Get More From Your Advertising While Spending A Lot Less

At a time when there seems to be a new national crisis daily, it is hard to justify moving forward with big marketing spends not knowing what the purchasing climate will be one day to the next. Clever copy, relevant content, and big promotions just can’t overcome the hurdles of spending freezes and cut backs many of your target customers are experiencing. When this happens, its really tough to make marketing pay off. At least the kind of marketing you might be used to executing.

Fortunately, marketing platforms today give us the opportunity to manage our marketing spend to be accountable for every dollar, and to eliminate waste by paying only for results, be it impressions, clicks, likes, contact information, and so on.

Regardless of COVID-19 economic challenges, and civil rights protests that disrupt business as usual in every sense of the term, spending dollars on performance marketing programs that are highly measurable is smart marketing under all circumstances. Such programs enable you to reach only who you want to reach, and only cost you money when they perform. This makes sense in good times, certain times, and the reverse.

The key to getting more from these media channels (e.g., Google Ads and LinkedIn ads) really boils down to two things:

  • What you say and how you say it
  • How you use them to spark a multi-step journey to YES for the leads you generate

Here are some considerations.

What You Say and How You Say It

Emotional and psychological relevance is more important than ever. It’s fair to say that most of us are operating from a perspective of fear, anxiety, and doubt most of the time. Every day there’s another setback to our respect for humanity, our belief in governments, our sense of security, and a lot more. So ads that appeal to just about anything but the above are likely to go unnoticed or unacted upon. Copy that directly appeals to a solution vs. boasts a brand’s expertise is likely to influence and persuade, the goal of all marketing. Yet so many ads across all platforms are still brag sheets that are meaningless to purchasers seeking solutions to the fears and anxieties that consume them.

You need to use powerful words that speak to how you can add confidence and security to those struggling to find both in their jobs and personal worlds. Even with the strict word counts for Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads, you can do it. The best way to identify the words or issues that move your customers the most is to ask them. Use your website, social media pages, and email programs to ask one to three questions that identify the greatest concerns and needs on customers’ minds today.

If you find fear of job loss or the great unknown to be top of mind among your customers, use words that speak directly to these fears in your Search Ads. Back up the promise implied by these words with all the other touch points you prepare to keep them on a journey to YES.

How You Spark a Multi-Step Journey

Its amazing how many marketers spend a lot of money on PPC and other performance marketing programs and then stop there. The intent of these programs is most often to create a lead or get people to a website where further engagement takes place. Yet many marketers don’t plan well for the next touch point.

This is why Customer Experience (CX) strategies and plans are so critical. And putting a strong CX plan in place is really quite simple. Some tips:

  • Map out the steps that take place from first introduction to your brand to closing the first sale and then what you do to keep them purchasing.
  • Document the triggers that keep customers moving from one step to the next. Was it a price incentive? A free trial? Content or actionable information? Was it simply a phone call or additional email?
  • Promote these triggers in a carefully concerted customer journey, starting with your website.

Once you get people to your website from your digital advertising campaigns, keep them there by making these same triggers or offers the first thing they see on your home page. Use them as reasons to go deeper in your site, sign up for a demo, download a paper, and so on.

The next step to doing more with less is to train your customer service and sales team members to follow up with each lead that lands on your website or responds to an email. As you are already paying for these people, having them follow up with a personal touch does not cost you a lot more, but most often gives back a lot more in terms of getting customers to take the next step in that critical journey to the first sale. Quite often it’s the phone call or personal email that makes all the difference, and yet this is often overlooked.

While it may seem like advertising is a big waste right now with all the uncertainty we face daily in this new normal state of the world, if you use the right emotional appeals, and keep engaging customers with a strong workflow and customer journey plans, you can actually achieve a great deal at a fairly low cost.

Developing Technology Standards to Support Privacy Regulations of the Future

Advertising has played a vital role in the Internet’s mass adoption. But, as the industry evolved, consumer privacy took a back seat. Today’s technologies provide an opportunity to rebuild the digital advertising infrastructure to benefit publishers, brands, and consumers — and build in privacy, from the ground up.

Advertising has played a vital role in the internet’s mass adoption, but as the industry evolved, consumer privacy took a back seat.

Consumer privacy became a national conversation after Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm used by the Trump campaign, was able to obtain raw data harvested from up to 87 million Facebook profiles and use it to segment and target users in ways that critics argue amounts to voter manipulation.

Since then, congressional committees and governmental agencies have expanded investigations into Facebook, Google, and other ad tech industry players. GDPR came to the US in the form of CCPA, the California Consumer Privacy Act, a law designed to give consumers similar power over the data they generate online.

Our industry is now struggling to prove to both consumers and regulators that we can be trusted with their data, but there’s hope. Cutting-edge technologies provide an opportunity to rebuild the digital advertising infrastructure to benefit publishers, brands, and consumers — and build in privacy, from the ground up.

The First Step: Joining Forces

Cryptography and blockchain have already emerged as solutions for adding verification and validation layers that ensure accountability and efficiency in the media supply chain. But the only way to drive adoption of these forward-thinking solutions and solve for consumer privacy is by bringing together key stakeholders in the industry, educating them on the benefits and developing the technical standards that will create the change the industry needs.

“I knew blockchain paired with cryptography could deliver significant change to the advertising industry,” says Adam Helfgott, CEO of MadHive and founding member of AdLedger. “I also knew it would take a concerted effort to drive adoption across such a broad landscape of stakeholders.”

Uniting brands, agencies, publishers, and technology vendors provides an open forum for collaboration, allowing the industry to express their concerns and tackle the issues head on. Advertising industry leaders like Meredith, Hershey, IPG, Publicis, and GroupM are forming working groups that release findings for broader industry education, while companies like Omnicom, MadHive, and Beachfront are already engaging in proof-of-concept projects to tackle issues like fraud, brand safety, and transparency.

So, it begs the question: Why not leverage these technologies for privacy as well?

The Privacy Solution = Privacy-by-Design

Cryptography is already being used to keep consumer data safe, at-scale, in an industry adjacent to advertising: e-commerce. Every time you buy something on your favorite website and the little green lock pops up in your browser as you type in your credit card information, cryptography is being used to protect that sensitive information.

But cryptography’s potential runs much deeper than this single application. It can provide mathematical proof for things like data provenance, while simultaneously ensuring regulatory compliance. This gives publishers the ability to secure their first-party data and thereby control access to their most precious resource – their audience. For advertisers, this immutable chain of custody and identity validation of supply-chain participants creates a brand-safe environment in which customers are reached with the right message at the right time.

The best part? Cryptography and blockchain can be baked into the underlying digital advertising infrastructure, which will automate this entire process and create a system with privacy-by-design. But the only way to integrate these technologies and drive mainstream adoption is through the unification, education, and collaboration of key industry stakeholders.

Long-term fixes take time, but the value prop for publishers and advertisers is evident. And maybe the GDPR and CCPA regulations are the push the industry needs to join forces and work toward a long-term solution.

8 Ways to Increase Digital Ad Revenue by 50% or More

Companies need to take a serious look at their digital ad programs, make needed adjustments, and prepare sales teams for success. From fixing inventory and pricing to launching programmatic audience extension, here are eight tactics worth considering.

I recently received a fantastic email from a single title B2B publication that I work with: “As of today, we are on track for $452,380 in digital revenue alone. This is a 66% increase over last year’s digital revenues of $271,798!”

How did they do it?

We took a serious look at how the team was approaching digital ad sales, removed programs that weren’t working, reworked their products, delivered more value to their advertisers, and simplified the program. The publisher, editorial, and sales staff got behind the changes and their advertisers obviously responded positively.

Now they’re getting ready to launch some new digital products for next year.

With the fall sales season coming up quickly, now is also the time for you to take a serious look at your digital ad programs, make needed adjustments, and get your staff ready. Here are eight tactics that you should consider.

1. Simplify Your Digital Advertising Program

When I look at most publishers’ digital ad programs, they’re too complicated and have too many products. Ask your ad reps to give you a quick recap of your digital program. If they can’t quickly and easily do this, then you’ve got a problem.

A good rule of thumb is that if you’re not selling out any specific product 70% of the time, you should consider eliminating it. Use that inventory to bolster the value of other digital products. Or get rid of it altogether to reduce site clutter and the number of emails you send – and to improve the performance and value of your other products.

Simplification of your digital products is the best way to help your ad reps sell more and to deliver more value to advertisers, making them want to buy from you again and again.

2. Fix Your Inventory and Pricing

When your advertising program is simple, you can ensure that each product has enough inventory to provide excellent value to your advertiser. This is absolutely critical. If you don’t provide true value, you may sell an advertiser once, but you won’t sell them again.

And when you put enough value into each digital product, you can then adjust your rates accordingly. If you do it right, your base digital ad product should roughly sell for the same price as a full-page ad in your print magazine and deliver comparable value.

Adjusting inventory and pricing also allows you to control supply and demand. If you have too many products that aren’t selling out, there is no urgency on the part of the advertiser. But if you consolidate and simplify your products, you can charge more, deliver more value, and create urgency among advertisers to get access to your limited opportunities.

3. Get Rid of the Frequency Rate Card

Frequency rate cards are a legacy of the print-only era. They were designed to give advertisers a discount if they spent more money with you. But today, we sell print and digital (and more). All the frequency rate card does is silo print and disincentivize advertisers from buying digital.

Consider ditching the rate card and replace it with an overall spend discount. Have a base, 1x rate for everything print and digital. Then, give tiered discounts based upon total advertiser spend instead of just on the number of print ads they buy.

This incents advertisers to spend more money with you regardless of the medium.

4. Consider the Digital Sponsorship Model

I’ve covered the digital sponsorship model before, but it’s worth reiterating here. In the sponsorship model, you take all (or most) of your web and email inventory, package it together in a single price, and limit the number of sponsorships you sell.

You bring a ton of value to your advertisers, can charge a premium, and completely change the nature of discussions with advertisers and agencies. Instead of you competing for limited ad budgets, your advertisers compete for the limited sponsorship opportunities on your site.

It isn’t for everyone, but I’ve seen many publishers (especially in niche B2B markets) increase digital revenue by 50-200% after implementing this model.

5. Develop an Inbound Marketing / Lead Nurturing Business

Lead generation is something that most publishers already have in their arsenal. But very few publishers take it to the next level and develop a true inbound marketing/lead nurturing business. Yet this is where advertisers are moving their budgets.

In a lead nurturing business, the publisher leverages its content expertise to help the advertiser develop a very compelling lead magnet. They use their own website, email, and social channels to market the lead magnet, but also remarket to their audience on programmatic networks (LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, etc) to drive even more people to the lead magnet.

And you don’t stop after the initial registration. You then upsell people into requesting direct contact with the advertiser through an email drip sequence and other methods. This help turns “prospects” who access the lead magnet into qualified, sales-ready leads … a huge difference!

As a publisher, you either become the best inbound agency in your market or be prepared to watch other ad agencies or competitive publications take market share away from you.

6. Launch Programmatic Audience Extension

Your advertisers are already running programmatic advertising on Google/YouTube, Facebook/Instagram, LinkedIn, and other networks. They’re just not doing it with you. But with programmatic audience extension advertising, you can position yourself to recapture a good portion of this business.

The concept is relatively simple. Use your website visitors, social media followers, and email subscribers to create remarketing audiences on various programmatic networks. You then sell programmatic campaigns to your audience targeting your specific audience on those networks.

For advertisers, this is a much more targeted demographic than they could otherwise get. They also get the added benefit of leveraging your brand equity.

For publishers, this taps into new budgets and opens up new inventory that you don’t have on your own website. I have seen programmatic audience extension add hundreds of thousands of dollars of new revenue for publishers, often at 70% margins or higher.

7. Educate and Communicate with Your Advertisers

As I’ve written about previously, it’s critical that you align the advertiser’s objective, creative, and success metrics before, during, and after their campaign. Doing this on a regular basis helps set proper expectations and improve repeat business.

I often see advertisers who want clicks or leads but give the publisher a branding creative. They’re then upset when they don’t get enough clicks. Or the advertiser will say they want a branding objective but are still upset about not getting enough clicks.

As a publisher, you must align the client’s campaign objective, the tactics used in their creative, and the metrics they’ll use to evaluate the campaign. This happens at three critical points: when making the sale, when they deliver ad creative to you, and after the campaign.

Some publishers even do a webinar for their advertisers to help reinforce the importance of direct response versus branding campaigns and aligning campaign objective, creative, and success criteria.

8. Keep Digital in Front of Your Sellers Regularly

Finally, keep your digital products in front of your sellers on a regular basis. Every month dedicate a portion of one of your sales team meetings to review how well products are selling and inventory that is still open.

Talk openly about financial performance and key metrics. Discuss what’s working, what’s not, and what you’re hearing from your advertisers. This helps answer several questions:

  • Do my sellers need more training on certain aspects of our digital business?
  • Do I need to better educate my advertisers and their agencies?
  • Do I need to eliminate or modify our digital deliverables or pricing?
  • Do I need to restructure my sales team to better sell under-performing products?
  • How can I help my sellers better overcome advertiser objections?

Talking about digital sales openly and bluntly also keeps digital at the forefront of your sales team’s mind. It’s a level of accountability and keeps your digital products from accidentally “falling off the radar.”

I hope these ideas were useful. If you have any questions about them or how to implement them in your market, please feel free to contact me and let’s chat about your specific situation.

The 5 Reasons Why Out-of-Home Advertising Works

Out-of-home advertising is surpassing other forms of traditional advertising. People spend a large majority of their time outside of their homes and OOH is one form of marketing that people can’t avoid. Using outdoor campaigns to target audiences ensures brands are in the right places at the right times.

It’s no surprise that people spend a lot of their time on-the-go. On average, most of us spend nearly three-quarters of our time outside of our homes each day. As we spend increasingly more time out of the home, we spend less time in front of a television screen and less time listening to the radio.

Based on this rapidly changing environment, brands and agencies recognize that outdoor advertising is always on a steady upswing as one of the fastest-growing media formats out there. It is continually evolving and growing to show clients that out-of-home advertising is better than other forms of marketing.

1. Impactful Advertising

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising has a lasting and large impact for a brand on its consumers. It has grown to be a more than $6 billion market, and people take notice of these massive static and digital displays.

The impact of a targeted billboard or wallscape on a busy thoroughfare cannot be ignored. This is unlike a television or radio commercial, where you can easily change the channel.

When an advertiser wants to create an impact, they need to go where the people are. Which is outside of their home and where they are in a place to purchase.

2. Creativity

Out-of-home advertising is a tried-and-true way to test your creative idea to ensure it has a clear and long-lasting strategy. It is the “happy place” for creativity in advertising. Original OOH content provides a lasting impression and leaves a mark on our memories in an ever-changing climate.

With technology on the rise, and the constant need for newer, faster, better products, both OOH and Digital OOH provide endless possibilities to utilize creativity in the advertising space.

3. Location

Out-of-home advertising utilizes location to target audiences more so than any other form of advertising. A company can use geolocation when deciding where to place its ad to reach the right audience at the right time.

This also allows companies to have a quick understanding of the impact of their billboards. Thanks to the immediate collection of data, companies can know not only how many people were exposed to their ads, but how many people walked into a nearby store and purchased their product because of it.

4. Time-Specific Advertising

You no longer have to wait days or weeks to purchase OOH. Companies are now able to purchase digital OOH within minutes, and the decreased cost of LED means there is plenty of digital space readily available.

This also means companies can purchase time-specific advertisements. For example, McDonald’s has a weekly ad in Liverpool that plays off of the weather, with rain being communicated as fries pouring down and snow as a vanilla ice cream cone.

5. Interactive Messages

Companies can also use interactive messages to get the most out of a campaign. For instance, if a person passes a Starbucks billboard they will get a notification on their cell phone letting them know their favorite drink is half off at the nearest location.

With this being said, mobile phones and OOH should no longer be thought of as separate. When combined, they are a powerful tool.

Why Billboards Are Playing a Big Part in Digital Marketing

From Sunset Boulevard in L.A. to London here in the U.K.; the traditional billboard is experiencing a resurgence in popularity with advertisers, marketers and consumers. The billboard might be the descendant of one the oldest forms of human advertising, but the format is embracing its new role in a digital age.

It recently came to my attention that from Sunset Boulevard in L.A. to London here in the U.K.; the traditional billboard is experiencing a resurgence in popularity with advertisers, marketers and consumers. The billboard might be the descendant of one the oldest forms of human advertising, but the format is embracing its new role in a digital age.

Outdoor advertising is proving to be the perfect partner for social, and a company called Dash Two have carved out a niche as experts in both the physical and digital realms of advertising. As social media platforms tweak their algorithms and users arm their pop up blockers, many brands are finding that nobody is seeing their ads.

When I asked Dash Two founder and CEO, Gino Sesto why we are seeing this advertising evolving in this way, he advised “Outdoor advertising is a big thing because it’s tangible. Digital is intangible. With a social media post, you might see it or you might not. It comes and goes.”

The arrival of social media and its culture of artfully curated vanity has created a wealth of opportunities for billboards as brands search for new ways to bring outdoor advertising and digital together. Sure, many of us are permanently face down looking at the screens of our smartphones, to think about looking up at a soulless billboard that contains a stock photo image and slogan. But, this is why marketers need to get more creative.

A great example was the build-up to Lady Gaga’s performance at the Coachella Festival. The team at Dash Two found a local liquor store that was close to the event. They approached the owner and asked if they could put a big mural on their store with the promise that they would put the store on the map and drive Lady Gaga fans directly to their store.

When Coachella, started Lady Gaga posted on her Instagram and Twitter directing her fans to visit the liquor store and take a picture in front of the mural to get a free t-shirt. Gaga didn’t have to ask people to share it socially, her fans rushed to the area to capture the perfect Instagram moment and bragging rights that they were there.

Hundreds of people lined up to grab their picture and the images were shared thousands of times online. As for the store owner, he kept the mural up for a year after the festival as it continued to organically grow and put their store on the map.

Outdoor advertising is completely tangible, you can see it, touch it, take photos of it and share it online. An increasing number of artists and brands are turning their back on traditional ads and creating a destination and an experience. There is no one size fits all approach, but against the odds, physical ads coupled with digital media are proving to be the perfect partnership.

There are many other examples, where even online companies such as Netflix are combining the best of both worlds to deliver their message. In a digital mobile-first world, it seems that one of the oldest forms of media can teach the new kid on the block a thing or two about capturing the attention of consumers both offline and online.

Do you have any examples of how digital and physical marketing can compliment each other and create shareable Instagrammable experiences or moments?

Do You Police Your Brand’s Ad Content?

As a long-term Words With Friends user (both paid and unpaid), I was stunned by an ad that was presented to me recently. The headline “Want a Girlfriend?” showed me pictures of scantily-clad girls who were CLEARLY under age. The call to action was a huge arrow with the word “FREE” and the copy read “Start Chatting [SIC] Now!” I was so surprised and appalled that I actually did click, because I wanted to know who the advertiser was behind this message.

Native AdvertisingAs a long-term Words With Friends user (both paid and unpaid), I was stunned by an ad that was presented to me recently. The headline “Want a Girlfriend?” showed me pictures of scantily-clad girls who were CLEARLY under age. The call to action was a huge arrow with the word “FREE” and the copy read “Start Chating [SIC] Now!”

I was so surprised and appalled that I actually did click, because I wanted to know who the advertiser was behind this message. When I did, the next screen contained a warning that “this site may contain pictures of someone you know” and that I had to be at least 21 years old.

The advertiser appeared to be “best-daily-apps.com.”

Typically, the ads presented to me on WWF include brands like Ford or Toyota, or even other games, so I was truly stunned that Zynga had even agreed to allow this type of ad to appear — and immediately assumed that someone had fallen asleep in the sales department.

So, I went on LinkedIn, identified the Zynga CMO and sent her an InMail message questioning her on how this advertiser might reflect poorly on the Zynga brand, and inviting her to engage in a dialogue. Needless to say, she did not respond.

When I first started in the advertising business, there were rules as to what you could and couldn’t say in an ad — whether it was on TV, radio or in print. Those censors still exist today — as witnessed by the recent Lane Bryant spots that were deemed unsuitable for national networks ABC and NBC. It seems that partially-clad bodies of heavy-set women are inappropriate while next-to-nude Victoria’s Secret models are just fine.

Our agency was recently challenged by Pandora on a radio spot we created for a local client. In it, an elderly grandma-type used foul language that was intentionally bleeped, so as to suggest the more colorful word, but even those bleeps were too much for the Pandora censor.

But who is policing games (from a publicly-held company, no less) or other online applications? In a marketplace that relies so heavily on advertising revenue, is there no limit on what’s acceptable? Have brands become so desperate for sales that anything goes?

Call me old, but I can no longer look at many of the online “news” sites because the digital advertising is often so prolific that I can’t read a complete reading article without getting a headache from all the advertising distractions. Call me a prude, but I don’t think Zynga should accept ads from questionable marketers like this one.

Or have brands lost their moral compass as they desperately attempt to reach their revenue goals?

I don’t know about you, but this experience with WWF has left me with a negative impression of the Zynga brand. At the very least, I question the wisdom of the Harvard grad who sits at the top of the marketing food chain.

The Digital Mystique: All Smoke and Mirrors?

While it may be true that US adults spend 47 percent of their time interacting with digital (online, mobile or otherwise), that doesn’t mean that marketers will be seeing their investment in digital pay off in the long run.

While it may be true that US adults spend 47 percent of their time interacting with digital (online, mobile or otherwise), that doesn’t mean that marketers will be seeing their investment in digital pay off in the long run.

A recent New York Times article quoted Jon Swallen, the chief research officer at Kantar Media North America who stated “the cost efficiencies of digital advertising enable many marketers to buy more for less.” And while that’s probably true, it doesn’t come close to telling the real story.

As many new startups are learning, digital spend may yield lots of clicks, but very few new customers. The web is besieged by advertisers, so much so that I have started to close out of sites that interrupt my reading with pop-ups, sidebars that occupy a more prominent size than the content I’m trying to read, or other distractions including social media sharing tools.

Of course digital ads can reach millions of eyeballs quickly, but God forbid you click on one as you already know what will happen next:

  • Retargeting efforts mean you’ll be repeatedly seeing that product over and over again on every site you visit (I actually tried to email the marketing director of Signature Hardware to tell him to stop stalking me as I already made the purchase!)
  • Every time I conduct a search, the same results keep popping up for the company/product I explored via an ad click through, but rejected (perhaps they think frequency messaging will help me change my mind?)

This week I was researching a client’s industry to find information that would support a whitepaper we were writing and I discovered half a dozen sites I’ve now noted to avoid at all costs. These sites were chock full of ads in all shapes, forms and colors. In between paragraphs of copy, there would be some random headline that was a link to a product landing page. I literally couldn’t absorb the content it was all so distracting.

In the last 2 months, I’ve received calls from several fairly new startups who wanted to discuss their direct mail options. Yep—that old “tried and true” medium is coming back in vogue. Why?

As one CEO put it, “Our board no longer has the patience for our slow pace of growth because we’ve tied our marketing investment to the digital advertising landscape. We get lots of clicks, but very few buyers.”

And that, in a nutshell, is the problem.

Like many who have been involved in direct marketing since the dark ages, we no longer need to test to know the following statement is true: Mass media vehicles (like digital) tend to drive a high volume of leads, but they’re of low quality (they don’t convert); Targeted media (like direct mail) drives a low volume of leads but they’re of high quality (and therefore more likely to purchase).

If your strategic plan is to create a sales funnel that drives both high volume and requires high conversion to sale, you need a combination of media to accomplish that task cost efficiently. It’s already been proven that no single medium can deliver on that promise.

Because if it were that easy—and digital was the Holy Grail—then wouldn’t everyone be doing it? Oh wait… they already are. They just forgot the annoyance factor.

Mobile’s Impact on the Consumer Path to Purchase

One in three ad dollars will go to digital advertising next year, meaning digital media spending will be almost equal to television spending. Digital strategies will help drive the U.S. advertising market to $172 billion in 2015, according to new research from Magna Global. This—in combination with mobile and social networking—will push digital to the forefront

One in three ad dollars will go to digital advertising next year, meaning digital media spending will be almost equal to television spending. Digital strategies will help drive the U.S. advertising market to $172 billion in 2015, according to new research from Magna Global. Additional research shows that digital advertising will overtake television advertising by 2017, due in large part to the growing popularity of online video, with sites like YouTube and Netflix. This—in combination with mobile and social networking—will push digital to the forefront.

A digital strategy is no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have for retailers and brands. If you don’t believe that, then you need to take a hard look at the following data points:

  • Mobile devices lead to in-store purchases. 52 percent of U.S. shoppers have used a mobile device to research products while browsing in a store.
  • Tablets are the cornerstone of online shopping. Tablets are expected to bring in $76 billion in online sales, two times that of mobile devices.
  • Digital content and mobile devices go hand in hand. According to eMarketer, U.S. adults will spend 23 percent of their time consuming media on a mobile device this year.
  • Mobile advertising is at its tipping point. Ad spend is expected to hit $31.45 billion this year. By 2018, it will top $94 billion.

How Do You Get There From Here?
Effective digital strategies take a cross-channel approach that integrates the various mobile channels, such as SMS, app, Web and social.

Value comes behind the scenes, as brands can learn useful information from mobile interactions. For example, customers reveal their operating system when they download an app or open their Web browser. Smart marketers collate such data points into one centralized customer profile—an ideal asset to maximize personalization for mobile.

Companies just getting started with cross-channel mobile marketing should focus on small wins. True cross-channel takes time and iteration, so commit to integrating what makes sense in the short, medium and long terms instead of trying to do everything simultaneously. Below you will find some key areas to consider when building out a mobile strategy:

1. Tablets, Smartphones and Watches, Oh My!
It will be vital for brands to take different form factors into account as they roll out their mobile campaigns. Mobile campaigns can quickly be compromised if brands don’t think about the impact on visuals and the call to action across various screen sizes.

2. The Mobile Marketing Tipping Point
Mobile marketing is evolving as more than just a tactic and is being embraced as a core part of the marketing strategy. With the goals being relatively the same as traditional marketing, marketers will be able to attract, engage and retain new and existing customers. Marketers will be able to target their audiences through highly relevant content based on location, interests and interactions throughout the mobile lifecycle.

3. Deliver a Seamless Experience From Discovery to Purchase
Brands have to make a conscious effort to remove the silos across organizations to be successful at mobile marketing. The goal of marketers should be to collaborate across initiatives by taking in to account different screen sizes, channels, design and messages to deliver ONE consistent experience to consumers.

4. Connecting the Dots Across all of the Consumer Lifecycle
As digital becomes a more integral part of the marketing strategy it will be vitally important to understand how mobile campaigns are performing across the entire customer lifecycle—including mobile ads and messaging, QR Codes, mobile website, branded apps and social media. With these insights, marketers will be able to optimize their campaigns to better understand the triggers that lead consumers down the path-to-purchase.

People everywhere are becoming more reliant on mobile devices and mobile websites to provide them with instant access to product information, deals and the opportunity to purchase in an easy, straightforward manner. Brands have to make it easy for their customers to navigate mobile sites and quickly decide to purchase, regardless of what device they are on.