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Circus Street

Four ways to make the most of mobile

As mobile devices have become the primary way for consumers to access the internet, marketers must find new ways to engage them in an environment dominated by apps

A decade on from the launch of the original iPhone and brands and agencies no longer question the ‘if’ of mobile advertising but the ‘how’. Rapidly evolving technologies, such as AR and the Internet of Things, coupled with the changing ways we access the internet, means that mobile is now topping the agenda. 

According to Zenith’s latest mobile advertising forecast, mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, will account for a staggering 73% of time spent using the internet globally in 2018. That’s up from 36% of all internet use in 2011. Little wonder, then, that marketers are spending ever-increasing amounts on mobile – Zenith now estimates that 63% of UK internet adspend will go to mobile this year.

From humble beginnings as a product to make and receive calls, the smartphone is now a music library, camera, gaming device, browser and social-media driver. Mobile devices have become the essential bridge between the digital and physical worlds: they can wake you up, turn on your heating at home, buy a coffee, get you a cab home and track all your activity and sleep. They’ve become integral to almost everything we do. 

So, how can marketers take advantage of the endless innovation going on in this space? 

1. Location, Location, Location
You can now reach consumers everywhere they go and collect rich data on activity and actions. With techniques such as geofencing and beacons helping to bridge the worlds of online advertising and real-world sales, you can target and sell in ever-more creative ways. 

2. Find the most engaged audience 
Research firm eMarketer predicts that mobile app use accounts for almost 20% of total media time and nearly 85% of total mobile time spent – the remainder is mobile web-browsing. Social and messaging apps account for the bulk of that usage and that’s where to start when building engagement. 

3. Programmatic
The data that mobile brings to the program­matic market is unique, with location and app data offering a much more detailed understanding of the consumer. Consider Starbucks. Its ambition is to become the most-personalised coffee company in the world. From across multiple data points, including its app, it has an understanding of what a customer is buying, where, when and in what weather, enabling it to contextualise offers and ads in real-time.

4. Cross-Device Tracking
The proliferation of devices in this connected world has made it harder to track consumers across all touchpoints, and with the cookie not quite as tasty as it once was, marketers must rethink how to establish that fabled single customer view. 

Look to alternative methods in determin­istic and probabilistic tracking to establish a more complete picture.

The marketer who marries the potential of these most personal of devices to campaigns that deliver value for the consumer will win out in this increasingly mobile age.

Richard Townsend is chief executive and co-founder of Circus Street

Find out more Learn more about these challenges in our new Mobile lessons. Email us at for a free trial.* *Offer ends 15 December 2017.

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