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Marketers should be tapping into native phone features to create engaging rich media ads
Regina Goh

To develop the best mobile ads, it’s time to take off our marketer caps, put on our consumer caps and pay attention to our native phone features, says Regina Goh, Managing Director, Blis Asia

Many marketers, adtech professionals and media executives focus on reaching the right target audience. Through location data and audience insights, brands are now able to target people based not only on their browsing habits, but also where they’ve been and what they like to do.

But when you experience an ad as a consumer, does it resonate with you? Considering the consumer experience is equally as important as reaching the right consumers.

Mobile advertising has been an ad platform that’s caught the attention of many brands because of its potential for deeper customer engagement. With the development of cheaper, more powerful mobile devices equipped with impressive phone sensors, a large potential lies in creating rich media ads that tap into native phone features. In the near future, static banner apps aren’t going to appeal to an ever-growing base of intelligent consumers who crave more engaging content.

In addition to accurate targeting, brands, marketers and creatives should be thinking of innovative ways to leverage these native phone features:

1) Voice recognition

Consider how easily Siri can show you directions, call a friend or find the best Japanese restaurant in your vicinity. Therein lies a real opportunity to engage with consumers through voice recognition advertisements for participation beyond clicks.

Advertisers have already started on this by leveraging voice command and voice-driven games. For instance, end users mimic a certain sound to obtain a reward coupon. Some brands have even been seeing results. NPR ran ads on its smartphone app at the conclusion of news bulletins, where the call-to-action required users to speak a command. Few users actually look at their phones while listening to NPR’s audio-driven app and the voice recognition ad presents higher possibilities of engagement.

2) Blowing into a microphone

Smartphone sensors have the ability to process the act of blowing into a microphone and it’s a simple, novel method that can be applied to rich media ads to increase engagement. The applications could involve blowing into a microphone that causes a lady’s hair to ruffle in the wind – hair product brands? – or an interactive game involving the feature.

Chihuly, a glassblowing iPhone app, is an innovative application of this native phone feature. The app allows users to create their own digital glass sculptures like an artist by blowing into the microphone to mimick the glassblowing process. Users can then add further touches to mould and colour their artwork.

3) Gyroscope and motion sensors

Tilting, moving and shaking a phone to engage with a mobile ad are possible today, thanks to improved in-built gyroscope and motion sensors in smart devices. Many global brands have already started implementing this feature in their rich media ads.

An automobile brand recently used the gyroscope to create a smart device experience that positions users in cars. By tilting and moving their devices, they can look at and experience the interiors in all directions. A similar application could easily stretch to property developers and hotel chains that allow users to experience a 360-degree view of the properties for a more informed decision.

F&B brands have also been using gyroscope and motion sensors that require users to act and be rewarded – examples include shaking the phone to fill up an imaginary milkshake or drawing shapes in thin air with a device for discount coupons that can be used at the nearest F&B outlet.

As mobile devices become ever more affordable and come equipped with more advanced native phone features, there are great opportunities for advertisers to create more engaging rich media ads that enhance the consumer experience. Brand marketers who dedicate effort to developing the most fun, appealing and out-of-the-ordinary mobile ads are bound to benefit with better results and more loyal brand followers.

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Regina Goh Regina Goh is the Managing Director, Asia at Blis. She oversees business in Asia, managing expansion and propelling the sales and operations teams toward continuous profitable growth in the region.With 16 years of experience in the mobile and digital consumer business, Regina has worked in global digital and mobile advertising companies, including InMobi, RealNetworks and Millennial Media.
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Mobile devices provide the answer. By revealing where consumers go, mobile location data can tell brands which consumers spend their time browsing similar products at a competitor’s store. Let’s say Target wants to reach out to consumers who usually shop at Walmart. They can use location data to identify—then target—those who frequently visit the competitor yet still live near a Target store.

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Keep Them Interested

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? For most of us, it’s look at our phones to turn off our alarms before checking the weather and scrolling through our Twitter feeds. And throughout the day, we continue to stare down into the faces of our mobile devices: checking the news on the train, sending an email between meetings, or watching videos from our living room sofas.

In order to engage consumers on the devices we use day in and day out, advertisers will need to serve ads that make sense for the consumer depending on where they are during the day. To do this, advertisers must first ask the question: What do consumers want to see on their mobile devices and when? Consumers spend a third of their time online watching videos, for instance, but they aren’t going to watch a 30-second video ad while walking down the street.

To boost engagement, brands can use knowledge about a consumer’s historical and real-time whereabouts to reach out at the time and place that will produce the greatest level of engagement. To effectively grab the attention of a consumer that’s out and about, a banner ad may work best. Later that evening, when the consumer is at home using a tablet or laptop, a longer video on a larger screen may work well.

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How can brands make sure they retain the new and existing customers they’ve worked so hard to gain? They must first recognize and show appreciation for their most loyal customers.

Most advertisers identify loyal customers by looking at newsletter subscriptions and online purchase histories, but they may be missing other valuable customers who prefer to shop in stores. By identifying devices that frequently visit a brand’s store location, advertisers can make sure they are recognizing—and thanking—all their biggest fans. When an existing customer comes into a store a certain number of times, for example, advertisers can deliver a thank-you message—perhaps offering the loyal customer a generous coupon to redeem in-store.

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Understanding Consumers though Mobile

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Beyond real-time location data, retailers can use historical location data to understand a consumer’s habits. For example, some consumers might visit a luxury jewelry brand on Fifth Avenue just to browse, even if they have no intention (or monetary means!) of buying. Thus, for that specific retailer, in-store visits may not indicate ideal customers. Instead, that luxury retailer can look at historical location data to identify their ideal consumers: perhaps individuals who frequently stay at the Four Seasons Hotel or regularly check in to exclusive country clubs.

But retailers shouldn’t rely on mobile data alone. By layering mobile insights with other valuable sources of data, advertisers can gain a holistic picture of their perfect audiences. Data collected from laptops, for instance, can reveal browsing histories and online shopping patterns; however, consumers won’t be opening up their laptops while shopping in stores. The trick is for retailers to match the data across devices to unique mobile device IDs. Only then will they gain a more holistic understanding of consumers and will be able to target or retarget them with products they are likely to go buy.

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Once they’ve gotten a clear and thorough understanding of their ideal audiences, how can retailers use mobile devices to drive foot traffic? Proximity targeting—delivering ads to consumers when they come within a certain distance of a store location—is a common approach. Retailers can maximize the power of proximity targeting by crafting unique and imaginative creatives.

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Sometimes, targeting consumers when they are walking by a store may be a little too late. A QSR wanting to boost its 10 am breakfast crowd, for instance, may want to target consumers when they wake up around 7a and begin planning their day. Otherwise, the consumer has most likely already made their breakfast choice.

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Tune in next week to read all about how mobile is fast becoming the extension of a retailer’s store.

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But mobile devices also give consumers something they can’t get in stores: personalized marketing. Collecting data like shopping histories and browsing patterns, mmobile devices provide retailers with detailed insight into individual consumers and a means of communicating with them directly.

How can retailers use mobile insights and capabilities to craft effective, one-to-one messaging?

1. Get personal.

Today, consumers want—and expect—ads to speak directly to them. In fact, 74% of customers feel frustrated when their online experiences aren’t personalized.

The easiest way for retailers to personalize content is by harnessing their first-party data. If a customer purchases a dress online, the brand can use what they know about her (her fashion interests, browsing history and email address) to customize subsequent content. For example, the brand can serve an ad via email that suggests a pair of shoes to go along with the new dress.

With CRM data, the retailer can see what the woman bought online, but do they know what she’s purchased elsewhere? Or what she does when she’s not shopping? This is where location data comes in. Retailers that layer location-based insights on to other sources of data can get to know where and when consumers shop at brick and mortar stores. They can also identify other behavioral patterns, including which day of the week and time of day they like to go shopping—data can enables greater levels of personalization.

Let’s say a CPG brand wants to reach out to a previous customer who hasn’t been seen in store lately. The marketers can use their knowledge of the consumer’s daily commute to deliver the ad just before he leaves work, suggesting he stop by on his way home. They may even offer him a discount on the product he previously purchased.

2. Market to individuals, not devices.

Once retailer marketers have identified their ideal audiences on mobile, they shouldn’t see phones as the only means of communication. Consumers own an average of 3.6 connected devices, so retailers should communicate with consumers across the devices they use, including tablets, laptops, desktops and addressable TV.

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3. Don’t be creepy.

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But how, exactly, do they measure these improvements? Find out next week when we assess the best metrics for retailers.

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