Wide-scale development, major advancements in technology and a continuing drop in the price of entry-level models has led to smartphone penetration skyrocketing. The smartphone has become one of the most important developments of the modern age, changing the way we live, pay bills, socialise and even the way our brains work. This trend shows no signs of slowing down, with eMarketer predicting that over a third of the world’s population will own a smartphone by 2018.
This new platform has also changed the world of marketing, with smartphones opening up incredible opportunities for advertisers. Mobile advertising is the fastest growing digital ad format around. It is viewed by many as the perfect channel for brands to reach whoever they want, whenever they want, wherever they want. The more brands realise the benefits of this lucrative ad format, the more they have taken advantage of the technology offered by smartphones, creating new and innovative methods of advertising that have changed the way we use our smartphone.
Advertising has always been about one thing: selling a brand, product or service. Advertisers have taken advantage of the technology and connectivity available through smartphones to deliver adverts that drive consumers to the point of sale faster and easier, forever changing the way we use our smartphones.
There is an abundance of calls to actions that brands use to entice users to click on their mobile ads and increase CTR, whether they are click to buy now, click to call a brand or shop directly or pay for and download a product in a single click.
These calls to actions are there to create an instantaneous action from the consumer. A ‘Buy Now’ button enables mobile users to complete the buying process wherever they are in real time. There are no secondary devices needed for the user to complete an action meaning that smartphones have helped brands create a seamless brand experience.
Smartphones are increasingly being used as part of our shopping and retail habits with 63% of mobile shoppers having used their mobile in store to compare and search for better prices.
Mobile beacons are increasingly being used by brands in the hopes of improving their customers’ in-store shopping experience. By using Bluetooth or Wifi, brands can send offers, coupons and rewards to mobile users when they are in store.
This clever way of marketing is leveraging our smartphones to create a unique and personal customer experience whilst at the same time allowing consumers to use smartphones as a tool for improving their shopping experience and for aiding competitive shopping.
All the biggest brands are using mobile advertising to get as close as they can to consumers, whether it be through viral ad campaigns, targeted advertising or native advertising.
Social media has been a great channel for brands to reach users and with most people accessing social media through their smartphones, this has enabled the mobile to create a constant connection between brand and consumer, allowing brands to integrate into our day-to-day lives.
Sponsored and featured ads are becoming commonplace on our social media feeds, while brands seek to “make friends” and “follow” us, gaining the ability to communicate with us directly, sending notifications to our smartphone in real time. Oreo’s ad during the Super Bowl which was created and tweeted during the halftime break is a perfect example of effective real-time mobile marketing. With such a large audience interacting with the Super Bowl, this ad connected personally to a large audience in real time, showing how effective mobile can be in creating connections between brand and consumer, without delivering a “hard sell” on products.
Mobile advertising has essentially turned our smartphones into a brand-building tool.
Viral videos have been a very popular trend recently and it was only so long before brands realised the potential of viral campaigns in terms of brand building and awareness.
Brands now create content with the express aim to make it “go viral”, creating highly shareable content that drives organic engagement and reduces advertising costs. You cannot scroll down your social media feeds without seeing sponsored stories or promoted tweets. Ads have become content which people enjoy engaging with and subsequently share.
The ease of sharing on your smartphone means that people have taken to sharing content, including branded content, regularly with their friends. Thanks to smartphones, we are now directly engaging in one-to-one conversations with people we know about the brands who are sharing such content. Smartphones are enabling us to digest branded content, talk about it with our friends and are essentially contributing to the viral trend that everyone loves.
A fairly new mobile advertising format has opened up an opportunity for smartphone users to – wait for it – earn money from seeing ads. Lock-screen ads simply present users with mobile ads each time they want to use their phone.
A similar venture has been started by Indian Company Airloyal. Their mobile solution, Ladooo, incentivises the consumer to watch advertisements by rewarding them with free airtime for performing a specific, app-related task.
Though these mobile ad solutions may not be rewarding users with a substantial amount of value, this advertising methodology offers a significant change in the mindset of consumers and drastically changes how people use their smartphones, turning their device into a way to make money/earn rewards.