Time and location alone cannot capture the full dynamic of the mobile-savvy shopper.
From the early days of geofencing to more recent developments around detailed audience definitions — including data-driven targeting and deep campaign analytics — strong mobile marketing strategies still start with the right ad in the right place at the right time. Today, however, time and location alone cannot capture the full dynamic of the mobile-savvy shopper.
In addition to smart creative combined with data-informed decisions about place and time, brands must work to engage with consumers at moments that align with the right frame of mind. Brands must go beyond shoppers’ immediate context, focusing on consumers’ longer-term goals and needs.
Yes, mobile technology is a conduit to the consumer, but designing engaging experiences takes insight. Acquiring and using the data that drives those insights often proves challenging for advertisers in the location-powered mobile space.
Challenges for brands in the mobile space often come down to how well and how expansively they understand their customers. In Pursuing the Mobile Moment, a June 2017 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on our behalf, 38% of the polled brands cited difficulty contextualizing historical location insights about consumers, and 37% said they have trouble targeting customers with granularity.
Both steps are crucial to successful mobile campaigns. Brands must understand what collected consumer data tells them about where a shopper has been, what they do and when they tend to do it — in other words, the context of their location history. Next, as with the concept of granular targeting, advertisers can use these insights to reach present and future customers with mobile-ad experiences that reflect all the levels of detail and relevance that only data can provide.
Compounding the gap between brands and deep consumer insights are challenges around timing. About one-third of the polled advertisers said they were unable to track customers or reach them in their moments of need, also known as the mobile moment: the point in time and space in which the consumer uses their mobile device to achieve something.
For all brands, even if they have the data about consumer behaviors over time, and even if they can identify the granular, targeted audiences that drive relevant campaigns, it’s still critical to serve the right ad in the right place at the right time. And sometimes that “right time” represents a moment prior to the consumer even knowing what they want next.
Anticipating Consumers’ Needs
In our research conducted in association with Wildness in 2016, millennial and Gen Z respondents told us that mobile creative needs to not only preserve the underlying context of what consumers are doing in the moment, but mobile ads should also inspire and even anticipate what consumers want to do next.
For example, let’s say data-fueled insights help brands identify millennial consumers who have historically sought out limited-edition sneakers. Based on time and location, mobile creative can prompt these potential buyers to travel across town to a pop-up sneaker event, even if there’s some risk of long lines or the sneaker selling out. As Forbes reports, millennials often respond positively to brand experiences that include some element of risk.
It’s important to inspire shoppers with relevant opportunities they didn’t know about before. This data-driven approach not only builds positive brand engagements, but when a mobile creative experience hits those marks, 42% of those we polled said they would click on the mobile ad; 21% said they would screenshot the relevant ad for later, and 26% said they would send those saved screenshots to their peers. Perhaps most importantly, one in four of the mobile consumers surveyed said they would then be motivated to make a purchase.
Next Steps: Maturing Mobile Marketing Programs
Many brands already understand these approaches but the challenges they face in the location-powered mobile space are real. We can see this in the realm of accurately addressing ROI, for example, down to the level of how organizations select metrics that represent best methodologies. Some 67% of marketers called out those challenges, in particular, as Marketing Dive reports.
Starting with the data we’ve just addressed, subsequent installments of this column will highlight how brands can generate these results in their own campaigns, fine-tuning their mobile marketing mix and maturing their overall mobile marketing program. When advertisers put location data and data-driven insights at the heart of their efforts, whole organizations grow stronger, more effective, and more successful at achieving positive marketing outcomes. It takes a dedication to location, context and capturing consumers in the right frame of mind.
Julie Bernard is Chief Marketing Officer at Verve.
This article was first published at Forbes.
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