Commentary

Look For Contextual Signals To Implement 'Moment Marketing'

Speaking at an invitation-only event last week for mobile data exchange adsquare, Forrester analyst Melissa Parrish referred to something called “moment marketing." That's a buzz phrase creeping into the popular lexicon of marketing.

And what did she mean by it? Moment marketing is when a consumer turns to a mobile phone to get information or take an action in the moment, in real time. Seems simple enough. 

Parrish said moment marketing isn’t just about what the person needs or her intention. It goes further, to analyze who the person is and what he or she needs in exactly “that” moment. This can all be accomplished in real time with the right kind of mobile and location targeting.

For Parrish, moment marketing is a brand or store getting in front of someone at the exact time when they need something. “Mobile moments don’t just take place in a mobile context,” Parrish said. And, she noted that today there are some 30 billion mobile moments and they’re not all on mobile.

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"Identifying the right context is crucial with moment marketing. A consumer might be looking to book or change a reservation, request an upgrade, or check in for a flight or hotel—all that stuff is handled in the moment. Marketers can anticipate consumers’ needs."  Audience data, purchase data, behavior, location, and events—they all become fodder for moment marketing.

“We tell our clients to think about contextual signals very early in the campaign planning process,” Parrish said.  Plus, contextual signals help publishers develop ad projects. And they’re using data to target a full-screen ad, but it happens after a consumer initiates. There can be interstitial experiences as well, and the ad is non-interruptive.

Parrish stressed that contextual experiences don’t have to be complex. She offered an example from Red Roof Inn. The hotel chain bought targeted keyword searches,  applied a context and saw conversion rates increase by 375%,, bookings by 60%, and share of voice by 650%. This was achieved by applying rather low-tech contextual filters.

Parrish said many groups including the Coalition For Better Ads, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, and the Mobile Marketing Association are working on improved ad standards. The industry has to rid itself of  “crappy ad experiences” and grow in sophistication in the use of data. “You might deliver fewer ads, but you’re no longer in a race to the bottom. You’re spending money in the right way for the right audience,” Parrish said.

In the future, she sees mobile becoming the person, not the device: “The device won’t matter—it matters how we move through this world.  You might have a virtual try-on at a retailer, or mobile out-of-home. Sensors see cars and can generate targeted messages for drivers.”

Parrish believes there’s an infinite number of mobile moments and they’ll shrink to “micro moments” that are fractions of seconds.  She envisions a world in which shows will download for consumers without anyone asking with Alexa, Siri, or Google Now. You can ask Alexa to order a pizza, but at some point it will be ordered for you based on you previous purchase history. Data will facilitate interactions that are intermediated by devices. These developments, Parrish suggest, will represent a major change in how marketers market.

Parrish ended with important data points: Mobile now makes up 84% of Facebook’s ad revenue and, by 2021, Forrester projects that brands will spend $120 billion on digital media, and 65% of that will go to ads delivered on mobile devices. Contextualizing data will be the only way to break through the noise.

2 comments about "Look For Contextual Signals To Implement 'Moment Marketing'".
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  1. Craig Mcdaniel from Sweepstakes Today LLC, February 20, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.

    Toby, I have run over 60,000 pure contextual sweepstakes ads over 14 years. They work better than any banner by the wide margins in your story. Many of the big Fortunes who I work with understand what is going on.  However there are many in the industry who doesn't want change or expansion of contextual because of the lose of ad dollars.

    I talked with a Google business developer over 10 years ago about setting up an ad network for contextual sweeepstakes and it was turned down.  The problem is Google wanted control of the ad market then and now. 

    For "Billions" of dollars, would you give up the control? I don't think so.

  2. Craig Gooding from Vibrant Media, February 21, 2017 at 4:45 a.m.

    We recognised a long time ago that simply using audience targeting when buying ads isn’t enough to connect with consumers.  The consumer must be the right fit for the product at the right time and in the right environment. It’s like taking a shower and somebody offering you deals on insurance, flights or shampoo. All of the offers are right for that user but only one is contextually relevant and right in the moment. Effective targeting using data is good, but the ads must be contextually relevant to the environment to work at their best. We're now enabling brands to take both the right audience and the right context into account in their ad campaigns. However, the industry needs to put more work into compositing data from brands, publishers, behavioural targeting companies, search string data, and the user’s precise and favourite mobile device location data. 

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