s clear plans with both Chrome and Android to remove opt-out tracking mechanisms spell the death knell for the way we’ve used digital for the last 15 years. 

Much of the chatter in the industry has been focused on ways to re-establish 1:1 targeting and measurement via opt-in mechanisms such as first-party data and alternative identifiers. But opt-in can never replicate the scale of opt-out, as they are fundamentally different things. Even Bill Michels, EVP Product & Engineering at The Trade Desk, the creator of UID 2.0, said at an IAB Town Hall in November 2021 that “On display or browser-based activity, we’re not going to log into every website that we see… A guess there would be 20% of that is logged in.”  

That’s not to say there’s not an important role for opt-in data such as first-party or alternative ID data, or that it’s not a worthwhile initiative for publishers and marketers to maximize the quantity and quality of their opt-in data. But it cannot serve as the primary means to make up for the scale loss as opt-out data ceases to exist. Its purpose is not just for 1:1 targeting and measurement but rather also as training data for AI models. Only those AI models can make up for the scale loss. It’s time for marketers to shift their thinking entirely. 

The scary thing is measurement has hardly evolved since ATT. Measurement providers that depend on 1:1 cross-app and cross-device tracking have hardly adjusted, at least externally. Methodologies such as multi-touch attribution (MTA), sales lift, brand lift, in-store traffic lift, and more cannot exist in their current forms without mass scale of user-level database-matching of opt-out data. Marketers that depend on these methodologies should be actively exploring alternatives, or vendors that are taking the paradigm change seriously. 

The one area we are seeing change is in metrics that don’t require 1:1 user database matching, especially with the rise of attention metrics. They get a lot of press, and that makes sense given the promise attention has as a proxy metric for key lower-funnel metrics, a proxy that can exist in a world without massive scale of opt-out user tracking data. We still don’t have standards for what attention means or how to measure it but look for growth to continue here. Not just for attention but for other promising proxy metrics that don’t require user tracking. 

Andrew Edem, Global Head of Innovation, PPRO

Mobile has quickly become the leading channel for companies to engage with consumers and brands, which are focusing on improving the mobile experience to drive loyalty and increase mobile shopping. However, one of the biggest challenges for brands and merchants is the role of payments and navigating the complexity of the payments ecosystem, especially as mobile payment methods and digital wallets have grown in popularity.

Considering that 80% of consumers will abandon a transaction if their preferred method of payment is not offered at checkout, this is a crucial element for brands that are trying to reach new customers. Any business with a mobile-first approach to commerce and engagement needs to embrace a mobile-first approach to payments, with a strong focus on user experience throughout the payment process.

The expectation of consumers is now that commerce can be conducted entirely within the mobile app environment seamlessly and without any friction such as searching for account numbers or pulling cards out of their wallets.  

Dennis Becker, CEO, Mobivity

2021 was a year of change in the digital marketing industry with the implementation of stringent privacy regulations, particularly with regard to tracking advertising on mobile phones. Brick-and-mortar brands, including retail and restaurants, are finding that tried-and-true digital ad targeting and measurement aren’t working as effectively as they once did. And it’s only going to get worse.

Which is why you see brands venturing into emerging new technologies and channels to engage digitally with customers and prospects. One area of growing opportunity is gaming, as evidenced by the investments being made in the metaverse. While some experiments may seem like moonshots, mobile gaming presents a valuable co-marketing opportunity for brands with a local retail presence. Especially for QSRs (Quick Service Restaurants) and convenience stores. In fact, more than a third (35%) of mobile gamers eat fast food at least once a week, and nearly a quarter (22%) eat it more frequently.

Mobile stands to be the way to bridge these two massive audiences and deliver real-world rewards across both. Gaming operators reach millions—three out of four people play mobile games—and can deliver promotions for the food and convenience brands they love and vice versa. For example, consumers could earn points by playing a mobile game or watching a streaming video and redeem for real-world rewards — free coffee or donuts, anyone? Conversely, a burger chain could send customers an SMS text message offer for a free burger if they download a mobile game, or a convenience store brand promotes a game in-store and through their other owned channels and offers a gas discount reward in exchange.

Mobile is prime for affinity marketing collaborations as connecting existing offline and digital audiences is the holy grail for marketers. And mobile continues to be ripe for the opportunity to do so.

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