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Mobile creative will be linchpin in driving in-store retail traffic

Mobile creative is not where it needs to be currently. However, marketers must think beyond traditional banner, expandable and interstitial ads to offer consumers a different mobile advertising experience.

“A powerful component of a mobile marketing strategy is that it can quantify in-store experiences and provide a way to personalize engagement that has traditionally been anonymous,” said Wilson Kerr, vice president of business development and sales at Unbound Commerce, Boston.

“A campaign that provides value to consumers can help determine who has been in your store, when, and what was their experience?” he said. “Thousands of consumers might visit a store daily, and yet a retailer typically knows little if anything about what brought them there, what they bought, and why.

“Odds are, most of these consumes are carrying a smartphone.”

Getting their attention
It is very important for marketers to have an incentivized and clear call-to-action in their mobile commerce advertising efforts.

Retailers need to get ahead of the adoption curve and prime the pumps.

As consumers engage with mobile at point-of-sale for the first time, they will need a compelling reason to do so.

“This is nothing new,” Mr. Kerr said. “Even a single-door sandwich shop likely has a punch card to earn you a freebie.

“The key is to link mobile engagement with a reward that is real and packaged in a creative, compelling call-to-action that improves the customer experience,” he said.

“Unlocking savings or providing a special discount that is controlled by a store manager is a good example.”

Making an impact
Mobile advertising creative is the first thing that consumers will see.

Therefore, it has to stand out.

However, flashing neon signs are not needed. In its place, marketers must add clear calls-to-action, as well as incentives for consumers to tap on the ad and, ultimately, visit a retailer’s location or mobile commerce-enabled site.

“The ubiquity of the mobile device and the increase in bandwidth and Wi-Fi hot spots mean that shopping starts in your palm,” said Jason Arena, vice president of brand strategy and marketing at KSC Kreate, Hollywood, FL.

“While bricks-and-mortar retail outlets will still play a role in the customer’s purchase process, it will be quite different than what we are used to,” he said. “From my own experience, I can tell you that when it comes to apparel, I always buy the first product from a particular brand in-store to ensure the quality and fit.

“Once I’ve confirmed that it fits, I will not likely go back to the store for other colors or even other similar styles from that brand – I will simply do it online.”

Quality, design and the brand’s persona are the ultimate persuaders for shoppers,

The mobile device has significantly impacted the way consumers shop.

“When you have the ability to shop all retailers in a category in just a few clicks, the call-to-action such as coupons, special promotions and pricing are the tiebreakers,” Mr. Arena said.

“What we are seeing right now is a mad dash to add video to your product presentations,” he said. “People who view video when shopping products are 174 percent more likely to purchase over brands that don’t employ it, according to recent industry studies.”

Key role
Mobile creative can play an important role in driving in-store traffic, if it is relevant and coupled with a frictionless cross-channel experience.

“With so many advances in technology related to location, notifications, personalization, and analytics, good mobile advertising has become not just an art, but a science,” said Chris Mason, co-founder/CEO of Branding Brand, Pittsburgh.

“If you want conversion, a clear call-to-action is key,” he said. “This is especially true with technology-related requests and varying levels of audience expertise.

“Don’t just advertise that you’re in Passbook – tell people to add their loyalty card and take them through the steps.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York