Expert Insights from eMarketer's Cathy Boyle [Podcast]
Mobile devices have transformed how your target customers shop, but have they transformed how you market to those customers? If not, your business could be getting left behind the competition. Cox Media recently spoke with Cathy Boyle, Senior Analyst at eMarketer, who shared some valuable insights that can help you avoid that risk.
A whopping 80% of smartphone users and 90% of tablet users regularly shop on their mobile devices. They’re browsing, researching, comparing and pricing products, then finding out where to buy them. They’ve also become much more comfortable completing the transaction on mobile devices compared to just a few years ago, Boyle says. Today, some 70% of tablet users and 40% of smartphone users regularly make purchases on their devices.
Sales driven by mobile have been rising steadily for several years, and the trend shows no sign of stopping. Almost one-third of retail ecommerce sales are generated via smartphones and tablets — more than $123 billion — and in the next four years, that figure is projected to surpass $200 billion.
What does the mobile shopping transformation mean to your business’s marketing strategy? Boyle notes four key takeaways:
1. Engage with your customers on multiple channels. The average consumer spends more time than ever consuming media, which gives you more opportunity to reach them. Although consumers spend most of their media time with television, they also spend an average of 3-plus hours on smartphones and tablets each day. And no matter where they are, mobile devices enable consumers to browse, shop and buy 24/7. To reach customers at key decision points — which can now happen anytime, anywhere —it’s important to diversify your media mix, Boyle emphasizes. Work with your media representative to choose the right mix of television, online and mobile advertising based on where your target market spends their time.
2. Take advantage of today’s sophisticated ad targeting options. Improved targeting options include location-based targeting, audience targeting and content targeting to find the right customers based on where they are, who they are and what they’re doing. Mobile display and video ads can be targeted through advanced methods like geo-fencing and geo-conquesting. Boyle even explores the capabilities of social media ad targeting. For example, Boyle says, Google’s Local Inventory Ads show customers who are performing mobile searches that you've got the exact product they're looking for; Facebook’s Custom Audience tool lets you import your customer data and target those exact customers on Facebook.
3. Know what to measure. Mobile ads have different KPIs than desktop ads. For example, users who see your search ad on their desktops are likely to buy on the desktop. However, those who see your ad on a smartphone are more likely to buy in your brick-and-mortar store than online. If you don’t track the effect your mobile ads have on in-store sales, you might mistakenly cut back on mobile advertising because you think it’s not working, Boyle warns; she says many brands that make this error find that both their desktop and in-store sales go down as a result.
4. Keep an eye on the future. Even more exciting mobile marketing options are on the horizon. To make sure you’re up to date, pay attention to news about upcoming developments. Again, this includes social media advertising options as well. Boyle says Facebook's Messenger app, Snapchat and Kik are all making efforts to expand from just messaging apps into true e-commerce platforms —which means a lot of opportunity in this area in 2016 and beyond.
Mobile devices have opened up new ways for businesses to target, engage and attract customers. Want more ways to take advantage of these mobile marketing opportunities? Listen to Cox Media’s interview with Cathy Boyle of eMarketer here.
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