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Buying Paid Media on the Mobile Platform: Best Practices

April 29, 2013 - Advertising, Business, eCommerce, Mobile - , , , ,

As a final entry in this week’s series on display media on the mobile platform, I wanted to talk specifically about some of the best practices you should bear in mind as you move forward:

  • Mobile is more than SMS.  We love SMS: it’s easily trackable, builds a database quickly and cost-effectively, delivers a great ROI and is the recommended starting point for any mobile effort.  But you need to go deeper to fully capitalize on the benefits of mobile.
  • Remember that mobile is a platform, not a medium.  It is the ubiquitous, always-tethered, always-on link you have to your customers.  Look at it from a broad view and find ways to incorporate mobile elements into everything you are doing.
  • Demand transparency: Mobile is no longer the Wild West.  You should know exactly where your ads are showing, both on the mobile web and within an application.  And you should expect detailed click-through reporting for every ad buy.
  • Along the same lines, be aware of ad burnout rates.  As we all continue to learn about mobile banner efficacy, we’re going to see an expansion of impressions per session and per page on mobile sites.  Keep an eye on not just your cost-per-click but on the click-through rates that are getting you there.
  • Stay focused on ROI and not just cost-per-click.  Look at your campaign objectives and spend to achieve them, based on cost-for-behavior and cost-for-performance metrics.  eCPM (see Tuesday’s post) is your primary metric.
  • Build a mobile web site.  Okay, not so much a best practice as a dictate.  But, you can nail every other aspect of your mobile program and when your customer ultimately lands on your web page, via their mobile device, and they are presented with the equivalent of 1-point type and 3 cm wide clickable buttons, they will leave and you will have not only lost an opportunity, you will have allocated significant resources to show a prospect that you do not understand mobile.
  • Have a clear data collection strategy, including objectives and an understanding of what you’re going to do with the data you get.  Everything you do on mobile must be designed to collect data and better understand, on an individual level, those people who are receptive to your messages and would like a deeper relationship with you.
  • Test, Learn, Optimize.  This is data-driven marketing.  Everything you do must have a learning component built in.  Create multiple versions, track the relative results, revise your creative and go again.  Expect to move forward in small increments as you refine and improve your results.
  • The move to maturity in mobile will be characterized by assigning mobile as its own marketing budget line item, a dedicated spend requiring ongoing ROI tracking and resulting in incremental development, analysis and ongoing innovation.  Expanding your mobile marketing strategy beyond SMS and apps to include a robust advertising effort is a significant step in this direction.
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