Coronavirus and Mobile Advertising: CPMs, Sensitivity, Geographic Comparisons

The Covid-19 crisis is a challenging time for all industries, but for mobile marketers it poses a paradoxical challenge. On the one hand, people are on their phones and engaging with media as much as ever. On the other hand, the economic downturn is putting a strain on marketing budgets, employees are working from home, and messaging during a public health crisis requires unusual sensitivity.

Brian Bowman, CEO of social marketing and user acquisition firm Customer Acquisition, provided Street Fight his takes on the current state of the mobile ad market, where it’s headed in the coming weeks, and how advertisers can approach their work with consideration for the difficulty of these times.

An Overlooked Audience for Digital Marketers: E-Sports Fans

The most obvious way to date to engage with e-sports audiences has been through sponsorships. In a move that took the advertising world by surprise, Louis Vuitton (LVMH) partnered with Riot Games to sponsor the League of Legends World Championship trophy gear, just as it does for the FIFA World Cup and Australian Open. Coca-Cola, Intel, Mountain Dew, Comcast, Airbus and Red Bull are front and center at esports events. Major brands are clearly on board.

But what if you’re not a Fortune 500 with millions of dollars to spend on sponsorships? Just like the “meat-sports,” the Overwatch League canceled its in-person games (or “homestands”) for March and April and moved to online matches, the same way League of Legends has. And that hasn’t made a dent in its value for advertisers. And what if you, like many today who are seeing all these event cancellations, don’t want to waste dollars on unseen impressions?  

It’s time to look in your pocket — the mobile device.

Loyalty in the Time of “Near Me” Searches, Omnichannel, and Covid-19

In addition to the opportunities and challenges that come with an omni-channel commercial ecosystem, 2020 brings to businesses the challenge of mobile search, which leads people on the go to search for “X near me” and pick the closest possible option. The new year also brought, as hardly anyone would’ve predicted months ago, an impending recession as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
I caught up with Nicole Amsler, vice president of marketing at loyalty tech firm Formation.ai, to garner her insights on loyalty strategy this year.

4 Mobile and Location Trends for Brands to Keep an Eye On

Believe it or not, this is the smartphone’s third decade. When it comes to mobile apps and location-based marketing, so much has changed since the advent of the iPhone in 2007.

While it’s hard to predict what will become of mobile and location-based media in the next 10 years, it’s fair to prognosticate what we can expect for the rest of this year and beyond. Here are four mobile and location trends brand marketers need to watch.

10 Ways to Evaluate Text Message Marketing Solutions for Retailers

As the popularity of text message marketing has increased, so have the number of providers offering text message marketing software. What features do you need? What provider should you choose? 

With so many product options available, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. On the surface, these options may look alike, but when you take a closer look, you’ll find some key differences. 

Heard on the Street, Episode 46: Improving Road Safety with Your iPhone

Insurance is typically viewed as an old-school industry that’s not very sexy. But Cambridge Mobile Telematics VP Ryan McMahon thinks insurance gets a bad wrap in that respect. As the latest guest on Street Fight’s Heard on the Street podcast, his company is innovating actuarial work and safer roads.

McMahon’s firm accomplishes that by capitalizing on the powerful computer we all carry around (and drive around) in our pockets. Given all its sensors like GPS and accelerometers, the modern smartphone packs ample situational awareness. One of the things it can do is detect signals that indicate driving quality.

How the Rise of Unbranded Search Upends Restaurant, Retail, and Grocery Strategy

Fueled by the growth of mobile and set to rocket even further north in coming years thanks to voice, unbranded searches like “burgers near me” or “Thai food” are growing as fast as 113% year over year, according to a fresh study by multi-location marketing firm MomentFeed. Unbranded search grew about 30% from 2016 to ’17 and 56% the following year before doubling pace in 2018-19, suggesting the slope of this trend’s adoption could get even steeper in coming years.

Three Methods to Deploy Foreground Data Effectively

For those of us in the location data industry, we must adapt to the new world we live in and find solutions to solve the age-old problems our clients face. Foreground data (data that is captured only when a user has an app open) has the potential to be just as effective and insightful and can offer even greater insights into how people interact in the physical world.

Companies conducting location analysis can use three methods to help keep their solutions robust in this next era of location data; layer in foreground apps, reduce noise, and capitalize on inferences.  

Valentine’s Day Boosts Entertainment, Food, and Social Apps

The data shows that Valentine’s Day marks a major uptick in app usage across verticals. Compared to an average February day last year, on Valentine’s Day, entertainment app usage was up 24%, food and drink apps 20%, and social 16%. Consumers also spent an unusual amount of time on transport (7%) and gaming (6%) apps.

The Pivot Stuck: Video Ads Dominate App Revenue

Digital marketing journalists touted the pivot to video so incessantly that mention of it after a certain point sparked obligatory mea culpas. Redundant as the proclamations may have proved, fresh data from mobile ad firm AdColony suggests those who heralded video as the future of digital advertising have been vindicated.

Using Smartwatches to Join Marketing’s Vanguard

Spending on wearables is predicted to hit $52 billion this year, according to forecasts from the research firm Gartner, and spending on smartwatches specifically is expected to increase by 24%. Smartwatches represent the merging of physical and virtual worlds, and they provide marketers with a direct line for reaching consumers.

Here are five examples of how tech-savvy brands can put smartwatches to work and develop better strategies to take full advantage of the new opportunities that exist for reaching consumers through these wearable devices.

How Viewers Watch the Super Bowl—And Its Ads

Even the Super Bowl does not make for entertaining enough television to get today’s fickle viewers to glue their eyes on the big screen and set cellphones aside. During the game, viewers also text (29%), play mobile games (28%), and browse social media apps (27%), mobile firm AdColony found in a global survey.

The numbers may even seem low; it seems fair to bet more than one in three viewers takes an eye off the game to text a friend. But AdColony manager of strategy and planning Gabriella Stano Aversa said marketers should not treat the multiscreen environment as a dilemma, seeing it rather as an opportunity.

Mobile Marketing Firm Verve Acquired by Germany’s MGI

The companies underscored Verve’s location data-driven ability to drive prospective customers into brick-and-mortar stores, adding a cutting-edge ad tech capability to MGI’s suite of existing media solutions. Verve will also help the European enterprise increase its presence in North America.

How to Capture the Attention of Multiscreen Consumers

We’ll reach for our phones because the TV alone isn’t enough to entertain us, but this constant overstimulation leaves us wanting more. The fact that we’ll often use the ad breaks to check our phones throws the effectiveness of TV advertising into doubt, but the truth is whatever outlet consumers choose, marketers can no longer take a captive audience for granted.

Here are some tips to capture attention in a multi-screen media environment.

Dispatch from CES: Giant TVs, Obsequious Gadgets, and Artificial People

I’m fresh from a couple of days wandering the halls of the Consumer Electronics Show, affectionately known as CES — the annual conference that descends upon Las Vegas in January and proffers the latest in technological solutions to improve every aspect of our daily lives. This is my first time attending the world’s biggest technology conference, where 4,500 companies this year are vying for the attention of 180,000 attendees, according to my Uber driver.

As I made my way through the crowds at the massive Las Vegas Convention Center and other conference venues, I tried to get a sense of the common themes defining consumer innovation as we begin a new decade. 

Heard on the Street, Episode 42: Building an ‘Appnostic’ World, with Mobile Posse

As much as we love computing, the best technology is that which disappears. Most components of computing are an abstraction layer that stands between you and a given task or experience. That’s the case with layers of the typical consumer tech stack including operating systems, inputs, and apps.

App fatigue is the problem that Mobile Posse, the latest guest on Street Fight’s Heard on the Street podcast, is endeavoring to reform. The company’s Firstly Mobile platform replaces the app-heavy paradigm with a more curated, personal, and ‘appnostic’ front end to reduce the distance between users and quality content.

SEO Trends for 2020 That You Need to Know

In 2020, we can only expect the competition for the attention of Internet audiences to become even more intense. More and more businesses appear each day, all raring to get to the top of the search results.

Add to that the fact that search engines, Google in particular, will continue to make changes to their algorithms in the coming year. SEOs must be on their toes to stay on top of the latest SEO trends. Here are some of the changes, which include the further ascendance of video, voice, and mobile as well as premiums on longer content and possible openings for non-Google search engines.

Mobile Trends Set to Hit the US in 2020

2019 was a hectic year for many in the social and technology spaces, and we expect that theme to carry into 2020: the “new normal” will become just “normal.” We are optimistic about this new year but also foresee some systemic changes as to how mobile technology will continue transforming our lives while allowing us more control.

Apps Dominate Mobile Holiday Shopping

App fatigue, the feeling that a consumer simply cannot add yet another corporate app to her phone at a time when all enterprises seem to be competing for a place on mobile displays, is a major roadblock to successful app-based mobile strategies for retailers. But data from this holiday shopping season suggests that consumers are willing to download apps for the right incentives.

LBMA Vidcast: 7-Eleven Launches Mobile Voice Ordering, Adidas Tests AR Instagram

On this week’s Location-Based Marketing Association podcast: 7-Eleven launching mobile voice ordering, Adidas testing AR Instagram in London, Amex launching a mobile restaurant booking app, Augmented Reality wine labeling with Winerytale app, Toys R Us first in Canada to use Snapchats Portal Lens, and Factual introducing predictive & loyalty audiences.