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Family - A Seattle Advertising Agency

The Secrets to Effective Mobile Marketing

One of the great advantages that mobile advertising has over any other platform is the ability to understand a consumer's physical movements—both past and present. This allows you to specifically target potential customers based on their behavior—whether that be a fitness fanatic, a car shopper researching a new vehicle or even someone within walking distance of your store! When targeting potential customers, we used to ask “who?”. Now we ask “where?”. Rather than looking at demographics, we look at mobile devices.

Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing takes many forms: apps, text (sms and mms), banners, voice, location-based marketing, pay-per-click, video pre-rolls, social media, content marketing, and QR codes. And then there are desktop experiences that should be optimized for mobile-like websites. They all have strengths and weaknesses. But there are some general rules about all mobile marketing. Think of what consumers need, when they need it, and where they need it the most. And the most effective campaigns deliver contextual information and tools.



The most popular mobile ad format is the banner. It stretches across the top or bottom of your mobile screen. Banner ads are a simple way to give your message broad reach. Since there is little room for an image or text, the ads typically link to a mobile landing page or interstitial that provides more details. Add rich media to banner ads for movement and better engagement. Many brands make the mistake of relying on automation to deliver an appropriate message. Brands need to develop intelligent, data-driven, dynamic strategies to better understand when to initiate a conversation with consumers. They need to connect the dots about what a user is experiencing and shape their messages accordingly.


Consumers don’t give brands their attention or loyalty for free. Mobile apps must provide value. It’s a concept known as value exchange marketing. Give consumers a legitimate reason to pay attention and they’ll appreciate your brand for providing a relevant mobile experience. Coupons provide nothing more than instant gratification and a weak brand connection with customers. Valuable, contextual information or entertainment will build a long-term relationship. Many apps are opened once or twice, and then never used again. Make sure that you have designed your app so that people want to use it again and again. Ideally, your app should be used multiple times a week. This builds a deeper connection with your brand.


Content marketing attempts to seamlessly integrate with the publisher’s app. It shouldn’t really look like an ad. It should look like another piece of content from the publisher, that’s why it’s sometimes referred to as native advertising. It’s vital that the ad leads to relevant content, not a product pitch. Otherwise, you’re just deceiving consumers. Content marketing should always provide value to the consumers.


Text message campaigns are highly effective and inexpensive ways to reach potential customers. However, if a consumer has not opted into receiving text messages, you are simply going to annoy them. And be sure that your opt-out system is easy to do. If they don’t want your messages then they’re not likely to buy from you anyway. These campaigns are referred to as SMS (Short Message Service) and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service). Text messaging is ideal for promotional messages or relevant information, and might include videos, audio files, and/or images. They are simple campaigns to set up if you have a call list. But it becomes more complicated when you layer in contextual relevance.


Pre-roll ads are videos that play either before a user opens a mobile app or before content on streaming services like YouTube or Hulu. When a pre-roll video is done well, it’s delightful, entertaining, and has a long engagement rate. When done poorly, like repurposing a television commercial, the viewer can’t click away fast enough. This experience could damage your brand.


Location-based marketing and near field communication have made it possible to send and receive relevant information based on the physical location of consumers. The first uses GPS and Bluetooth technology in consumers’ phones to send them messages and information. The other has evolved from radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and works like a wireless link. Once activated by holding the two devices a few inches from each other, small amounts of data can be transferred between them. Near field communication is a new way for consumers to pay with their mobile devices. Both are reasons to choose one company over another for stores that offer these option and brands that deliver these mobile experiences.


Every experience on a mobile device needs to be optimized for a mobile device. That includes your website. Google recently undertook an in-depth study into online browsing behavior and discovered that consumers are 67% more likely to make a purchase when provided with a mobile-friendly experience. And when you think of mobile users as people who are interested in buying right now, can your business really afford not to get it right the first time? The simplest way to make your website mobile friendly is to create it in responsive design. The layout should be simple to navigate and fast loading.


According to a recent report, Facebook and Instagram now account for more than 20% of all mobile minutes spent in the USA. This is a fantastic opportunity for your brand to create well-designed ads and smart content marketing and put them in front of a gigantic audience. Ads can be purchased for both platforms through the Facebook ad-buying tool. It has many different ways to target different audiences, so test which ones give you the best return.

There are several other forms of mobile marketing. PPC campaigns are highly effective ways to find people who are searching for information right now. QR codes are one way to instantly give relevant information. And voice messaging is one of the preferred ways for surveyors and political campaigns to reach people through automated phone messages. And when you think of everything that your phone can do, it makes sense that there are so many different ways to reach consumers on mobile devices.

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