Why Brands Should Stop Mobile Advertising (Until You Ask Yourself 4 Questions)

Mobile devices are the most personal of all channels advertisers have at their disposal, as  consumers carry them at all times. A recent analysis by Tomi Ahonen found that users check their phones 150 times… per day. These devices are in the purses and pockets of customers as they carry on through all aspects of their lives. They can provide a true window into who a person is, and more importantly, what kind of consumer they are.

In the not-so-distant past, mobile advertisers looking to target consumers were dazzled with the “reach” mobile provides, without considering who specifically they were communicating with. While this metric works for traditional forms of advertising, on mobile, brands must take into account who a person is, as well as their current context and intent if they want to deliver the most effective advertisement.

What mobile advertisers are coming to realize is that data-driven insights is the new competitive edge, and frankly, if they’re not seeking platforms that provide such value it’s not worth their time,energy and money.



There are four key questions that advertisers need to ask before they advertise on the mobile channel:

  • Is it in the right context? Advertising must be delivered when it is contextually-relevant to the customer. Location, of course, is one of the primary ingredients that drives a contextually relevant experience today, but situation-awareness can and needs to go much further than latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates. The most effective advertising should also take into account the secondary location data available, such as weather or traffic conditions, to deliver ads that are more relevant.

  • Does it align with my customer’s profile? The trove of real-time customer profile data that exists, like spending and mobile behavior data, combines to create an incredibly dynamic customer calling card. This active and always-changing profile needs to be tapped to deliver true relevance. Advertising needs to target on an individual level based on who a customer is and what they do.

  • Does is relate to the customer’s intent? The always-on customer is constantly accessing their phone for something – be it engaging with entertainment and news content, finding a local business, connecting with friends, or purchasing. Through data, today’s mobile ad can take into consideration purchasing patterns and social routines, allowing it to predict customer intent.

  • What is the potential impact on social? Marketing, particularly with deals and offers, should be based on how influential a customer and his/her social circle is. Advertisers also need to consider whether a consumer refers brands, events, products, etc. via social media — the new and highly effective “word of mouth” marketing — as those that do, are much more valuable.

Advertising on mobile will be the most effective of any other channel. The brands that embrace the features that make mobile so unique are the ones that will break through and capture the attention of their audience. When they do, mobile advertising will be nothing short of magic.


1 comment about "Why Brands Should Stop Mobile Advertising (Until You Ask Yourself 4 Questions) ".
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  1. Anni Paul from BoscoSystems, May 28, 2013 at 11:43 p.m.

    If I can add a fifth question: What (if any) analytics tools and resources are at your disposal to gauge ROI? That's more of a question for your ad network, perhaps, but it's one that MUST be answered. There has been some progress on this front (Airpush and Millennial Media are great examples) but, for most, analytics capabilities suck!

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