Mobile Advertising: Let Your Customer Be Your Guide

Mobile Advertising: Let Your Customer Be Your Guide

Mobile

Mobile is a shining star of performance marketing. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), for the first time, mobile ads account for the majority of digital ad spend. The IAB 2016 Internet Advertising Revenue report says that mobile ad revenues increased 77 percent to $36.6 billion in 2016, or 51 percent of total digital ad spend. Desktop search, the next biggest category, accounted for 24 percent of the total.

The IAB also says that the $36.6 billion spent on mobile ads included $17.2 billion for mobile search and $18.1 billion for mobile display.

I’m not surprised by the growth in mobile ad revenue. The ad spend reflects changing consumer behavior and the power of major publishers such as Google. The number of mobile searches on Google surpassed desktop searches two years ago. And Google has been changing its algorithms to force brands to respect the power of mobile. For instance, Google’s 2015 “mobilegeddon” algorithm rewarded mobile-friendly web pages with higher rankings for searches done on Google.

And yet, as important as mobile has become, mobile is still a contextual experience. To me, the real excitement and long-lasting value for advertisers comes from creating meaningful online advertising that appeals to omnichannel consumers.

Omnichannel consumers interact with brands through a variety of devices and channels, including social media, your website, display ads on other sites, and search results – on mobile phones, desktops, tablets, in games, on television, and through voice-activated assistants, to cite just a few of the proliferating channels and devices that shape the consumer-brand experience.

You get a better picture of how complex the advertising landscape really is when you dig into the IAB report and sift through the variety of ad formats that account for digital spend. (The report’s appendix alone, which details the pricing models and ad formats, is instructive.)

It’s important that businesses understand the nuances of advertising through different channels and devices. For instance, Tim Colucci at KeywordFirst has been blogging lately about the distinct challenges and opportunities of video advertising. (Here is an example.) At the same time, I believe it’s more important to coordinate mobile in context of the understanding your consumers’ journeys from awareness to purchase to loyalty. Yes, mobile advertising is probably going to be important to just about any brand, but how and when you spend on mobile advertising may differ dramatically by channel (e.g., Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram) and device depending factors such as what stage a customer is in the buying decision and the time of day they’re interacting with your brand.

So let’s celebrate and appreciate the rise of mobile ad spending. But even more importantly, let’s keep our focus on the broader consumer journey and invest into experiences that create and retain customer relationships throughout the journey, one impression, channel, and device at a time.

Image source: Startup Stock Photos

Nuts & Bolts: Why Mobile is Important to Your Paid Search Strategy

Analytics Mobile Nuts & Bolts

In this installment of the “Nuts & Bolts” series, which digs into the nitty gritty of paid search, I want to share with you some valuable findings on the importance of mobile in your paid search strategy.

In a PPC Workshop I presented recently, I outlined five ways analytics makes paid search campaigns better. Further, I recapped the three-part series on mobile search that explained the driving forces behind the explosion of mobile search (and why it will continue to increase), what this means to marketers, and how this affects your paid search strategy.

Links for further reading and learning occur throughout the slides. And if you would like to share the workshop, we’ve posted to SlideShare for your convenience. Just click on the LinkedIn button or the file’s title to be immediately signed into the SlideShare site.

A Year of Analytics, Mobility and Video

Analytics Mobile Nuts & Bolts Video

As we prepare to say farewell to 2015, we’d like to use this final FirstWord post of the year to say thanks to all the editors who published our articles. We focused on three major themes during the last 12 months – Analytics, Mobility and Video – and some of the finest digital marketing publications on the web were gracious enough to share our work.

Here are five of our favorites:

Why Digital Marketing Analytics Is Important for Retail Sales” – a video interview with Eric Vidal, editor of The Marketing Scope

TargetMarketingHow to Use Analytics to Improve the Performance of Your Digital Marketing Campaigns” – from the Measurement & Metrics section of Target Marketing

MarketingProfsFive Ways Google Analytics Turns You Into the Sherlock of Paid Search” – a column in MarketingProfs

Before Shooting for Video Marketing Success, Learn to Hit a Moving (i.e., Mobile) Target” – featured in the Executive Briefing from biz

CMLogoThink Before You Leap Into Paid Video Search” – from the Consumer Marketing channel of Chief Marketer

If any of these headlines catches our attention, practice the power of the click. Click on the links we’ve provided and visit these pages in support of the publications that support us.

Hitting Mobile Targets Where They Roam

Analytics Mobile Retail Analytics

Mobile Mall shoppingAs you walk through the halls of any shopping mall, chances are you will have to sidestep several people who are looking down at their cell phone. They may be texting their friends to determine where they’ll meet for lunch, or they may be searching to see which retailer has the best deal on the latest fall fashion.

Based on data from BIA/Kelsey, eMarketer estimates there will be 81.8 billion searches conducted via mobile devices in 2015 – just in the U.S. According to a recent report from Alphabet (parent company of Google), mobile search has surpassed desktop search worldwide.

Another recent study projects this holiday season will be the first time that the majority of online shopping visits in the United States (51%) will occur on mobile devices. To give that percentage some historical perspective, in 2014, Cyber Monday sales alone accounted for nearly $2.7 billion of sales, with 40% of that coming from mobile devices.

Now, think about those people you had to sidestep in the mall. Each one is quite literally a mobile target for your digital marketing campaigns. What do you need to do to ensure you’re capturing your share of those 81 billion mobile searches?

The good news is, if you have been creating and managing digital ads geared toward desktop searches, you are well on your way toward mobile success. You still need to create ad groups and keywords. Those really don’t change between desktop and mobile, so the work you’ve already done can still pay off. As I mentioned in a previous post, the analytics are largely the same as well.

You may, however, need to make other adjustments. For example, ad extensions for mobile may need to change from “click for more information” to “click to call.” Using a mobile device’s ability to place a call can have a huge impact on moving prospects through the funnel and improving your conversion rates.

You also may need to change your bid strategy. Getting the #4 position on a desktop might work, but on a mobile device it won’t be enough. If you can, you may want to change your bid modifiers so you’re showing up in the top three instead.

In addition, you may need to change your web development strategy. Even if your site is optimized for mobile using responsive design, it may not be delivering the desired experience. Again, check the key performance indicators (KPIs) of your analytics to ensure your mobile site is delivering the appropriate experience.

One final word of note: these principles apply to B2B advertisers just as much as B2C. Don’t assume a B2B buyer will be office- or PC-bound. The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement has created a tectonic shift in the workplace, and many B2B searches now begin on a mobile device – even if they are ultimately fulfilled on a desktop. A poor mobile experience means they’ll never get to that desktop.

Hitting a moving target is far more difficult than one that’s standing still. But it’s not impossible. Use what you’ve learned already, make the proper adjustments, and you’ll find yourself leading the pack in our increasingly mobile world.

Improving the User Experience to Hit a Mobile Target

Analytics Mobile Retail Analytics

Chasing a Mobile Target In less than a month, we will be staring down the Internet pipe at the busiest online shopping day of the year: Cyber Monday. Last year, Cyber Monday sales accounted for nearly $2.7 billion of sales, with 40% of that coming from mobile devices.

Retailers are already sending out teasers, inviting us to watch for their special deals. But while they are putting thought and effort behind what they will offer, how much attention are they putting on how they will optimize the shopping – and buying – experience? It’s not easy to hit a moving target, nor is it simple to make the user experience swift and seamless for a mobile customer.

According to a recent report from Alphabet (parent company of Google), mobile search has surpassed desktop search worldwide. A separate report from eMarketer based on BIA/Kelsey data, estimates there will be 81.8 billion searches conducted via mobile devices in 2015 – in the U.S. alone. That’s an increase of 23% over 2014.

The challenge for marketers, especially those who may have paid little or no attention to their mobile strategy, is how to deliver a fast, efficient customer experience from search to purchase.

The user experience is critical, especially given the lack of patience the Internet has created. When users go to a site, whether it’s via a desktop or mobile device, they expect it to work quickly and seamlessly. If the site doesn’t, they’re only a back button away from checking out a competitor. And once they hit that back button – whether because a site isn’t loading fast enough or isn’t readable on their mobile device – you don’t just lose that sale. It could have a significant effect on the lifetime value of that customer or prospect.

Think of what that does to your investment in paid search. You spend many months and dollars developing ads, researching keywords, testing and analyzing to determine what will be most effective in driving customers to your website. Then when customers arrive, what they encounter immediately drives them away. That’s like spending millions of marketing dollars to draw guests to a hotel, but when they arrive the staff is slow, the elevators don’t work, the roof is leaking and the paint is peeling. It’s unlikely many will stay even one night, which means all that marketing investment is lost.

So, how do you know if your online experience is welcoming visitors or driving them away? One good way is to use your analytics package to get into the details of user behavior online. By analyzing every step in the buyer’s journey, you can determine not only how many visitors your search campaign is drawing, but also what they’re doing when they get there.

A high bounce rate, for example, tells you people are coming to the site but they’re not clicking through it. That could be because your campaign isn’t drawing the right people, or because the right people are having a poor customer experience. A little investigation should help you determine which one is the actual cause.

Now comes the big question: With all of this happening, what do smart marketers need to do to ensure they’re hitting those nearly 82 billion mobile targets? That’s what I will cover in my next post.

Cut to the Chase Marketers: Succeeding in Paid Search Means Hitting a Mobile Target

Analytics Mobile

Cut to the Chase, MarketersFrom D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation to the recent Mad Max reboot, the chase scene always has been a staple of movies. Part of what makes the chase so exciting, of course, is that heroes and villains spend much of the chase jumping from horse or vehicle to horse or vehicle – or sometimes both. The understood difficulty of hitting a moving target at high speed creates tension and thrills that really get your heart pumping.

While perhaps not as exciting to watch, the ability to hit a moving target while operating at high speed now has become critical to another group – Internet marketers. A recent report from eMarketer tells this tale. According to BIA/Kelsey data, mobile search should overtake desktop search in 2015. Not just by a little either. They expect to see 81.8 billion U.S. local searches conducted via mobile devices this year, an increase of 23%, while desktop searches drop slightly to 64.6 billion. Those trends are expected to continue, with mobile search reaching 141.9 billion searches by 2019.

Why the incredible increase? The ubiquity of mobile devices is one big reason. Another driving factor is the growth of the Millennial generation. There are now more Millennials than Baby Boomers (87 million v 76 million) – the first time the Boomers have been out-paced by any generation since they were born. Millennials have never known a world without readily available mobile devices, and they continue to rely on these devices as their method of choice for communication and connection.

What does this all mean for marketers who may have paid little or no attention to their customers’ mobile experience? How do they re-think their mindset and develop a solid mobile-search strategy? What do they need to do to ensure they’re hitting those 81 billion mobile targets … and do it quickly?

One area to examine first is the user experience. When users visit a site, they expect it to work quickly and seamlessly. And they expect to find what they want – in just a click or two.

Do you know if your online experience is welcoming visitors or driving them away? One good way is to use your analytics package to get into the details of user behavior online. By analyzing every step in the buyer’s journey, you can determine not only how many visitors your search campaign is drawing, but also what they’re doing when they get there.

In a previous post, I described how to “Turn Browsers into Buyers” by analyzing performance metrics to gauge the effect of a digital campaign as well as the overall effectiveness of your website.

My next post will take a closer look at how to use analytics to dig into the details of user behavior online. Once you know how people are interacting with your site, you can take steps to optimize their experience. That’s a great first step in helping you hit that mobile target.