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Five things mobile advertising can teach desktop marketers

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A few examples of micro-moments:

  • Your juicer just broke. You need to search to find a new one, or research the best or most economical ones currently available;
  • You just watched a news report about the snowfall in New York. You search to find out what you can do to help;
  • You see a product you’re thinking about buying in a store. You search to find out if you can get a better price or find a better option; and 
  • Your child wants to play in a park but it’s pouring with rain. You search online to find out where to go.

Each moment where a customer is engaged with their mobile device provides an opportunity to impress or disappoint.

Fail to deliver timely ads and not only do marketers risk losing out on immediate sales but on a longer term they also risk their brand equity and being shut out by consumers irked by invasive messages that would otherwise have been useful had they been properly timed.

(4) Cross-channel

When marketers truly understand their customers journey they can better adapt the channel mix taking into consideration multiple mobile devices. Companies need to ensure that marketing departments are set up to effectively orchestrate the cross-channel mix and that the ad can follow the user whatever mobile device they are using (be that a smartphone, tablet, watch or other wearable).

When designing a creative thats headed cross-channel, check that it works across devices (ios to android to desktop) and that any calls to action are integrated and flow across the campaign.

For example, when you create a video ad on desktop, it can’t be used on smartphones as it won’t play and deliver the same way. The same applies for smartphones to tablets. This means that not only does a marketing strategy need to be mobile dedicated, the creatives need to be device-specific too.

Marketers also need to take into consideration the cross-channel operating systems (OS) between iOS devices and Android devices. Never assume that just because a customer has a Macbook that theyre also using an iPhone – increasingly customers make frequent daily journeys between iOS and Android devices so creatives that play out well on both will reach the customer whatever their OS of choice is. The brands that follow this journey with ease will reap rewards.

(5) Dont hide from the mobile world! 

Desktop marketers need to bear in mind that desktop users are also mobile users. Even if the user started and ended their journey on a desktop, there will likely have been mobile device usage along the way. This doesnt mean that a desktop strategy will suffice for a mobile advertising campaign however: digital strategy campaigns need to contain a mobile-specific strategy. 

With the increasing adoption of wearables, mobile devices are not going away; in fact, more are being added to the mix. The brands that are already responding to this explosion are the early adopters who will win the trust of consumers. They will be respected rather than reviled by users as their content will be relevant, useful and timely.


The companies that will excel with marketing strategies that truly reach their customer with the right message, well presented, executed at the right time and in the right context will doubtless win the trust and respect of the consumer while increasing sales and customer retention in a way that is second to none. Mobile marketers are now adopting strategies that include such a powerful mix of consumer considerations to capture that small mobile moment and the desktop marketers who embrace these new power tools will similarly reap rewards. The pupil has certainly become the master!

Fred Joseph is COO of S4M.



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