written by: Siu Ji Chin, Jovita

Mobile Advertising Insights
Mobile advertising has been a dominating trend in 2017. According to Zenith’s Mobile Advertising Forecasts (source: https://www.zenithmedia.com/mobile-…), the worldwide mobile proportion of internet use has increased drastically from 40% in 2012 to 75% in 2017.

Mobile first strategy is an irreversible trend that brands need to focus in marketing and communication. EMarketer has found that the United States’ total digital advertising spending share in 2017 is 38.4% of the total advertising spending, much more compared to TV and print advertising spending, while mobile advertising spending equals to 26.2%.

Source: https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Digital-Ad-Spending-Surpass-TV-Next-Year/1013671

Furthermore, users who view videos on smartphones are 1.4 times more likely to watch ads than those who view videos on TV or desktop computers. In addition, they are 1.8 times more likely to share the branded content than desktop viewers. Smartphone viewers are also 2 times more likely to feel personal connection with the brands than TV viewers, and 1.3 times more likely than desktop viewers. They perceive smartphone as a more intimate experience compared with desktop and TV.

Source: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/online-video-mobile-marketing-strategy.html

Moreover, consumers’ shopping behaviors shift greatly due to the rapid usage of mobile. In a research conducted by Google partnered with Ipsos MediaCT with 8,470 smartphone users, it is found that one in three consumers would use smartphone in a store instead of asking the sales. 82% of smartphone users would consult their smartphone even if they are in-person at the store [1].

It is proven that mobile advertising and app reengagement is a key element to bond consumers with the brands.

How can brands stand out among others with mobile advertising?
Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s senior vice president of ads and commerce introduced the concept of “micro-moments”. “micro-moments” are moments consumers act on a need which they made decisions—to buy, to learn, to watch, etc. Those moments are when consumers best receptive brands’ messages. Ramaswamy said, “Successful brands should understand all of these moments and then deliver on them – in a way that speaks to people, connects with them, right where they are, right when they need it.” [2]

Sephora has launched an online to offline campaign aiming to increase consumer engagement and loyalty by catering consumers’ micro-moments during their purchase journey. Sephora did so by focusing on the use of mobile, with reference to the fact that 82% of smartphone users would consult their smartphone even if they are in-person at the store. They allow consumers to locate which store exactly has their desired products available in stock when consumers engage in organic search of the product. Moreover, when consumers arrive at the store, they can scan all products for additional information. This campaign provide a unique shopping to engage loyal members, who would step-by-step go through the anticipated purchasing journey, with only the use of smartphone. However, for those passive/intuitive consumers who seldom do organic search themselves, the micro-moments tactics may not be totally relevant.

What about passive consumers?
With the increasingly short attention span of consumers, how can brands catch the micro-moments, increase passive users’ engagement, and catch their attention for awareness? This comes back to the fundamental, content marketing. Content marketing is essential in a way that it builds brands’ image by increasing brand awareness and connects the consumers with the delivered content. When consumers are willing to spend more time on the content, they are more likely to share it.

Technology greatly helps in this way. Virtual and augmented reality provide consumers with immersive experiences. An example is a VR 360 video by the movie “Beauty and the Beast”, which users can see the castle in 360. It makes users feel like they’re living in a moment. It earned 189k likes and 130k shares on Facebook, compared to an average of 60k likes and 10k shares of others posts on its page. The technology itself help increase consumers’ interests, thus they are more likely to share the content.

VR and AR when incorporated into mobile apps could further increase user engagement. Take the example of the app Inkhunter. It uses AR technology to allow users to predict how tattoos would look on their body parts before actually having them. It connects consumers by addressing their concerns and uncertainties in the micro-moments during the purchasing process.

To conclude, brands marketers should be tasked to engage both proactive and passive consumers with mobile advertising. Brands should make good/clever use of technology to help increase consumers’ engagement by addressing the micro-moments through the purchasing process.

[1] http://blogs.wsj.com/cmo/2015/04/08/outside-voices-why-mobile-advertising-may-be-all-about-micro-targeting-moments/
[2] http://blogs.wsj.com/cmo/2015/04/08/outside-voices-why-mobile-advertising-may-be-all-about-micro-targeting-moments/