How Mobile Campaigns Can Drive Sales

by Giuseppe Taibi on December 9, 2009

http://adage.com/digital/article?article_id=140938

An independent study commissioned by Microsoft found that mobile ads are driving sales, especially in categories that have a shorter purchase cycle. According to the survey involving 1,100 consumers, 13% said they have made online or offline purchases for movie tickets, concert tickets and other entertainment goods as a result of seeing a mobile ad.
About 12% made a package-goods purchase because of a mobile ad, and 10% bought consumer electronics and apparel. Mobile has less sway for categories such as financial services and auto, the survey showed. The findings also suggest that mobile coupons can drive store traffic: 62% of the respondents said they’re more likely to shop at retailers that offer incentives.

“The brands that have reaped the greatest return on their mobile advertising investments are more likely to be those in a shorter purchase-cycle category,” said Charles Johnson, general manager of Microsoft’s mobile advertising business group. “This is most likely due to a trend that follows the maturation of … emerging media channels.”

Because early investments in mobile are small, brands tend to commit to shorter campaigns. The expectation is that as the channel grows, so will budgets. At that point, advertisers can “gradually sustain their mobile presence over a long enough period so as to significantly influence consumer buying behaviors in classic long purchase-cycle categories such as financial services … and automotive,” Mr. Johnson said.

Other experts say mobile’s immediacy could also explain the survey’s findings. “It’s the path of least resistance — if I get a coupon, I’m going to go in,” said Joy Liuzzo, senior director of marketing and mobile research at InsightExpress. “The coupons offered by CPG and entertainment companies help to drive preference all the way down the purchase funnel.” In contrast, automakers are building awareness and spurring dealer visits, so they’re “two levels away from the bottom of the funnel,” Ms. Liuzzo said.

Suspicions
David Bear, executive director of mobile and social media at Atmosphere Proximity, said automakers realize they have to be in mobile because shoppers are researching and comparison shopping on the go as they visit different dealers.

Still, the optimistic-looking data comes with a few caveats, among them the reliability of self-reported behavior and the company behind the survey. “I would be somewhat suspicious of a Microsoft-commissioned study because they have every reason to publish numbers that attract dollars,” said Eric Bader, managing partner of mobile agency Brand in Hand. Still, Mr. Bader said he agreed with findings, which are not out of line with another third-party study he has reviewed.

Also worth noting is that 85% of the survey’s respondents are smartphone users, who are more likely to interact with their phones because of the better user experience. Yet this group is fewer than 20% of U.S. wireless subscribers.

Still, consumers are using their phones to facilitate purchase decisions: 46% said they use their handsets to compare prices in the store. More than 43% said they use mobile search every day, including 40% who said they use their phones to search for product information and 34% who use them to look up store locations.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Helen April 1, 2010 at 5:45 am

personally, for my Mobile Advertising Campaign, I choose a grow-up Mobile Advertising Platform Company called Aditic. They propose 10 different ads formats and i have a good ROI and can easily reach my targets. http://www.aditic.com

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