This post was originally published on Entrepreneur. Any marketing effort should be driven by the fact consumers love their mobile devices. It’s of their most prized possessions. It’s their best friend, the object they always carry with them and most importantly, the device through which they will most likely access your service. As the mobile industry grows, brands appear to be showing a deeper understanding of this new reality and seem to be doing their very best to adjust. However, while many brands understand the importance of a strong mobile presence, they do not necessarily know how to get there. In the process of figuring things out, it seems that everyone loves to throw around big words like “mobile first,” “context” and “personalization” but not enough people know what these terms actually mean. It’s time to drill down and find out how to actually implement a mobile-first marketing strategy and not just use these trendy slogans.
Kick personalization up a notch
Targeting potential users based on demographics and interests is great, but it’s not nearly enough to see concrete results. The primary difference between mobile ads and desktop ads is that users are exposed to mobile ads when they’re on the go and surrounded by other people, situations and events. The best way to achieve results is to find out exactly what potential consumers are experiencing and to target them with a mobile ad that correlates to that specific experience. This can be done by gathering data using geo-location technologies and check-ins in public places. Whereas 30-second TV advertisements can set a scene and then “hit” the viewer with the message when he or she is ready to absorb it, mobile ads don’t have that luxury. For that reason, “hitting” consumers with the right message when they are experiencing a relevant situation helps paint a more comprehensive picture of the product you’re trying to sell. For example, if you’re marketing a taxi app, chances are you’ll get more conversion from ads if you geo-target people who just stepped out of a huge concert (and are most likely looking for a ride home).
Reach and convert within seconds
A mobile-first approach understands that the goal is no longer to transmit a message that might resonate with consumers later on but rather to get them to act NOW. This is why knowing what the consumer needs and when they need it is crucial to achieving a higher conversion rate. For instance, if you’re advertising a taxi app and trying to target a 30-year-old woman, you can first figure out where she is. If she’s on her way to work, and it’s currently pouring rain outside, chances are she’ll go out of her way to catch a taxi. This is the time to act! Not only will that woman want to download your app, she’ll register immediately and become a user in a matter of minutes. Mobile ads, unlike other types of ads, allow marketers to turn potential consumers into users and immediately try out their product with just a few clicks. In order to utilize this benefit of mobile ads, brands should use a clear call-to-action and appropriate messaging to successfully attract users and get them to check out the product right away.
Personalize the product itself
Marketers: If you think your work is done after the download stage, think again. In-app events are just as important to ensure that people not only download the app (and don’t forget about it two days later) but become active, engaged users. The most crucial step in ensuring that users continue from the download stage to registration is the onboarding stage. There are a few services out there that allow developers to create apps that adapt according to the user. These adaptations include everything from the screen flow to the messaging and color palette. For instance, a music-streaming app could have a target audience that encompasses many different age groups and people of varied interests. While attracting these users can be done through using ad targeting, age-inappropriate in-app elements might scare them away. This sort of app could benefit from the service mentioned above and offer different users’ text and messaging that “speak” to them in their own language. A mobile first approach recognizes this challenge and harnesses the right tools to handle it.