Mobile Marketing Class: Day 16 – Advertising

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This past Thursday we we covered mobile advertising. This is a relatively new model and there is a ton that businesses need to learn. One of the main differences we discussed in previous classes is that people see mobile phones as an extension of themselves. They are apart of our most personal conversations and for most of us, they’re never more than three feet away from us at any time. So why would you want an ad “on you”?

The answer to that question long-term is that the ad really is for me. Right now, for most, mobile advertising is still casting a fairly large net. The exception to the rule lies in search-based advertising. It’s contextual by design and currently owns about 75% of the mobile advertising market.

The majority of this course has been about making sure that the destination for promotions are of quality. The app is the way it should be. The mobile site is done right. The iPad app will deepen the relationship with your customers. Once, those items are “right”, we can then send our customers to them.

We started out by defining the flavors of advertising and some stats around each method.

  • Display Ads – The CTR for display ads on smartphone is 1.25%, tablet is 1.31% with PC at .95%
  • Paid Search – As I mentioned above, paid search makes up ~75% of the market
  • Coupons – Mobile coupons can have a redemption rate of 50%, while their paper counterparts are at 1%
  • QR Codes – 2011 saw an increase in usage of 1253%

We’ve covered location based advertising in previous classes with Placecast as the active example and Foursquare, Facebook Places and Google Places as on-demand examples.

We then walked through the types of display ads (including video) that companies can utilize. (The MMA Global standards are located here.) From there we walked through creating an ad campaign on AdMob. This incredibly powerful tool allows you to customize based on mobile device, OS version and geography among other items. Amazing.

From there we talked about Google’s mobile ad capabilities (highlighted in the video at the bottom) and then walked through the mobile specific features created with the latest upgrades.

After that we talked about mobile coupons and some methods that businesses use to discount their offering. From the redemption stat listed above, you can understand why this is such an area of focus. We walked through the Regal Cinema coupon process on Facebook.¬†This is a fairly slick way to collect fans mobile numbers while forcing them to Like your brand. Once you’ve reluctantly Liked them, you receive a SMS message with a URL that is sadly devoid of branding and a reference to the concession stand. (Not sure anyone uses the term concession other than the theater employees.) But luckily for me the coupon was for nachos so it was totally worth it!

Lastly we reviewed best practices for QR codes.

  • Test, test and then do some more testing – Test your QR code across all QR code readers as they are not all the best. I use Optiscan.
  • Visit the location – Where you’re QR code is located can impact whether it can be read or not. (Too dark. Too Rainy and don’t want to get my smartphone wet. etc )
  • Hold the product in your hand. Is the can too curved for the QR code to work? Is there a better place to put the code based on how I’m holding it. You must interact with the product itself.
  • Destination of the link must be pertinent to the situation. Don’t just send them to your site. If the QR code is on one of your products; take them to a product demo.
  • Make sure that the destination is mobile optimized. Quite a buzz kill to be taken to a standard website I have to zoom into to see what this QR thing is all about.
  • Include the link that the QR code should take them to. Face it, QR code scanning is currently a huge pain and for those that don’t even know what it is – which is many – they may just want to type in the URL the old fashioned way. (This process will be much easier when scanning functionality is simply built into your camera. iPhone 5 please . . .)
  • QR codes are not just for web links. They can trigger an SMS to be sent or for a call to be made. Be creative and make sure if builds brand equity.
  • For those that don’t know what a QR code is, it is wise to give them some brief instruction. “Go hear and download this app and then scan our QR code for our amazing offer”.
  • The information around the code should tell them what they are going to get. Be specific about the value they will get by scanning the code.
  • Contextual – Where are they? What time is the code most likely to be scanned? Who are they? Think of all of these things before doing anything.

Next class we’re going to talk about the digital marketing landscape and how mobile fits into it!

By Michael Myers

I'm an Associate Teaching Professor of Digital Marketing at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. I also consult with startups and established brands. I'm currently focused on artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience and culture. I am married to an amazing woman and have two incredible children. I was raised in Colorado and spend my free time with family, biking, snowboarding and going to the Pacific Ocean to SCUBA dive and/or surf. I'm passionate about architecture, design, street art, photography and the art that tattooing has evolved into.

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