Over the past year, mobile accounted for 99% of the growth in online advertising and mobile ad spend has now reached an astonishing £3.9 billion. The sheer power of the channel has been enhanced by its rapid growth, with 86% of its value having been generated in the past five years. These findings, taken from the Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report, can be credited to the tech-tied consumers who spend almost half of their time browsing on smartphones.  

The time spent on mobile and the influence that the medium can wield means it has become incredibly popular among advertisers. The ability to constantly connect with consumers is any brand’s dream, but it isn’t all rosy. We live and work in such a competitive landscape that marketers must work even harder to optimise the airtime they have with consumers, in a space that is rapidly evolving.

Invaluable insights

The major challenge for marketers is tempering and streamlining the multiple interactions that the brand has with a single person across all the available channels, including display, video, search, social, desktop or in-app. There is an imperative to start to understand the sequence of messages across devices and how people are engaging with different ads, where and at what times. These kinds of insights become invaluable when fed back into future marketing plans, enabling the brand to optimise a campaign based on how particular channels are performing.

While this kind of cross-device attribution is often tricky to undertake due to the siloed nature of the various marketing channels, the end goal of the exercise is to ensure that the audience remains interested and not bombarded by messaging across the board, and that each interaction is valuable for the consumer.

Successfully understanding consumers’ purchase journeys is only possible in practice if advertisers have access to mobile-first digital solutions, enabling them to scale their advertising campaigns effectively across multiple devices. With a mobile-first approach in mind, M&C Saatchi Mobile saw the opportunity to better service its brand clients and help them better understand consumer engagement across devices by signing a global partnership agreement with Google.

The agency is already using Google’s Universal App Campaigns (UAC) solution, which covers search, play, YouTube and the Google Display Network across its client roster. It provides scaled app downloads for both Android and iOS. Undoubtedly, M&C Saatchi Mobile has been at the forefront of capitalising on mobile to build brands since 2006 and this latest deal means the agency will be further integrating Google’s range of products into its campaign planning.

A world of opportunities

So what are the core benefits of UAC? Its focus on understanding the lifetime value of consumers and driving long-term connections is a key tool available to brands and agencies. For example, Audible UK  has been able to grow its subscriptions and reduce the cost per acquisition through better understanding its customer’s’ lifetime value using UAC.

On top of customer analytics, Google is able to offer more robust controls on publisher quality, ensuring that brands and agencies can dictate where their ads are seen by whitelisting the sites and apps they agree to be featured on and blacklisting those which don’t make the grade. This is proving invaluable particularly from the agencies’ perspective when it comes to reassuring advertisers who are concerned about the lack of inventory control.

M&C Saatchi’s global agreement with Google will also help clients make the most of video, which is becoming the medium of choice for advertisers and agencies. According to the latest IAB/PwC Digital Adspend report, mobile accounts for 63% of video ad spend and with the money allocated to mobile video ads more than doubling to £693m, this is the fasting growing ad format.

Ideally, marketers need as wide a range of tools as possible to fully exploit the potential of mobile. YouTube has a suite available for brands while Google has already introduced Unique Reach in AdWords, which lets brands and their agencies see the number of unique users and average impressions-per-user across devices, screens and platforms.

Blurred lines

When it comes to mobile content, Google Trends outline how an audience’s interests have developed compared to what they used to engage with. This ensures that brand content remains current, topical and relevant to the ever-changing consumer interests. Most recently, Google launched Attribution to help marketers measure the impact of their mobile marketing across different devices and channels. This is extremely powerful when you consider just how many different interactions a brand has with a single person along their path to purchase.

It can be easy to lose track of the customer journey when people move between devices, but Google Attribution uses machine learning technology to analyse consumers’ movements in real time. This tool is also integrated with AdWords, Google Analytics and DoubleClick Search, making it easier to take action using data collected from different marketing channels.

It’s simple to switch to data-driven attribution, which also uses machine learning to determine how much credit to assign to each channel along the consumer journey. Data is analysed from the first time someone engages with a brand right down to the final click before purchase. Advertisers receive a report on conversion patterns and can compare the paths of those who spent money and those who didn’t. This means bids can be updated quickly or budget moved between channels.

Mobile has blurred the lines between the digital and physical worlds, so it’s more important than ever to find the most cost-effective solutions and digital tools to scale advertising successfully. M&C Saatchi Mobile is undoubtedly an expert in mobile advertising, striving to get the best results by pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Google encourage others to follow in M&C Saatchi Mobile’s footsteps and make the most out of mobile marketing.