4 obvious truths about mobile use that will affect how you advertise

27 Jul

Sometimes the most obvious are the most overlooked. I wondered how the simple truths we all take for granted about mobile devices would affect the way we market to users. So here goes:

mobile app for DQ restaurant showing location servicesMobile devices are portable. So that means a mobile consumer is closer to the point of purchase than a Mac/PC user. Smart marketers are therefore designing their mobile sites to keep the content focused around a user’s location. For example, restaurants let consumers opt in for their exclusive mobile deal clubs and help them easily access information about restaurant locations and nutritional facts about their food. I’ll have that To Go thanks.

“The restaurant industry is in the midst of being shaped by the convergence of the mobile, always connected, consumer.” sums up this Published Facts writer.

They’re always on. And so are their users. Traditional electronic media metrics that measure the most effective hours to advertise are replaced by grossly more flexible scheduling that prompts according to the user’s activity.  When they use an app they are targeted; when they check-in for dinner, bingo. Sleep offers little haven as users increasingly wake during the night to check their messages. Can’t get back to sleep? There’s an ad for that.

The mobile customer is different. Yay. We’re different! And so are our expectations. Mobile audiences want brands to be instant, portable and personalized. Advertisers should ensure that marketing programs are designed for this medium and are not just whittled down versions of traditional advertising. What’s true for websites is equally so for ad content. A smaller screen demands different treatment with more focus on the offer and the call to action. Creatives may lament the loss of opportunity with the smaller screen, but c’mon: the smaller box has always inspired big thinking.

There is not just one type of mobile customer.  Not everybody with a handheld device is into checking-in on FourSquare, Gowalla or Facebook Places. The strategies you use have to allow for that disparity in activity and go broader. Woo your audience with rich media, applications, in-game advertising or even mobile coupons. And don’t stop there.

Next up on Mobile: A guest post by Mobile Marketing champion Simon Salt.

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