If you were to go back in time and interview any leading advertising guru, it is likely he or she would never believe that advertising through a phone could work, let alone increase business for clients. Yet here we sit in 2013 with mobile advertising dollars surpassing $9.6 billion per year.
In addition, one of the world’s largest companies Facebook, has recently declared mobile ads are a more viable channel than television ads.
Are the days of million dollar Super Bowl commercials, and celebrity pitches out the door? Far from it. But the truth is that mobile ads and specifically mobile branded apps, are becoming a go-to advertising and marketing tactic for some of the largest companies in the world, as well as small businesses. From increased interactions, in-depth demographic data and deeper understanding of customer habits, there are many reasons why mobile ads and apps are a powerful new tool for marketing departments:
Mobile Devices Are Where the Customers Are
One of the most effective reasons to embrace mobile advertising is the ability to reach a rapidly expanding audience through a direct channel. Advertisers interested in mobile ads, can tailor their ads specifically for the device type, operating system and even the specific update version.
Whereas, television ads were never truly optimized for HD television rather than standard definition, mobile ads have a customizable element. Data regarding device type and OS of choice can give additional insight to who a brand is targeting. With that information in hand, marketing departments can direct advertisements with increased precision and accuracy.
Last year, Priceline.com was in the news for personalizing offerings for Mac users. Data about visitors to Priceline.com detailed how Mac users pulled in higher average salaries than Windows users. In response to that data, Priceline offered more costly and expensive deals to Mac users. The same can occur throughout mobile advertising, given that there are certainly demographic differences according to mobile device type.
Branded Apps Spur Customer Interactions
Starbucks has been a high profile adopter of mobile apps and mobile ads. They have recently adapted one of their most popular offerings, free download cards for iTunes apps, into a mobile app as well. Offers can only be obtained with a downloaded Starbucks mobile app while in-store. The idea is to increase in-store visits and increase interaction with the Starbucks app, both of which contribute to business growth.
Branded apps are an effective means to spur physical visits to locations while simultaneously providing a touch point for customers to interact with a brand on the go. An app created for consumers by an enterprise is a long term living advertisement which not only reaches customers, but gathers data about how customers interact with your brand and competitors.
Data produced by a mobile app is incredibly valuable for marketing to understand demographics and customer habits. A single ad placed on recurring schedule for a TV show can only reach a viewer so many times for so long, and advertisers do not have exact statistics on how long each viewer sees it. On the other hand, an app’s back-end can gather interaction data that can help you better understand the relationship your brand has with customers.
From Banner Ads to Branded Mobile Games
In addition to offer based apps from brands, there are increasing amounts of branded games that reward users with deals. For example, Skittles has a branded app game that rewards a user for reaching certain levels or achieving high scores. Ideally the user will receive discounts or free items and remain directly connected to the brand, and the brand will be connected to the customer.
Data regarding the way a user interacts with the app can show in depth details about how users shop, communicate on social media and respond to your outreach through the app. When comparing this new model for advertising through mobile and the old method of banner ads and pop-ups, the main factor is that mobile ads produce valuable demographic data while older methods offer nothing like that.
Banner ads and pop-ups were essentially nuisances for users trying to access a website, and provided very little information regarding how the users interact with the ad. Specifically with mobile apps, the content is directly integrated with the advertising pitch.
Extended Reach and Long Term Interactions
Essentially, mobile apps and mobile ads provide direct access and interaction with customers in a way that traditional advertisements feasibly could not. Advertisements, traditionally, stop functioning after the brief period of exposure witnessed by prospects and customers. Mobile apps and mobile ads embedded in apps, allow for continuous interaction with a brand as well as the stockpiling of pertinent marketing data.
Not only are mobile ads and in-app marketing tactics being embraced as traditional advertising alternatives, the new tactic produces reciprocal value thanks to the data that is collected. Marketers can now conduct real-time marketing analysis by monitoring the usage data of branded apps and interactions with mobile ads embedded in apps. As mobile continues to dominant the computing and media consumption landscape, the channel will soon mature as a necessary bottom line outreach strategy for marketing departments across the globe.