The article originally published in MediaPost

Smartphones are inherently more personal than the more ancestral advertising channels. TV, radio, print, billboard and even PC have catered to mass communication, with advertisers hoping their brand messages will stick. Today’s always-on consumers have much different expectations with their mobile devices.
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Consumers want to interact with brands on a highly personalized level, receiving offers and ads tailored and delivered to them when and where it is appropriate, and nothing else.

To succeed on mobile, marketers need to get smarter about their mobile marketing strategies to be customer-centric and influence them at precise moments of decision making. Today, mobile targeting is based on peak points of mobile engagement, but to meet customer’s expectations and demands, mobile marketers will have to go beyond generalized peak point of engagement to contextually relevant ads.

As mobile marketing evolves, advertisers need to:

Understand secondary location data

Technology needs to drive true relevance by being situationally-aware of a user’s surroundings, beyond just nearby places, events, etc. Marketers need to bring in secondary location-based real-time data that exists, such as weather, traffic conditions and economic factors, to provide a true hyper-local and 360-degree user experience and provide for instant actionability.

Expand context beyond location

Location has been the primary filter that advertisers are using today for contextually relevant mobile advertising. The opportunity to deliver a highly personalized experience goes much further than where a customer is. What are they feeling? What do their friends and family like and respond to? By mining a customer’s social sphere and online communications to learn about them, mobile advertising will be much more hypertargeted and therefore effective.

Provide value

Deliver something of value to consumers. Mobile cannot be used as a soapbox to push marketing-centric messaging. Mobile is user-centric, and you need to deliver something that is interesting to consumers or gives them something, be it a deal, reward, information or entertainment.

Tap the brakes

Today’s tools make mobile advertising a playland for interactive marketers, with shiny new objects generating excitement everyday. It’s easy to want to connect with customers often because it’s fun and new. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you always should. Marketers need to carefully track the frequency of their communication with their customers to ensure they are not intruding and interrupting on their lives too often. Build your mobile strategy on a foundation of trust with your customer, delivering targeted messages when customers want them. If you interrupt too much, they will be quick to abandon.

Make Data Actionable

Interactive marketers need to track data in real time and adjust their programs to ensure maximum success. Stale data that works for other advertising channels, which comes days or even weeks after a campaign, is not appropriate for mobile. Mobile marketers need to be nimble and if one mobile program is not performing with one audience segment, they need to quickly change it to ensure a high ROI.

Mobile should not be treated in a silo, but should be part of an omni-channel marketing strategy. Consumers will interact with brands via apps, mobile and traditional Web, social media, and through various connected devices. We are on the verge of a major transformation in the advertising industry, one that will make the disruption of “traditional” digital advertising look trivial in comparison.

The opportunity to make meaningful, personal connections between customers and brands is huge and, therefore, so is the opportunity to make real impacts on their business.
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