In Mobile, Timing Is Everything

Mobile marketers are fond of saying that they target “moments” as much as they do people and content. Mobility has broadened our traditional notions of media “context” to appreciate more fully the various modes of use, states of mind and moods in which a consumer is coming to consumption.

Of course this has always been the case for marketers, to one degree or another. Search marketing presumes that users are in an inquisitive research mode conducive to conversions. Even late-night TV fast-food advertising presupposes a viewer who can’t act on the call to action this second, but who is anticipating their breaking of the fast next day.

Mobility expands the range of moods and modes now addressable by advertisers, however, and gives us access to them to an unprecedented degree. Few marketers are fully using the opportunity as yet, but the early data suggests how much more granular our understanding of ad responsiveness and conversion behavior is because of devices.



For example, some new holiday metrics from mobile ad platform Medialets looked at mobile ads and conversions between Nov. 1 and Dec. 1 this year to determine how the holiday shopping mode impacted ad attentiveness and receptivity.

Retail purchases based on mobile ads skyrocketed on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In fact, mobile purchases based on ads were up 679% on Black Friday and up 157% on Cyber Monday. Clearly, receptivity to mobile ads was heightened when consumers were in the throes of, well, consumerism. They likely were able to compare prices and offers they were seeing in store with those they were encountering in the mobile ads.

Interestingly, the click-through on mobile ads peaked on the day before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, up 41% and 55% respectively over the average before the holiday. This suggests that advertising is especially effective on mobile platforms in the shopper planning stage, when consumers are actively gathering the data they need to make informed decisions on buy day. This is unsurprising. Still, it is notable how concentrated the behavior shift is right before shopping day. This may have implications outside of the holidays, for instance, when marketers consider the timing and frequency of campaigns right before a major point of decision.

Also unsurprising is that ad responsiveness varied by category. But just as interesting is that a number of unlikely categories also saw a bump in click-throughs and conversions. While retail led the way with a 679% increase in purchase conversions on Black Friday, auto saw its CTRs go up 75% in the holiday period. Consumers were in a receptive mode apparently for just about all advertising messages. The consumption mode itself was heightened.

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