Mobile devices have increasingly become the go-to resource for consumers looking to make a near-term buying decision. In fact, our recent xAd-Telmetrics Mobile Path to Purchase Study showed that more than 60 percent of mobile searchers ultimately make a purchase, many within hours or the same day.
Because mobile consumers are further along in the purchase cycle, they represent an enormous conversion opportunity. However, monetizing this ready-to-buy audience requires tailored mobile ad strategies that reflect distinct buyer motivations and behaviors across vertical categories and even devices.
Capitalizing On Mobile Conversion Opportunities
Current mobile ad spend recommendations are low — at a recent Mobile Marketing Association event, one ROI firm recommended that mobile comprise 7 percent of ad budgets in 2013 with growth to 10 percent by 2016.
Given the high-quality, ready-to-buy nature of the mobile consumer, this is not enough to fully capitalize on the opportunity. Some industries are ahead of the curve as mobile ad spending in the Automotive industry increased nearly 375 percent from Q2 2011 to Q2 2012; but, the majority of industries need to follow suit to realize the largely untapped mobile monetization possibilities.
Here are four tips marketers can apply to capitalize on mobile conversion opportunities:
1. Avoid One-Size-Fits-All Mobile Ad Strategies
Companies considering mobile advertising campaigns simply cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach, disregarding category-specific preferences. The key to effective mobile campaigns is to first understand your target audience’s mobile preferences and purchase intent, as well as purchase cycle timing, before deciding how and where to best engage them.
To answer to these questions, marketers must consider distinct mobile user profiles including varying demographics, purchase needs and behaviors. For example, mobile restaurant users are more inclined to visit a restaurant within hours after completing a search; whereas, mobile travel users are often more research-focused during the search process and therefore take longer to convert.
Even within categories, marketers cannot assume that a one-size-fits-all approach can be effective, as mobile motivations and behavior differences within vertical segments can vary greatly. For example, purchase motivations in the automotive category range from car shopping to immediate parts and service needs; so, purchase timing and motivations need to be analyzed and targeted accordingly.
Also, as most people conduct mobile searches on an as-needed basis, the occasional-use nature of this category means it is essential for marketers to proactively target mobile Auto users through categories that reach them more regularly, such as News, Personal Finance or Entertainment.
2. Consider Mobile Usage Nuances
Another important element is determining how your mobile customers interact with apps and mobile websites, as well as which types of properties they prefer to engage with throughout their path to purchase. Using the restaurant category as an example, most mobile users visit mobile multi-category review sites like Yelp, Urbanspoon and Zagat, but they spend approximately 75 percent of their time in applications. Marketers targeting this audience need to be sure that their brand can be found both in apps and on the top mobile websites.
Marketers should also consider that smartphone vs. tablet users engage in different purchase-related behaviors. Since mobile users tend to use tablets at home and rely on smartphones while on the go, smartphones largely serve as the “action” device when consumers are ready to find and contact a business, while tablets are more frequently being used to conduct research, find reviews and compare prices. As a result, marketers must tailor mobile ad strategies to reflect varying mobile engagement patterns and preferences.
3. Prioritize Local Relevancy To Meet Mobile User Needs
As two-thirds of consumers notice mobile ads, and one out of three will click the ad if it is related to their current search, marketers have a unique window to influence searchers with valuable mobile ad content. The opportunity to drive conversions becomes even stronger if you consider that only 35 percent of mobile users have a specific brand in mind when they start a search.
To make the most of this opening, marketers must consider the top reasons that mobile consumers engage with mobile ads – local relevancy, local offers and brand recognition. These factors are critical as most consumers turn to their mobile devices to connect with a business before making a final purchase decision.
Depending on the category, up to 84 percent of mobile consumers look up a business location, maps or driving directions, and up to 73 percent look for and/or use phone numbers to contact businesses. As such, marketers must include easy-to-find location information within mobile ads, such as a local phone number and driving directions, to push these high quality, ready-to-buy consumers toward a final purchase.
4. Measure And Monetize Mobile Ad Spend
To justify an increase in mobile ad spend, marketers need to prove the success and value of their current mobile ad campaigns. This means incorporating metrics beyond the initial click to gain greater visibility into consumer response, such as tracking the number and duration of phone calls, reservations, and map or directions views.
Marketers can then use this response information to adjust future campaigns to better align with their mobile customers’ needs and demonstrate the need for higher mobile ad budgets.
The key in monetizing this ready-to-buy mobile audience is executing targeted mobile ad strategies that incorporate category-specific mobile purchase motivations and mobile device engagement patterns.
By truly understanding what drives mobile users’ purchase decisions — across and within different categories — marketers can proactively reach this largely untapped audience at the right stage of their path to purchase through relevant ads that help increase overall mobile conversions.
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