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Mobile ads effective influencers of holiday gift-purchasing decisions

When targeting, media placement and creative are done right, mobile marketers can make a significant impact on purchase and consideration during the holidays.

Mobile calls-to-action featuring an SMS keyword and short code or mobile bar code can make holiday-themed traditional media actionable. Savvy retailers can get the word out about holiday sales via SMS, the mobile Web and branded applications, while brands can use various forms of mobile advertising to achieve their holiday-specific goals.

In the fifth installment of a series focused on mobile marketing during the holidays, Mobile Marketer?s Dan Butcher interviewed Jennifer Okula, vice president of data innovation at WPP's Safecount, New York. Here is what she had to say:

With so much noise and holiday-themed advertising starting around Thanksgiving and even before, how can a brand use the mobile medium to get noticed during this period of very competitive media?
The mobile medium is a still very uncluttered space for advertising and it's a great opportunity to get noticed just by being present.

Advertising awareness averages a whopping 22 point increase after ad exposure on WAP sites compared to a 4 point increase online, according to Dynamic Logic?s second quarter 2010 report.

To make an even greater impact, brands should buy high share of voice placements and ensure their ads are seen at a high levels of frequency.

Ad awareness tends to increase with increased frequency of ad exposure.
What are some best practices for targeting specific demographics using mobile during the holiday season?
Approximately only 27 percent of mobile campaigns are demographically targeted, according to Millennial Media?s June 2010 report.

Most of the targeting happening in mobile right now is geolocation-based and there is an apparent opportunity to use more specific audience targeting.

Effective demographic and audience targeting can be done via mobile ad networks and can also be contextually accomplished by selecting relevant mobile sites. For example, selecting relevant women's interest or gaming sites to reach women.

Given that many people are traveling and away from the television and their PCs during the holidays, and the fact that people need to do more in less time, how can mobile address these types of general advertising challenges?
Mobile advertising coupled with other digital or offline advertising can help reiterate a brand, message or theme across a few platforms for optimal impact.

Being exposed to the same message across media has proven to help to reinforce an advertising message.

Some brands use SMS campaigns to drive consumers from a TV or print ad to opt-in for messages where they can "follow the consumer" and continue the conversation at multiple touchpoints wherever they are.

Why is mobile advertising significant/necessary for marketers during the holiday season?
Mobile advertising has proven to be able to drive brand consideration, intent to purchase or other relevant action.

After exposure to a mobile campaign, increases in purchase intent average five points and even up to as high as ten points for the best-performing campaigns, according to Dynamic Logic.

During last year's holiday season, I was involved in measuring a holiday campaign for a well-known retail company where a specific creative message about gift-giving increased by 28 points after exposure and intent to visit the store increased 13 points.

The campaign included specific imagery of gifts and other holiday colors and pictures that drew attention.

When targeting, media placement and creative are done right, marketers can make a significant impact on purchase and consideration.

What is one unexpected thing that may happen over the holidays?
I think there could be a noticeable increase in use of mobile coupons.

This year, shoppers will be willing to spend more during the holidays than last year. However, they will still want to remain conservative in that spending.

Mobile couponing is no doubt still in the early stages of adoption.

A study conducted earlier this year by Harris Interactive, found that nearly half?46 percent?of adult Internet users who own a mobile phone are somewhat likely to try out mobile coupons.

I think consumers are starting to get more comfortable with using their mobile phones outside of calls and texting and will be willing to experiment.

What are some tips for deploying an effective SMS campaign for the holidays?
Effective SMS campaigns I have seen in the past included copy and call-to-actions that were very straightforward and to-the-point.

Coupled with mobile display advertising or even other digital or offline advertising, it's possible to reiterate a brand, message or theme across a few platforms for optimal impact.

By driving consumers from a TV or print ad to opt-in for SMS messages, advertisers have the opportunity to follow the consumer and continue the conversation at multiple touchpoints.