With smartphone ownership at an all-time high (approaching 100 percent among U.S. Millennials and Gen Z-ers), no modern marketer can deny the importance of a mobile strategy. You already know that a seamless, responsive website experience is critical. But you may not know that advertising providers are adapting to the growing demand for advanced, high-quality mobile inventory and targeting capabilities. New technologies allow us to reach consumer fragments with highly granular messaging at the exact moment they need you.
Behavioral Targeting: Behavioral targeting has been around for years, and providers have continued to improve accuracy and effectiveness. Behavioral targeting serves ads to internet users based on their behaviors: websites they’ve visited, online purchases they’ve made, etc. Past behavior is one of the best predictors of future behavior. Now, advertising providers are expanding their mobile behavioral targeting capabilities. Device owners can be categorized into highly narrow segments — “morning diners,” “in market for Nissan,” “coffee lovers,” and “affluent shoppers” are just a few examples.
Content Category Targeting: Content category targeting places mobile ads on groups of apps and mobile websites based on their content. For example, a car dealership might choose to run a mobile ad campaign on automotive apps. (The “weather” category is popular for advertisers who want completely neutral, non-controversial ad placements.) If you can pinpoint the types of apps your customers frequent, then you can serve ads there.
Brand and Location Targeting: Yep. It’s now possible to create mobile campaigns serving ads to people who are fans of, or frequently visit, national chain stores and brands. Major clothing retailers, hotel chains, restaurants, tax-prep services, dental office chains — the list goes on and on. If you’d like your name and message to appear to customers of your national competitors, then this is a mobile ad strategy to consider.
In-store and Visit Retargeting: At CMG, retargeting is almost always the foundation of our digital strategies — we love our warm leads. You may already be serving ads to people who visited your website, but now, you can serve mobile ads to people who visited your brick and mortar store. Some big brands are introducing interactive features you can only access if you visit. A visit to your store is more than just a warm lead. That’s downright hot!
Neighborhood Targeting/Geofencing: If research has shown that the demographics of a specific subdivision align with your core customer, then you should consider serving mobile ads within a “geofence,” a very specific geographic region. Geofencing is almost like putting up doorhangers, but without the printing costs and the walking door to door.
Weather Triggers: Own a snow-removal service? Offer paintless hail dent repair at your body shop? If weather can trigger your business, then it can be used to trigger mobile advertising. Some advertising providers can offer you a chunk of advertising inventory that will only serve when a certain weather condition occurs or is forecasted — a snowstorm, a heat wave, high humidity, low wind chill, and more. The possibilities can be quite specific.
Dynamic Location Insertion: If foot traffic and passersby can benefit your business, then mobile advertising may make a good addition to your marketing mix. Some premium mobile ads can dynamically update to show a mobile phone user how close they are to your business: “You’re 1.2 miles away from my delicious restaurant!” Hungry, anyone?
One last word…
In September, Apple announced that iOS 11 would feature “intelligent tracking prevention.” This new tool prevents cross-tracking across sites viewed on Safari, Apple’s mobile internet browser, and clears all third-party cookies after 24 hours. Immediately after that announcement, the marketing community roared in protest. Several major advertising associations wrote open letters to Apple asking them to rethink this change.
In light of this news, should you be worried about your current mobile strategies and retargeting? I don’t think so. According to 2017 data from TechCrunch, people only spend 8 percent of time on their phone in mobile browsers. 92 percent of mobile activity occurs in apps, and this change doesn’t affect ads in apps.
Also, intelligent tracking prevention only clears third-party cookies. Retargeting cookies from your own website are first-party, so they are not affected. Overall, this change will have a minimal impact on mobile ad impressions served. No sweat.