Mobile Mini-Stories

Between January and April 2012, Dan Flanegan and I collaborated on a series of educational mini-stories for mobile advertising. The problem at the time that was that media salespeople had to sell mobile advertising, but many didn’t know much about it.

The goal was to give media salespeople knowledge that they could assimilate & use immediately after reading each story.

Mobile ads tie into the movies

mc-donalds-mobile-ad-campaignAshley is looking for show times for the new Justin Beiber movie.

She clicks a mobile display ad for the “Free Fries Movie Game.”

What movie are you going to see? > She clicks on the Justin Beiber movie.

What time? > She clicks on the time it starts.

Look out for the scene where Justin’s eating McDonalds.

The question is: Who did Justin share french fries with?

Enter your number below. We’ll text you the choices after your movie is over. Keep your eyes peeled!


In store brand influence

influence-in-storeAlex is inside Footlocker. He wants to buy shoes, and he doesn’t want to deal with a sales person.

He pulls out his iPhone and searches for Nike Running Shoe Reviews.

On a review site, he sees a mobile display ad that takes him to a mobile product selector for Adidas.

He answers a few basic questions. The site recommends a shoe that catches Alex’s eye. He decides to buy a pair of Adidas shoes even though he started out looking for Nike.


Use the store locator

mobile-ad-store-locatorNate is looking at his client list. One of his clients, Vizio, sells TVs at Costco.

He starts emailing people at Costo.

“You have a store locator app and a store locator section on your mobile site. Great work. Let’s start the shopping experience when customers are looking for your location.

“Let’s put a mobile ad on those store locators about a weekend Vizio TV sale.

“Then, we’ll have Vizio contribute to a mobile campaign that takes locals to your store locator.”


Kick ShopperApp’s Ass


Jeremy runs mobile marketing for REI. He likes ShopperApp. Listen as Melissa convinces him that it isn’t so great.

“We’re doing this thing with ShopperApp. We like it. We know it’s getting people in the store to check out new products.”

“How well is that translating into purchases?” Melissa asks, knowing that sales tracking is a weakness for ShopperApp.

“Well… we don’t really know.”

“Do you have an existing rewards program?”


“What if you got the benefits of ShopperApp — from your existing rewards program?”

“I’m listening.”

“Let’s run a mobile ad that asks people to download your app and scan a product to get 10% off their purchase. We’ll use the sales tracking system that you already have inside your rewards program. You can spend the money you would have spent on ShopperApp on our mobile display network. That way, you can control the customer experience end-to-end.”


Mobile co-marketing at retail


Nate sold Best Buy mobile display inventory across long-tail electronics review publishers.


The campaign is working well for Best Buy. With a little more exposure, Nate thinks he could dramatically increase the campaign’s effectiveness.

He calls Best Buy, but they can’t increase the budget until next quarter.

Then it dawns on him. “Who at Sony stays up at night, worrying about moving product at shelf?”

After a day of cold calling people at Sony, he finds his champion. A merchandising director who is willing to put some co-marketing dollars behind the Best Buy campaign because it helps seal the deal in store.


Stores aren’t only for research


Dan is at Best Buy. He parks himself in front of a Sony NX720 Series TV for $1,899.

Curious to see if it’s cheaper elsewhere, he Googles NX720 Series TV.

He clicks on a price comparison list from a well-known publisher. On that publisher’s mobile site is a display ad for Best Buy that makes him think, “It may be cheaper online, but I should just buy it here.”


Make Dan feel better


Tina doesn’t know it, but Dan’s feeling guilty because he hasn’t even started their taxes.

On a commercial break, Dan searches for one of the characters from Law Order.

He sees a display ad on the IMDB mobile site. It’s an offer from H&R Block to schedule an appointment to come in. He clicks through and schedules his tax appointment.

When the show is over, Tina asks him, “Have you started the taxes?”

He smiles, “I’m all over it, honey.”


Mobile display where least expected

mobile-display-adThe marketing team at H&R Block are feeling really slick because they just negotiated a killer deal for display advertising on financial sites. Little do they know, the feeling is not going to last.

In walks Brian, their mobile consultant. Brian asks, “does your ad buy include a mobile component?”

“Sure does.”

“Oh… Do you have any budget left over?”

“No. Why?”

“It’s just that the consumer who’s reading a financial site on their iPhone is probably too sophisticated to do their taxes at H&R Block.

You really should be reaching the guy on the couch, watching Law and Order with his wife, feeling guilty that he hasn’t started his taxes.”


Remind Susan to get toothpaste

remind-sally-to-get-toothpasteSusan checked into her hotel in San Francisco. She needs to make a dinner reservation, so she Googles ‘Restaurants in San Francisco’ on her iPhone.

On a mobile-formatted restaurant guide, she sees a mobile display ad for CVS.

“Shit. I forgot my toothpaste,” she remember and clicks through to a mobile-formatted CVS store locator. She allows it to use her current location, and it points her to a CVS that is 1.4 miles from her hotel.

She stops by CVS on her way to dinner.


Mobile display catches traveling customers

traveling-consumerSally is the director of mobile marketing at CVS. She hangs up the phone, and says to herself, “That ad salesperson was right.

“We are missing a huge opportunity to get in front of people when they are traveling. They are probably not searching for CVS, but they are reading  ’Things to do in San Francisco’ on their phones.

“Makes perfect sense to take some of the branding dollars we’re spending on desktop display and do a mobile ad buy against travel guides. Show viewers a CVS store locator when they are deciding which restaurant to visit.

“Might make them remember that they forgot toothpaste.”


Mobile ads on the way to a big box retailer

Joe buys media for a car care products company. He gets over 100 emails a week from ad sales people. One of them catches his attention.


Let’s reach your customers when they are searching for big box retailers on a weekend with nice weather… after they just had a week of bad weather.

We’ll show ads to males between the ages of 25 and 55 who are searching for major retailers like AutoZone. We’ll show the ads on mobile phones only, when your customers are likely to be headed out to buy car wash products.

I’ll call you to discuss.

– Shelly

Shelly calls, “How many different car wash products do your customers have to choose from when they are in the aisle?”

“We have 20 different products. There are about 300 to choose from including competitive products.”

“What are you doing to make sure that your customers don’t choose a competitor? Or, worse, choose the wrong product from you and have a bad experience?”

“Yes. That’s always a concern.”

“Let me tell you a story about one of your customers,” Shelly continues. “Let’s call him… Joe.”


Mobile product selectors aren’t just for makeup

HiRes-CopyIt’s 80° and sunny. Joe notices his car is dirty. He looks around the garage and finds a bottle of old wax and no shampoo.

He pulls out his Droid and searches for AutoZone Glendale. A mobile ad jumps out at him:

Do it yourself auto detailing

Find the right products for your car. Enter make and model.

Joe finds himself on a mobile site. It asks him a couple questions about his car and suggests the shampoo, wax, and upholstery cleaners that work best together.

When Joe arrives at AutoZone, he walks to the aisle with all the car wash products. He pulls out his Droid and finds the products the site recommends.

Joe is out of there in 10 minutes, and he did not have to ask one person for help.


What B2B content is most compelling in mobile?

re-package-white-papers-for-mobile-b2b-adsJonathan is in charge of online marketing for UPS. He comes back from lunch and sees a blinking light on his voicemail.

“Hi Jonathan, this is Cindy from The Ad Network.” Jonathan moves his finger over the Delete button. What she says next causes him to pause–

“You have a ton of interesting educational material that you should get in front of people. Have you ever thought re-packaging it for mobile and doing an ad buy against people who are browsing for logistics?”

He listens to the entire voicemail.


Why would customers interact with us on mobile?

educating-b2b-buyers-mobile-ads1Natalie is the VP of Marketing for a semi-conductor company. She is looking at a quote she just got from an ad network which includes mobile.

She doesn’t have a mobile website, which means she’s going to have to build some mobile marketing assets.

Natalie tells the ad sales rep, “I’m wondering if this mobile piece is more trouble than it’s worth.”

The sales rep responds, “When are you most likely to give an advertiser the time of day? When you’re waiting at an airport with nothing but time to kill… or when you’re sitting at your desk in the middle of the week?”

Good point.


How quickly can you solve my problem?

b2b-urgent-contextDavid is sitting in Terminal 5 at the San Diego airport, about to leave on vacation, when his phone rings.

“We’re having serious problems with this email system. The blast needs to go out today.”

“That does it!” David opens up Mobile Safari to search for a solution.

He clicks on an ad for a new, email marketing software: Setup & send out in 2 hours flat.


Who can I talk to?

Amit takes out his Droid and starts reading the news. A startup just raised $5M to launch a CRM that experts predict will be a “Salesforce Killer.”

Amit does a search on the new company and clicks on an ad that takes him to their mobile site.

Product information is not enough. He wants to feel like he “knows” the company so when his friends bring them up, he can say, “Yeah, I talked to those guys.”

Luckily, the software company put a click-to-call phone number on their mobile site.


What do your products cost?


Phil and his team are tasked with upgrading the company’s database systems. During the initial meeting, everybody kept mentioning Oracle as a possible system to use. Phil pulled out his Droid searched for ‘oracle cost.’

Phil began reading a forum when he noticed an ad:

PRICE SHEET: Oracle v. SQL Server

“It looks like Oracle is going to be the most expensive option,” he said. “SQL server looks like it costs half.”


Why are you better?

b2b-mobile-context-decision-maker1It’s Saturday, and Brian sees an unread email on his iPhone. It’s a mobile-formatted newsletter from his favorite HR magazine.

He clicks through to receive a sponsored infographic, “How generation Y uses social media to evaluate employers.” Brian lands on a mobile site, where he enters his name and email to access the infographic.

The advertiser emails Brian the infographic along with a mobile-formatted product comparison sheet. He decides it’s worth forwarding to his team.


Define Mobile Context

define-mobile-contextPeople are now in a mindset where they feel they should have access to information anytime, anywhere.

Therefore, mobile context is defined as what your users are doing anytime, anywhere both the online and in the physical world.

Here are some mobile contexts that mobile advertisers should pay close attention to:

– B2B Context
– Activity Context
– Mobile TV Context
– Retail Context


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *