Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Mobile Campaign Best Practices 2017

I've always been one for best practice. We don't see enough of it enough of the time unfortunately, especially when it comes to mobile advertising. The amount of time we're spending on mobile devices at any time is not decreasing any time soon and so it should follow that the ad spend follows the eyeballs to mobile screens. It's not quite the case yet. But as an industry, the more we can inject creativity into campaigns and best practice into targeting and running those campaigns, the better chance mobile will have and the sooner the ad dollars will cross over.

Global mobile ad spend is estimated to grow from $108.9 bn in 2016 to $143.5 bn in 2017. However, according to my friends at On Device Research, most of that cash is wasted on ads that are ineffective that consumers don't engage with and don't recall. That's a lot of money to waste...

It's not all bad news though, as the top 20% of mobile ads in terms of ad recall record an average uplift between the exposed and control group of +20% points. The remaining 80% of mobile ads achieve an average percentage point uplift of just +3%. Similarly the best performing 20% of mobile ads in terms of purchase intent are six times more effective than the remaining 80%. So there are clearly some advertisers and their agencies getting it right.

So what are these key things that they're getting right?

  1. Logo presence on every frame is crucial
  2. A human presence can engage
  3. Product shots catch the eye
  4. Placing branding at the top of the creative boosts ad recall
  5. Be cautious with dual branding as it can distract and confuse
  6. A single clear message beats a text heavy ad overloaded with information
  7. Video grabs the user’s attention
  8. Inject a little humour in to your creative
  9. A bit of interactivity hold’s the user’s attention
  10. If you want to drive purchase, then unsurprisingly having a strong call to action helps
  11. There's a bonus point to consider too and that's emotion. If you can connect emotionally with the consumer, you will do better.

ODR tells me that the top performing adverts adhere to six of these principles on average yet few advertisers adhere to these rules. I'll be honest, this is pretty much advertising 101 for any visual channel, be that print, outdoor or TV with the exception of the interactive points around video and interactivity which specifically apply to digital.

The bad news from the UK's High Streets has seen October retail sales fall at their sharpest rate since the height of the recession in 2009. That suggests there will be a tough run-up to Christmas. We don't yet know what the knock-on effect to the digital ad market remains to be seen but this time of year typically sees robust ad spend and mobile can have a great impact.

Typically, Q4 campaigns outperform the rest of the year when it comes to unprompted and top of mind awareness. This is perhaps no surprise since well known household names tend to advertise heavily in this quarter. These brands will always have high baseline levels of awareness anyway so although they'll get a boost in Q4, it is not as much as some of the lesser known brands can achieve.

That said, the team at ODR have noticed that Q4 mobile ad campaigns are underperforming in terms of boosting ad recall. This is likely down to even higher ad clutter than usual and being bombarded with a greater quality of brand communications overall. That means you might struggle to recall specific ads compared to quieter times of year.

That means that best practice is needed even more than ever, especially if you don't have the same kind of budgets that the big guns have.

If you need some inspiration of some good campaigns, then it's worth tracking ODR's quarterly winners on most effective ads. This one from Blis for B&Q for Father's Day ticked 7 of the boxes from the Best Practice list.

You can get the full mobile creative best practice guide here (it's free and includes some nice examples for each point). And if you're wondering about how On Device Research measures brand effectiveness, you can find out more about their methodology here.

Can you remember the last mobile advert you saw? I can remember one and that's for the Business of Software event tomorrow to hear Eric Ries talk about his new book, The Start-Up Way. And that's where I'll be tomorrow afternoon lending a hand. Maybe see some of you there.

Day 14/30 NaBloPoMo

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