Social Media Key to Mobile Marketing Success

Two of the biggest barriers mobile marketers face boil down to understanding consumers and prioritizing short term initiatives over long term trends.

mobile marketing and social media

Understanding where and how consumers use mobile is critical to successfully engaging them, with social, location and apps all playing a role, according to a report from Millward Brown Digital.

The study revealed more than one-third (34 percent) of shoppers perform shopping-related activities on their mobile devices while in-store, and nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of shoppers who use a mobile phone in-store use a social network.

"Two of the biggest barriers mobile marketers face boil down to understanding the consumer and prioritizing short-term initiatives over long-term trends," Rachel Eisenberg, vice president of strategy and marketing for Millward Brown Digital, told eWEEK. "Mobile is inherently a more personal device and as such consumers have a different relationship with brands via mobile than they do via other screens."

Eisenberg warned marketers can’t just assume the consumer insights they use for other screens will hold for mobile–it’s different and therefore needs to be given special attention.

"The other challenge marketers face is measuring mobile ROI. This becomes especially relevant when marketers forego mobile investment because the inability to measure ROI in the short term is prioritized over the long-term trend," she said. "Marketers need to be careful because if they don’t make the investment now, they run the risk of being behind when mobile accounts for an even greater percentage of consumer activity."

More than half of them use the social network for product or brand discovery or for peer feedback on purchases rather than for socializing.

Eisenberg said social media is an important element of the mobile experience. Nearly 75 percent of consumers ages 18-44 access a social network daily and the most-used device is the smartphone, she noted.

"Furthermore we’ve found that social’s influence extends far beyond entertainment or socializing," she said. "Fifty-four percent of consumer that accessed a social network while in store did so to discover or get peer feedback on a brand or product. This has big implications to how brands can participate in the mobile consumer journey."

In addition, many consumers (46 percent) use both apps and browsers when mobile shopping, although 72 percent of consumers who use shopping apps have fewer than five of them installed on their phones.

The report noted that for mobile advertising to be effective, marketers must understand how channel insights inform the creative and media.

On average, mobile advertising campaigns outperform on key metrics, including brand awareness, brand favorability and purchase intent.

"Prioritizing the mobile opportunity is key for marketers. Many brands have one to two people focused on mobile compared to sometimes hundreds focused on TV and online," Eisenberg said. "Marketers need to continue to evolve their focus as consumers evolve their device usage."

Top performing mobile display ads feature consistent branding, a simple color palette, a focused message and a perceived value to the consumer.

Best-in-class mobile video ads intrigue consumers by starting a story but not telling the whole story. They also work best when they combine video with an interactive layer, use simple and clear messages and aim for a strong emotional response.