Thursday, 8 December 2011

Nicola Reed, Marketing Director, Adfonic says."Mobile represents a huge opportunity for retailers to reach and engage with shoppers as they hunt for Christmas gifts"

Nicola Reed, Marketing Director, Adfonic

With the festive season now upon us, the mobile industry is gearing up for the busiest few weeks of the advertising calendar. 
Last December, record revenues were generated through mobile display advertising, and with smartphone ownership up 42% from this time last year(source: Gartner), this year is set to exceed previous figures with mobile forming a bigger piece of the traditional Christmas shopping frenzy. 

Far from being confined to London, consumers throughout the country are using their mobile devices to surf the internet and engage with apps, both whilst browsing on the high street and from the comfort of home. According to recent research by IBM, 15% of consumers will access retail websites on mobile enabled devices this December and the Centre for Retail Research has predicted that as much as £1.64 billion will be purchased via mobile devices. 
Mobile subsequently represents a huge opportunity for retailers to reach and engage with shoppers as they hunt for Christmas gifts and bargains.  As well as driving m-commerce, mobile advertising has an important role to play in driving consumers into physical stores.  According to KPMG, 32 percent of Brits use mobile devices to research product information and just under half of us use our mobile phones to find shops. 
Mobile is now a key component of any successful, integrated marketing plan and mobile advertising spend is expected to ramp up this Christmas as advertisers focus their efforts on reaching a growing, and increasingly engaged, mobile audience.
Adfonic’s network
 Last year we recorded and analysed mobile click patterns across Adfonic’s network throughout December in order to identify patterns of behaviour and trends that occur on mobile over the festive season. Our network includes over 10,000 publisher sites and apps and reaches 100,000 mobile unique users each month. – so it’s a fairly representative view of how consumers are engaging with mobile ads.
The data revealed that mobile click volumes rose by 400% on the busiest day of December pre-Christmas in 2010. Advertisers familiar with online traffic patterns will find this sharp increase unsurprising. However, what may be more unexpected is that the peak day fell on the second Sunday of December, in contrast to the second Monday which has traditionally been the peak pre-Christmas shopping day online.  If, as expected, we see a similar pattern this year to last, this Sunday 11th December is set to hit a pre-Christmas high, with traffic volumes for the full month peaking on Boxing Day. 
The ‘Mobile Sunday’ phenomenon is a clear reflection of the different ways that consumers are using mobile enabled devices in comparison to online.   Whereas online sales are widely expected to peak on Monday 12th December, whilst people shop online from work during lunch breaks, we expect the Sunday 11th peak in mobile activity to bedriven largely by people interacting with mobile sites and apps on-the-go as they shop on the high street as well as whilst relaxing at home, watching TV in the evening.
Adding geo-location targeting to campaigns is consequently a great way to attract impulse buyers whilst they’re shopping, with offers and promotions which can be redeemed in a store close to where they are.
Timing is also key to any successful mobile advertising campaign.  Our ongoing analysis of average daily click patterns shows a sharp increase in mobile traffic after 6pm, whilst online traffic volumes arefalling.  Factoring the differences in peak mobile browsing times into campaigns is necessary to maximise the visibility of ads.
Cross-link ad campaigns
Mobile also opens up exciting opportunities to cross-link ad campaigns with other media, such as TV and online, to more effectively engage consumers across multiple touch points.  For example, timing mobile ads to appear around the time of a television ad from the same retailer can be hugely powerful in closing the loop and encouraging consumers to engage with that retailer’s site or app.  
Many of the most successful mobile ads this holiday season will be those that make use of new rich media creative formats. Rather than a mobile ad appearing as a staticbanner at the top of the mobile website or app, rich media creatives display the ad across the entire screen of the phone and support the use of video. In essence, rich media is more akin to a TV ad, and it’s this additional engagement that drives higher conversation rates.
Christmas is a busy period for any brand and in order to deliver the best results, mobile should be treated not as an extension of an online strategy but as adiscrete advertising channel with its own set of unique characteristics. Adfonic’skey advice for Marketers looking to maximize mobile ad campaign performance this Christmas and throughout the January sales,is to integrate their mobile campaign with their campaigns running across other channels; be aware of how consumers engage with mobile over the festive period and last but by no means least, measure and adjust campaigns as they run, as a continuous process to see the best results.
Adfonic’s Top Tips for a merry mobile advertising campaign this Christmas:

Consider the different ways in which consumers browse the mobile web and apps compared to online – peak days and peak times of day can differ significantly on mobile.

Be prepared for sharp traffic increases on days that will not always correspond to your peak online traffic days. 

Be clear in your ad creatives and within your mobile sites and apps about last order dates and shipping deadlines pre-Christmas.

Christmas Day itself was the second biggest day in December for mobile clicks across the Adfonic marketplace in 2010; highlighting the trend for an even earlier start to online sales. It is therefore important to ensure Christmas themed ads are replaced with January sales offers as soon as Christmas has arrived.

The iPad 2 will undoubtedly be one of the most popular gifts this Christmas and iPad traffic will receive a large boost as a result.  Bear this in mind when planning your January sales campaigns.

About Adfonic: Adfonic is Europe’s largest independent mobile advertising marketplace. Adfonic enables advertisers to bid for display advertising space on mobile sites and applications to extend their reach and drive results, and publishers to maximise the earning potential of their mobile traffic. 

Adfonic runs campaigns for clients including Samsung, eBay, Warner Bros., McDonalds, Groupon and Google and reaches an estimated 100 million mobile unique users monthly.  Over 20 billion monthly ad requests are generated through Adfonic’s network. The company is headquartered in London with further operations in New York, San Francisco, Paris and Madrid. To learn more, visit or

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