Mobile Advertising Strategy: 3 Things to Keep in Mind


By David Aaron, VP of Sales, Gamut via Strictly Marketing Magazine

For years, mobile was considered the next big thing in advertising. Today, marketers can fully take advantage of this platform, with consumers spending more and more time on their mobile devices. And it shows no signs of slowing down. For that reason, it has been a prime destination for brands looking to engage with consumers. Marketers want to reach consumers, and consumers are spending more and more time on mobile devices.

We know that engaging audiences on mobile works, simply because it has the audience. But a mobile campaign’s success is all contingent on strategy. When it comes to mobile, a platform that encompasses a range of tools, capabilities and options, strategy plays an even more critical role. Marketers looking to leverage mobile must weave strategy as much into campaign development as they do into execution. Mobile campaigns should focus on three key points, which can help make or break a campaign’s success:


As a platform, mobile inherently offers marketers unique targeting opportunities. As the name suggests, the device is mobile, and thus travels with consumers wherever they go. Unlike other platforms, like TV, for example, mobile does not require consumers to be in a particular location (like their living room) for engagement. Instead, marketers can reach consumers based on location, which is an incredibly powerful tool.

Mobile offers a plethora of targeting tactics to choose from, and marketers must make strategic use of these tactics from the get-go. How one targets a consumer should also inform ad creative, format and spend. Hyper local, proximity-based targeting allows marketers to target consumers based on a precise location. For brick and mortar operations, this ability can prove quite beneficial. A local retail store, for example, can target consumers who have recently been in or within one mile of their store on their mobile phone with an incentive or a coupon. This allows the company to engage with consumers in the vicinity, and increase the odds of foot traffic in the store.

Multi-location and multi-creative targeting by proximity is also available via mobile devices. This allows marketers to serve consumers unique creative depending on the proximity to specific locations. Like the retail store example used earlier, this tactic is also a great option for a multitude of verticals. Brands can leverage this tool to send sequential messaging that speaks to the end consumer more intimately, creating more meaningful engagement.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Like any marketing campaign, return on investment should play a critical role in a mobile strategy. Today, marketers have a range of tools available that can help boost or increase ROI on any mobile campaign they initiate. The options, though vast, each serve a specific purpose, and should be leveraged strategically to generate the best outcome.

Attribution measurement, simply measures whether an action is a result of a marketing effort. This metric allows marketers to better evaluate ROI of a specific campaign, and can be particularly useful in a mobile setting.

For example, mobile advertising provides the ability to track ad exposure to in-store visitation. This is quite unique to mobile, and can provide incredibly powerful insight if set-up correctly. If an advertiser has sales estimation data (average spend of a visitor as an example), a store visitation lift study could be conducted to track ROI. This provides a better understanding of the lift impact of an individual exposed to the ad versus a control group not exposed.

While tracking ROI on mobile in-app still remains a challenge, marketers have a set of tools to choose from when it comes to mobile site advertising. Secondary action tracking, click to call, navigation requests, form fill and coupons are all viable options for tracking ROI metrics. There is a time and place for each, though, and marketers must take that into consideration when choosing the tool they want to integrate with a particular campaign.


Mobile as a platform supports a range of ad formats, from in-app to mobile site banner ads, the options are quite endless. Not be overlooked, though, is mobile video, a content format that is gaining more and more traction with consumers.

Mobile marketing’s awesome potential in 2017 is reinforced with reports like this one: research firm BIA/Kelsey predicts that U.S. mobile-ad spend will exceed $40 billion — and the industry can expect that number to pass $65 billion by 2020. Last year, mobile digital ad-spend fueled mobile-side growth on a path to outpace desktop ad-spend. Meanwhile,smartphones and tablet devices account for 51.3% of Internet use. By year’s end, 75% of online content consumption will be mobile, media buying agency Zenith forecast late last year.

The opportunities for consumer engagement via mobile premium video is limited, and one that should be considered when developing a mobile-based campaign. As the platform evolves, mobile video ads will become more interactive and include touch and vibration. Ad formats will evolve alongside, giving marketers the opportunity to create interactive brand engagements with a more personalized experience. Virtual Reality (VR), for example, will be a place where we see mobile responsive ad integration in the space.

Dynamic video technology will allow brands to have very personal interactions with consumers at scale but we are not there yet. Marketers who start integrating these future capabilities into their current ad strategies will be best positioned for success in the future. Ads will need to be created three-dimensionally, as opposed to today’s standard two-dimension, and that requires a new creative process. If a consumer can actually feel the lightweight formula of that make-up you’re trying to sell, how does that change the way you present it?

Mobile has provided consumers, and in turn brands, with a whole new way of engagement. As the mobile audience grows, and the advertisers who leverage the platform alongside it, the platform itself will continue to change to fit the needs of both consumers and the brands trying to reach them. Marketers looking to leverage this platform must focus on key areas in development and execution to reap the most benefit from any one campaign. When strategically conducted, marketers will find mobile a powerful and impactful platform to engage with consumers.