Mack McKelvey: November 2011 Archives

Successfully Mobilizing Marketer Verticals

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There’s an enduring misperception that only a few select verticals are seeing success with mobile advertising. Correcting that is a key item on the industry to do list. During Advertising Week 2011, Paul Gelb, the Vice President, Mobile Practice Lead at Razorfish, observed that “Every industry vertical has found a way to integrate mobile.”

Indeed, particularly over the past 18 months, several verticals have become extremely active in the mobile arena, finding great success there. Six industry verticals increased their mobile ad spend by over 100 percent in the last year (with the finance vertical alone growing by more than 1000 percent), showing that mobile is not only beyond the experimental stage; it has become a key component of today’s media plan.

The IAB “Marketer Perceptions of Mobile Advertising” survey, released in July 2011, provided a great perspective on mobile for a number of key verticals. There is clear common ground between the IAB findings on vertical markets, and what Millennial Media is seeing in the marketplace.

Different Verticals at Different Stages of Embracing Mobile

As a mobile ad platform, Millennial generates data and insights that cover the breadth of the mobile advertising marketplace. We share those insights via a number of Mobile Intelligence offerings, including our monthly Scorecard for Mobile Advertising Reach and Targeting (SMART) and Mobile Mix: The Device Index reports.

In June, we added the Mobile Intel Series to the mix. This vertically-focused series is currently produced in conjunction with comScore to help brands navigate consumer behavior, targeting trends, etc. within key verticals. So far, this series has covered retail and automotive, and in a few weeks we’ll release a third report, on financial services.

The results of these reports, married with the campaign data pulled from our mobile ad platform, indicate key factors that all brands should consider when planning a campaign for their particular industry.

Know where to find your consumers

One of the misnomers in mobile is the idea that brands have to advertise in their own content vertical to reach consumers. For example, among mobile consumers who view auto content on their phone, sites like or Car and Driver are certainly popular, but there are other places to reach these users too. Compared to the overall mobile audience, mobile auto consumers are heavy users in mobile content categories such as Tech News, Sports Info and Financial News & Stock Quotes.

In the Finance vertical, 80 percent of mobile financial users own a smartphone, which is more than double the overall mobile population; and the mobile finance audience is 76 percent more likely to own a tablet or e-reader, when compared to the mobile audience.

This shows that mobile finance consumers are looking to engage with content on next generation devices, and there is an opportunity for brands to reach consumers through apps or the mobile web. The stat about connected devices also shows that mobile plays a huge role in these consumer’s lives, as many mobile finance users have both a tablet and smartphone.

The best way to reach consumers outside of your brand’s vertical will differ depending on the industry, and the brands who can understand how their target audience is using mobile can gain a leg up on the competition.

Know where mobile consumers are in the purchase funnel

When planning a campaign, advertisers should think about where consumers are in the purchase funnel when they are potentially viewing the ad. In our retail study, for example, we found that 52 percent consumers turn to mobile to help determine if a product is needed, while 29 percent turn to mobile to comparison shop.

For auto advertisers—brands may want to alter their campaigns if they are reaching people who are not directly in the market for a car (i.e. instead of advertising a sale price on a new model, they can advertise their maintenance app). This is another area that can definitely vary depending on the industry.

Find the targeting and campaign goals that work for your vertical

Reaching local consumers is a top priority for many mobile advertising campaigns, and this is seen in the targeting and campaign goals listed out in our Mobile Intel Series reports. 43 percent of targeted audience campaigns in the automotive industry chose to target by local market, as auto advertisers narrowed in on specific locations to drive consumers into dealerships and promote regional deals.

In the retail industry, 29 percent of campaigns had the goal of increasing foot traffic, again showing the emphasis on reaching local consumers in a specific market.

In both cases, retail and auto advertisers understood how important these consumers were to their industry, and they were able to craft campaigns specifically designed to reach this group.

Millennial maintains that the mobile “triple play” is location plus relevancy plus immediacy. All three of these are underscored in the quick aforementioned vertical examples.

Real World examples

For examples at how various verticals are succeeding in mobile in the retail, auto, travel, entertainment verticals and more, feel free to look through Millennial’s campaign summary library. For example, you can check out how Patagonia and Buick both engaged consumers with mobile video, but in two completely different ways that were relevant to their respective campaign goals. The IAB Mobile Library also has some wonderful research on mobile internet consumers.

Every industry vertical has found a way to integrate mobile. Now is the time to understand how your target audience is using mobile, and reach your consumers where they already are. Before your competition does.

About the Author

sp_mckelvey_mack.jpg Mack McKelvey

Mack McKelvey is an active member of the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence Board of Directors, the IAB Mobile Advertising Committee, and is Senior Vice President, Millennial Media.