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Tap into human boredom to make most of mobile advertising: Sarah Ivey

Sarah Ivey, EVP, Director of Communication Planning, Worldwide Initiative

Every one’s talking mobile. It is the best thing out there to capture consumer attention. But how many brands engaged in mobile advertising have truly caught the attention of users in a meaningful way? Sarah Ivey, EVP, Director of Communication Planning, Worldwide Initiative, has a simple solution to that: “Embrace the mobile mind set of boredom and multitasking. Make most of the at-home experience.”

Understand why they use a mobile
According to a market study done by Initiative on the mobile usage pattern, over 40 per cent of the respondents use their mobile phone to either network socially or play mobile games when they are bored or need to kill time. “The key to marketing through mobile is to understand mobile from the consumer perspective. How people use it. Mobile is the way we connect with the world. It is the platform where most users are multitasking. It is the most social device for us and brands need to understand the device usage well to create campaigns that make the brand experience more effective,” Ivey explains.

Catch’em when they are idling
The effective way to get consumer attention is to target them when they are idling; which is most likely when they are travelling, or are at home watching television. Fifty four per cent of the respondents in the Initiative study said they used their smartphone while commuting and 56 per cent played with it while watching TV.

In fact, Chinese consumers actually rate the mobile device very highly as a medium to learn about brands and their products. “Tell your brand story to your audience at a time when they are most likely to be lounging and relaxing. When they do not have anything else dividing their attention, they are most likely to listen to you or watch your brand message. For that to be accepted, you have to create a localised experience, and send out messages that live in the moment,” Ivey suggests.

Encourage social shopping
This will lead to an increase in shopping via mobile definitely. A recent Gartner report shows that there is only a gradual increase in shopping via mobile because the purchase experience is still not up to the mark for most users. Ivey points out that 51 per cent of mobile shopping happens at home, most likely when a shopper is sitting in front of a television. However instead of real purchases, users still browse products and compare prices via the mobile. “The deal is most likely to be closed at a shop or at an online store. There is also the concept of social shopping where women who are the biggest users, talk to each other while checking out a product. This all happens through a mobile device. Thirty two per cent users like to social shop according to our study,” she adds.

Try frequent, meaningful interactions
In a new Forrester report, the agency has shown that globally, the customers are in the midst of a total mobile mind shift. They’re not interested in brand messaging or logos; they want utility — and they want it now. They are looking for a seamless experience which constantly offers them some sort of benefit to engage with a brand. “Your interactions via the mobile have to happen at a regular frequency. You can look at partnering to create branded social apps that offer some benefits to your audience as well as make them see the value of knowing you as a brand,” Ivey suggests.