What makes a mobile ad effective?

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What makes a mobile ad effective? And why getting it right matters
Richard Andrew

Mobile advertising is currently a very ‘in-demand’ medium. As consumers, we are connected 24/7, taking our devices wherever we go. We have become lost without them.

This makes mobile a primary medium for brands to interact and connect directly with their consumers in real-time, across a wide range of ‘real-world’ location behaviours.

Whilst there has been debate over recent years about the effectiveness of mobile advertising, there can be no doubt that increased advertising commitment to the platform is being fuelled by growing consumer mobile dependence.

Market growth

Recent figures from eMarketer show the global mobile advertising market will hit two significant milestones in 2016: Mobile ad spend will surpass $100 billion and account for more than 50 percent of all digital ad expenditure for the first time.

Not surprisingly, growth in mobile ad spending is being driven by consumer adoption of mobile devices. Next year, eMarketer estimates, there will be more than 2 billion smartphone users worldwide, over one-quarter of whom will live in China alone. Especially there, and in other emerging and developing markets, many consumers are accessing the internet mobile-first and mobile-only, so leading advertisers allocate their digital expenditure to mobile accordingly.

Does anyone actually click on mobile ads?

In short, yes! However, this is very much reliant upon the entire advertising campaign, the product, as well as the overall campaign execution. Mobile ads are generally used to trigger brand awareness, aided by advertising that consumers may have previously been exposed to. It works best by jogging memories or consumer needs at a particular moment in time, which is then more likely to result in a click-through and ultimately a path to purchase.

Why creativity matters

One of the best ways to make mobile advertising effective is to provide the consumer with a compelling offer which they can take advantage of. However, obviously you can’t assume that just because you are serving ads, that the consumer will automatically click on them. A creative campaign encompasses many factors from the message, to design, the targeting, right through to the level of interaction the brand encourages with the consumer. As US adland legend Bob Thacker once said “If you’re going to crash the party, make sure you bring some champagne”.

A recent campaign executed by Blis involving Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) in Singapore was made successful through the use of rich media adverts focusing on relevant brand messages targeted at three specific consumer groups. For this particular campaign it was critical to reach the right audience and creativity was key in both ad format and messaging. The campaign resulted in a successful click-through rate which was almost double the industry average.

The importance of location

In April 2015, research firm eMarketer asked a group of marketers to grade mobile advertising in terms of effectiveness. The final results indicated that location targeted ads were ranked the highest. This is most likely due to the fact that location targeting enables brands to satisfy consumers ‘real-time’ needs.

Data from mobile devices has the ability to determine where your consumers are, where they have been and where they will go. This enables accurate delivery of targeted messages. In the example above for SCB, using contextual targeting alone to engage the target audiences would likely involve wastage in the campaign. Location targeting was quickly identified as an effective manner to ensure message delivery to the right segment at the right time.

The overall effectiveness of mobile advertising is therefore linked to a variety of factors. When executed correctly, the results are astounding. The process is intrinsically linked to the appeal for the end consumer, creating engagement and providing them with a solution in real-time.

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Richard Andrew As Regional Group Director, APAC, Richard overseas Blis’ operation within Southeast Asia. His role is aimed at developing existing partnerships to fully utilise the smart audience behavioural insights that Blis generates by tapping into its proprietary location-based data. Richard plans to introduce the firm’s self-serve demand-side platform (DSP) and location-based intelligence to the market.
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