Mobile the third screen? I don’t think so

Mobile the third screen? I don’t think so

Rachel rolls over in bed. She picks up her phone, checks the time and looks over her feed that has filtered in throughout the night. Nothing urgent, so she pads off to the shower.

B&T Magazine
Posted by B&T Magazine

Joey groans and picks up his tablet to check his work emails and the latest news. He heads to the bathroom, flicking on the Nespresso U and emailing as he goes.

A variation of this scene is being played out every day, all over the world. So if your company still sees mobile as the ‘third’ screen, you might as well go back to bed and watch reruns of Friends.

Mobile is the first screen, the screen at which we gaze for the majority of our day Рin the morning, on the way to work, in the queue at the café, during lunch, and at home in the evening on our tablets whilst watching TV.

According to a recent research paper from Google, 77% of viewers use a second device while watching TV. Business Insider’s intelligence also shows that mobile is the only 'screen' that is growing its share.

Because of this, as an advertiser you need to consider creating a mobile experience for your consumer, whether it is a native app or a mobile-optimised website. And you need to engage your consumer where and when they are spending their time and money.

The screen is smaller, their attention span is limited, yet the opportunities are almost endless.

Here are three ways for you to provide relevant, timely and well-executed advertising in this mobile world order.

1. Make it personal 

Talk to me as if I’m one person (which I am), regardless of the device that I’m using. This is hard for companies that rely on cookie-based targeting or who only offer mobile solutions. Work with partners who can intelligently track user engagement, frequency, location, transactional data, and context across multiple devices and screens. This enables seamless and effective messaging to your target audience. In addition, it will provide actionable audience insights, and better engagement and results for your brand.

2. Dont interrupt

Consumers use mobile phones to get information quickly and efficiently – don’t get in their way. Like most of us, you have probably inadvertently pressed the banner ad on a screen because the close button is squeezed right up in the corner, or next to the actual button that you wanted to press. This is known as ‘fat thumb’, and it’s frustrating. Arguably, it’s why banner ads on mobile have a proportionately higher click-through rate than banners on desktop. But that CTR doesn’t tell you how frustrated your potential customers are when you interrupt them while they are trying to get on with their lives.

Instead of recycling an old product (yes – I’m looking at you Mr Banner Ad) for a mobile world, think about formats that are native to that experience and screen, and are a natural break or extension to the consumer journey. An example of this is a location-based message or offer after a user has searched for restaurants in Singapore. A review of 2,500 mobile campaigns by Verve showed that those using a location-based message had twice the industry click through rate than those without.

3. Provide value

Recognise your users’ activity and add value to that experience. This doesn’t mean asking for information or prompting them to click on a link so they can redeem virtual currency in the game of their choice to ‘Level Up’ or unlock a new weapon. Instead I mean advertisers should understand the context they are in (shopping), the activity within that context (for concert tickets), and their state of mind (I am loyal to this brand). For example, if your target audience is on a ticketing site or app and at the end of their designated action (in this case the purchasing of a ticket), and they are then presented with access to backstage promotions, personalised messages from relevant brands or offered savings on products that match their profile, they are much more likely to engage with your offer.

In other words, if your offer is relevant, personalised and delivered effectively and intelligently through a robust targeting platform, the consumer is more likely to respond to this type of referral marketing.

Every business needs to keep evolving its mobile advertising strategies to remain relevant. But don’t just think because you are buying Facebook ads or running mobile banners that you have a mobile strategy. Instead, put your consumers first, know that they interact with your brand across multiple screens and devices, and then add value to their mobile experience. Most importantly, work with partners who also understand this and can deliver on these three simple steps for mobile nirvana.

Just be sure to check your compass regularly because that mobile landscape is shifting fast.

Peter Davies is chief revenue officer at Rokt.