• Consumer Research

What You Need to Do in Order to Appeal to Customers on Mobile Devices

Richard Thomas
Richard Thomas
5 min read
Posted on June 07, 2019
What You Need to Do in Order to Appeal to Customers on Mobile Devices

In order to appeal to customers on mobile devices today, what do CMOs and marketers need to do? Effectively reaching and communicating with mobile audiences requires more than just a responsive version of your website.

People on mobile devices have very specific behaviors and expectations.

So what is the best path forward? We believe engaging creative and actionable destinations are crucial. And, critically, we recommend taking these two steps:

1) Think Hard About the People Seeing Your Ads

The amount of money spent creating ads devoted to mobile audiences is skyrocketing. By 2022, eMarketer predicts that close to half of all advertising dollars spent in the U.S. will go towards running ads on mobile devices. Using the mobile space to drive awareness, acquire customers and delight existing audiences makes sense, as eMarketer predicts time spent on mobile to surpass time spent watching television for the first time in 2019.

How are marketers actually embracing mobile though? Are marketers keeping the ascension of mobile over TV in mind as they create their mobile experiences for their customers? Are they giving it the same thought and consideration as a TV ad? Is it a mobile ad or simply an adaptation of other creative?

And, from a larger perspective, are your mobile ads actually engaging people? Keep in mind your text ads (and really any other ad format and type) can appear very differently on mobile than on any other format. For starters, most hold their mobile devices vertically, not horizontally. And, the differences between mobile web and mobile apps can be stark.

For example, most people view content on their phones - including video - vertically, while such content would be seen horizontally on a larger screen. But, despite this, some brands just repurpose their horizontally-aligned TV and desktop video ads for mobile without reformatting it. Turning a phone to see an ad may seem like a small step to a marketer, but it can easily be perceived as a major annoyance to your target audience.

When running ads, it’s easy to get bogged down on things like schedules, creative, budgets, etc. While this is all important, don’t lose the forest for the trees. Who are you trying to talk to? What apps do they use most frequently? Why would real people care about what you have to say? This should always drive your advertising strategies.

2) Where Do You Actually Want to Send Users?

You’ve put in all this effort to drive real connections with consumers via mobile in-app advertising. You’ve run ads, influencer marketing campaigns, the whole nine yards. Now what? What are the actual, concrete next steps that make sense? This is often a critical blind spot in mobile marketing campaigns. Ultimately, what does it take to be a successful mobile marketer today and have effective in-app ad campaigns?

For example, many brands set up their in-app ads to point to a mobile website. But is this the best user experience? Many people may not want to exit the app experience, and may be annoyed at having to take extra steps to navigate back to where they just were. The last thing you want is for someone to take a desired action and then only back out because of an issue like this.

Another great example of this premise in action is a mobile ad that has someone fill out a form. This may be fine in a desktop/laptop environment, but typing in answers on a long form just with thumbs can be cumbersome to some people.

Not all customers want to get in touch with you through just one channel. It’s critical to consider the consumer’s needs and priorities first, and then work to meet them. Running a mobile survey can be a great way to find out, as it allows you to use the ever-popular mobile device as a way to get honest inputs from your customers and potential consumers.

Brands that are winning create new paths to understand, identify, engage and acquire consumers. The most successful brands are the ones that leverage the always-on dimension of consumer behavior, access up-to-the-moment consumer insights and translate consumer insights into action — all while being authentic, honest and real. This is what’s needed to drive real connections.

About the Author

Richard Thomas is Head of Brand Marketing, North America at InMobi. He has over 15 years experience working with some of the world's largest B2B and B2C brands. Richard's advertising and marketing career has been spent building brands by telling their stories across integrated campaigns.

Stay Up to Date

Register to our blog updates newsletter to receive the latest content in your inbox.