As online users divide their time across countless channels, platforms and devices, digital marketers know they have only split seconds to attract consumers’ attention. Smart marketers are keeping pace with their digitally adept consumers and learning from their behaviors in order to make sound mobile media planning and buying decisions.
Here are five distinctions and opportunities in the mobile programmatic landscape. Together, they give marketers the building blocks needed to develop a solid small-screen strategy.
1. Have a mobile-responsive website. Potential customers using mobile devices are often on the go, with limited travel time between meetings. Don’t annoy the user by having a slow site, and don’t cramp the screen with irrelevant content. Make sure the page load time is fast. As a mobile page’s load time goes from 1 second to 5 seconds, the probability of a bounce increases 90%, according to recent Google research. Similarly, less is more when it comes to the amount of text and number of images, titles and third-party tags on a page.
2. Measure the right KPIs. One of the most common mistakes marketers make when setting up a campaign is to use the same success metrics across different digital environments. Programmatic performance in the mobile environment is different from performance in other environments, such as desktop or connected TV.
Make sure that the KPIs you’re measuring are attainable by channel type. For example, in the financial category, people rarely use their mobile device to apply for credit cards, but they will transfer revenue through an online application or book an airline ticket on their phone.
To avoid campaign problems, remember that different KPIs will vary against different stages of the user’s journey—for example, customer acquisition vs. mid-funnel nurturing vs. existing user top-of-mind brand awareness.
Determining which metrics to track can be a bit challenging, and each marketer has preferred techniques. Some prefer sales lift, while others look at social media metrics such as likes and/or followers. Still others select cost per lead, measuring leads coming in vs. how much the brand is investing. In the end, it’s all about choosing the right tool for the job.
3. Make sure you’re using all available touchpoints. As advertising, technology and consumers continue to go forward, brands and marketers must select the appropriate touchpoints to accurately capture and analyze the consumer’s journey.
The mobile and desktop ecosystem contains countless social networks, gaming apps, news sites and streaming services you can use to find your target audience—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Craft a holistic programmatic mobile plan that engages your customers across their customer journey. Be sure the technology you’re using provides the opportunity to look across and optimize on the best potential outcomes.
4. Match your buy to the right data partner. The right DMP (data management platform) can help you find the right audience across multiple resources.
Marketers often make the mistake of relying only on data gleaned from widely available third-party data sets (example: a data provider acquires Department of Motor Vehicles data on drivers). But they also need to be using first-party data sets, which is information collected directly from consumers (example: Honda’s own records of all its Accord lessees). In addition, they need to tap second-party data sets (which are somebody else’s first-party data. Example: a luxury watch maker contacts Saks Fifth Avenue to get Saks’ information on its most affluent shoppers). A good DMP such as Lotame or BlueKai can provide targeted access to each kind of data and help you organize it across a variety of screens.
5. Use mobile location-based targeting. This is the most personal form of mobile advertising that currently exists. Hyper-contextual and location-targeted ads use data to deliver messages that are meaningful to the audience. This method is usually used to drive purchase intent.
It’s crucial to tailor your campaign goals to the strengths of mobile devices. To this end, programmatic mobile is a particularly strong channel for direct response, branding and geo-targeting. You should also consider using it to synchronize your linear TV buy with a second-screen native video campaign. Leverage mobile as the second screen while users are consuming smart TV content at home.
Michael Cervantes is Programmatic Director, Digital Marketing, at Ai Media Group, a New York City-based media company that specializes in defining, managing and executing online marketing strategies.