The Mobile Marketer

Mobile is becoming not only the new digital hub but also the bridge to the physical world. That’s why mobile will affect more than just your digital operations — it will transform your entire business


Six tips for successful mobile advertising in 2017 (#1: START NOW!)

As 2016 draws to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on “what worked” with mobile advertising this year and to summarize the successful strategies you should be looking at in 2017.

Here are 5 top tips:

1. Respect the user

Mobile devices are highly personal. Mobile users want to decide where, when and how they interact with brands on their devices. So put the user in control. Mobile ads should be opt-in, so the user decides whether or not to engage with a brand’s message.

Crucially, mobile ads should be easy for users to dismiss, with a prominent ‘close’ box. Finally, if the ad unit covers some content on the page, design the ad so it disappears when a user scrolls and only reappears when the user stops scrolling.

2. Use mobile-friendly ad formats

While they can look fine on tablets, desktop ads don’t look good on small smartphone screens. Instead, use mobile-friendly ad formats such as the IAB Rising Star adhesion unit.

Adhesion units look great on any mobile device because they take up about 10% of the screen and are anchored at the bottom in either portrait or landscape mode. They also produce strong results.

3. Target the right audience

Strong results don’t matter if the wrong audience is responding. The best advertising solutions providers have robust behavioral data that can be targeted as well on mobile as on desktop.

Lookalike models can be built to target scalable audience segments most likely to be receptive to a brand’s message and respond favorably to it.

4. Keep users engaged

Once you’ve targeted the right audience with mobile-first ad formats and the audience is responding to your ad, you want to keep them engaged and spending as much time as possible with your brand’s message.

One great way to keep users engaged is to use video as the main act in the creative. Users increasingly watch video on mobile, with a trend for larger screens.

Showing multiple videos is even more effective. Combine video with interactivity – inviting users to explore a brand further via photo galleries, feature demonstrations, product showcases and maps with directions to the nearest store – and you have the perfect recipe for deep user engagement.

5. Measure the right things

The last thing you want to do with your highly interactive, video-centric mobile campaigns is track results that don’t truly reflect the positive impact on brand metrics and sales lift. For example, it doesn’t make much sense to use clicks as a key performance indicator since clicks have been shown to have little to no correlation with conversions.

On smartphones, in particular, a significant percentage of clicks are accidental. Instead, more advanced metrics such as engagement rate, interaction rate and time spent are much more indicative of users actively paying attention to a brand’s message and ultimately being influenced by it.

After all, it’s deep user engagement that causes consumers to know, love and buy a brand, not a single or series of emails.


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FINALLY! Google’s new tool helps test your website’s speed and mobile-friendliness

Speed testing services seem to be the new thing tech companies are dabbing into on their free time – just weeks after Netflix launched, Google has announced its own tool to help you measure your website’s speed and mobile-friendliness.

The site takes your URL and measures on a scale of 1-100 your mobile design and loading speed. It looks at things like CSS, HTML, scripts and images to see how long it takes for your website to load on both a desktop and mobile device.image5

Google says an average user leaves the site if it doesn’t load on mobile within three seconds, so if your site takes much longer than that, your lower will appear lower.

Ironically, it does take more than three seconds for Google’s tool to complete the test, but it’s worth finding out how your site fares. You can also click a button to see where you’ve failed specifically to find areas for improvement.image3“On average, people check their phones more than 150 times a day, and more searches occur on mobile phones than computers. But if a potential customer is on a phone, and a site isn’t easy to use, they’re five times more likely to leave,” Google wrote in a blog post announcing the tool, which was created in partnership with digital agency Huge.

Interestingly, Google didn’t exactly fare well in its own test.

If you need help though, Google links out to a handful of site builders it evidently approves of to help you make your site mobile-friendly and fast, including services like Wix, Duda, and Weebly. Big ouch for Squarespace and WordPress.

Try your site below and call me with your results…image2Test Your Site on Think With Google

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Mobile-First Marketing Unveiled

Any marketing effort should be driven by the fact consumers love their mobile devices. It’s of their most prized possessions. It’s their best friend, the object they always carry with them and most importantly, the device through which they will most likely access your service. As the mobile industry grows, brands appear to be showing a deeper understanding of this new reality and seem to be doing their very best to adjust.

However, while many brands understand the importance of a strong mobile presence, theymobile first do not necessarily know how to get there. In the process of figuring things out, it seems that everyone loves to throw around big words like “mobile first,” “context” and “personalization” but not enough people know what these terms actually mean. It’s time to drill down and find out how to actually implement a mobile-first marketing strategy and not just use these trendy slogans.

Kick personalization up a notch

Targeting potential users based on demographics and interests is great, but it’s not nearly enough to see concrete results. The primary difference between mobile ads and desktop ads is that users are exposed to mobile ads when they’re on the go and surrounded by other people, situations and events.

The best way to achieve results is to find out exactly what potential consumers are experiencing and to target them with a mobile ad that correlates to that specific experience. This can be done by gathering data using geo-location technologies and check-ins in public places.

Whereas 30-second TV advertisements can set a scene and then “hit” the viewer with the message when he or she is ready to absorb it, mobile ads don’t have that luxury. For that reason, “hitting” consumers with the right message when they are experiencing a relevant situation helps paint a more comprehensive picture of the product you’re trying to sell. For example, if you’re marketing a taxi app, chances are you’ll get more conversion from ads if you geo-target people who just stepped out of a huge concert (and are most likely looking for a ride home).

Reach and convert within seconds

A mobile-first approach understands that the goal is no longer to transmit a message that might resonate with consumers later on but rather to get them to act NOW. This is why knowing what the consumer needs and when they need it is crucial to achieving a higher conversion rate.

For instance, if you’re advertising a taxi app and trying to target a 30-year-old woman, you can first figure out where she is. If she’s on her way to work, and it’s currently pouring rain outside, chances are she’ll go out of her way to catch a taxi. This is the time to act! Not only will that woman want to download your app, she’ll register immediately and become a user in a matter of minutes.

Mobile ads, unlike other types of ads, allow marketers to turn potential consumers into users and immediately try out their product with just a few clicks. In order to utilize this benefit of mobile ads, brands should use a clear call-to-action and appropriate messaging to successfully attract users and get them to check out the product right away.

Personalize the product itself

Marketers: If you think your work is done after the download stage, think again. In-app events are just as important to ensure that people not only download the app (and don’t forget about it two days later) but become active, engaged users.

The most crucial step in ensuring that users continue from the download stage to registration is the onboarding stage. There are a few services out there that allow developers to create apps that adapt according to the user. These adaptations include everything from the screen flow to the messaging and color palette.

For instance, a music-streaming app could have a target audience that encompasses many different age groups and people of varied interests. While attracting these users can be done through using ad targeting, age-inappropriate in-app elements might scare them away. This sort of app could benefit from the service mentioned above and offer different users’ text and messaging that “speak” to them in their own language. A mobile first approach recognizes this challenge and harnesses the right tools to handle it.

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How to use mobile to enhance your brand and build audience development.

Success in brand publishing begins and ends with your audience, which you can define as anyone who comes into contact and engages with your content — not just your target demographic. In brand publishing, the problem you’re solving for is, “Where will incremental audience come from, and how can I maximize its value for my brand?” A combination of technology, partnerships, and experimentation will form the basis of your audience development plan. Here are a few places to start:

1.   Social Platforms — The pool of users who have opted to follow you over time make for a great initial surge of audience. Consider paid amplification for the content that yields the greatest value at your desired Cost Per Action (CPA). Think beyond just Facebook and Twitter! LinkedIn is rich in value for B2B engagement, while Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat or any platform utilizing video all merit serious consideration for B2C engagement.

2.   Search — Research the keywords that matter most to your target audience and optimize your content.

3.   Recommended Media — Mobile platforms can deliver massive audiences from premium publishers in just about every vertical you can think of.

4.   Partnerships — Partnering with traditional media publishers can be a great way to deliver audience to your content. Mobile is not a stand alone medium. It still needs traditional media to drive the calls to action.

5.   Mobile — This is no longer some strange sub-set of audience. All of the above is responsible for delivering your target audience on mobile

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Five Mobile Trends To Catch Up With In 2016


Mobile usage accounts for 60% of consumers’ time online, and that number is only going to continue to grow.  

  • Brands and publishers are more willing to spend money on mobile-specific content.
  • Marketers will use mobile for utility more and more, as they realize the cost savings associated with it.
  • Meda buying–as we know it–will change dramatically.

That’s why marketers gathered in New York City last week at Mobile Marketer’s Mobile FirstLook event. They talked about the trends, challenges, and opportunities in mobile. Read on for some of the biggest takeaways.

  1. The Move From Mobile To Mobility
    Today 90% of the population has a connected device within arm’s length at all times, said Michael Becker, co-founder and managing partner at mCordis. This calls for a transformation in the mindset of marketers, which will most likely start to happen this year. “It means a move from mobile to mobility,” he told attendees at FirstLook.

Because mobile is no longer just that phone we carry in our pockets, and connected devices are now also part of the definition, marketers will be very focused on the rise of the “quantified customer,” he added.

“While mobile is about the technology, the hardware, and the operating system, mobility is about the consumer and how mindsets and tendencies have changed,” Becker said. “In this shift in mindset from mobile to mobility, marketers must develop empathy and understanding of the user.”

  1. Mobile Permeates The Entire Organization
    Much of the talk about mobile over the past few years has happened within the marketing department. That will continue throughout 2016.

“[As a mobile agency], we’re definitely having to deal with more people within the [brand’s] organization,” said Warren Zenna, EVP and managing director at Mobext, a Havas agency. “Businesses are becoming more integrated around mobile.”

According to Jeremy Sigel, director of mobile for Essence, a WPP agency, this year we’ll start to see business units, such as IT, data science, customer service, sales, and operations, playing a larger role in the mobile strategy of their companies.

  1. MobileIs Digital—A New Era Of Media Buying
    Mobile teams, mobile strategy, mobile marketing–all of these terms will start to diminish in 2016 as brand marketers realize that mobile cannot be thought of in a silo.

We’re already seeing a shift. CBS is selling mobile as part of the ad deal for Super Bowl 50. Every 30-second spot during the Big Game will air on TV and digital channels, all for $5 million.

Companies will continue this shift and change the way they buy and sell media in 2016, according to Spencer Sloe, VP and head of ad product and monetization at The Huffington PostWe’ll see more publishers, and media brands, in general, selling advertising this way, he added.

  1. Mobile Replaces The Human
    It has been a few years since companies began implementing mobile services to complement functions such as customer service, call centers, etc. As brand marketers start to truly realize the benefits (and cost savings) of their mobile investments, expect more instances where companies bring a utility that was once served through a human to mobile, Essence’s Sigel said.

Examples of mobile for utility include remote check deposit in financial apps, and mobile banking as a whole, which has allowed banks to operate anywhere, even places where there aren’t any branches, said Jonathan Pelosi, Google’s head of industry mobile apps, Americas, who also spoke about transformative app experiences. Product locators in retail apps are another good example since they put less onus on sales associates in-store.

“Now that an investment made a few years ago has a positive ROI, clients are recognizing that mobile is really important,” Sigel said.

  1. Mobile-Specific Content
    Essence’s Sigel said he has seen an increase in clients’ willingness to spend on mobile-specific content. This year that focus will accelerate as brands increasingly focus on engaging consumers anytime, anywhere.

Huffington Post, for example, has made a big bet on mobile. The publication creates videos for its mobile users specifically. It also optimizes existing content for mobile readers. For example, it tightens its headlines, at times uses different pictures than what’s on desktop, shortens desktop articles, and develops other mobile-only content.

“Mobile-specific content was just beginning to be top of mind in 2015,” Sigel said. “Today we have clients coming to us with requests and plans that are mobile-specific and not just treating mobile as an add-on.”


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