Marketing giant MediaCom has been sharing some valuable lessons it learned from running mobile marketing campaigns.

During a speech at IAB Mobile Engage, MediaCom’s managing partner for mobile and innovation Stefan Bardega said that 18% of the company’s digital ads were now viewed on mobile screens.

This has increased from 4% in just over a year.

Here are Bardega’s tips on how businesses should approach the mobile channel…

1. Get the foundations right

Bardega said that the fundamentals of a mobile strategy are an optimised website, plus mobile focused search and advertising campaigns.

These key elements need to work on mobile – get them right before you move on to anything else.

Noting that 60% of UK businesses don’t have a mobile optimised site, he said marketers should also be aware that Google only displays the top two paid search results on mobile compared to three on desktop.

Also you get different spelling mistakes on mobile, so your keywords need to be aligned differently.

Looking at advertising, it is also important for marketers to ensure that their digital creative works on mobile.

A year ago 5% of ads were showing a backup GIF on mobile, but that has increased to 15% due to the number of people viewing ads on devices that don’t support flash.

Bardega said that MediaCom has seen a 20% improvement in mobile conversions for businesses that ensure their site, search and advertising are optimised.

2. Accept diversity

While media agencies will profess to be able to segment and identify a target audience on mobile, Bardega said that in truth it is difficult to predict behaviour using traditional demographics.

Agencies have loads of tools for understanding customers, but the reality is that there’s diversity among demographic groups in the way they interact with mobile.

3. Harness device attributes

Mobile is a personal space and offers excellent opportunities for engaging with consumers. Bardega highlighted research that looked at the relationship between how long users engage with a digital ad and the propensity to buy.

It found that after 30 seconds of interaction the likelihood to purchase increases by 6%, however it increases by 20% for users who engaged with an ad for 90 seconds.

Advertisers therefore need to find ways of delivering engaging adverts through the use of mobile technologies, such as augmented reality.

However, it is important to only use the ad formats that are right for your audience.

4. Integrate everything

Bardega suggested that businesses should integrate mobile into everything they do. He highlighted a campaign by Alton Towers that saw 5,500 customers attend the theme park for free using a check-in offer run through Facebook.

Similarly, Skoda used mobile AR app Aurasma to embed digital content in print ads, achieving 6,000 scans across four publications. 

The same campaign achieved an 18% response rate from pre-roll ads and 4.3% from display ads.

Overall mobile helped drive a response rate that was 230% higher than average.

5. Be brave

Bardega admitted that often with new technologies brands need to be willing to try new ideas.

He said NFC marketing campaigns will be the norm in a few years, but for now advertisers need to be brave and trial the technology even if the results are unimpressive.

We need to test these methods with consumers. Don’t worry if it’s a success, but think about what learnings can you take forward.

6. Make new friends

Mobile is a rapidly changing environment, so brands and agencies should be looking for new partners to work with to help drive innovation in their campaigns.

New technologies create new opportunities, so look at who you can be working with alongside your traditional partners.