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Do’s and don’ts of mobile banner ads for luxury brandsBy Rachel Lamb
Mobile banner ads are a savvy way to hook affluent consumers on mobile sites or applications, but most luxury marketers are missing the mark and turning customers off from the brand or the banner ad experience.
Not optimizing for mobile, not keeping in line with the brand image and marketing on the wrong kind of sites are some of the major “don’ts” when it comes to mobile banner advertising. However, some marketers are shining examples of how this type of advertising can help to propel a brand into mobile marketing glory.
“With the rise of technologies that allow us to create richly-featured mobile executions, we now can take advantage of the built-in features of these devices to create a more useful, content-driven advertisement,” said Martin Betoni, vice president of creative services for Centro, Chicago.
“We have an enormous opportunity to create ads that are actually useful and relevant to the consumers who receive them,” he said.
“For brands, this enables the shift from being a potential intrusion to becoming a trusted partner.”
Marketers including Ralph Lauren, Fontainebleau, Lexus, Neiman Marcus and Inspirato have all tapped publications’ mobile sites and apps for banner ads.
Ralph Lauren in the New York Times app
Aesthetics are important, especially for luxury brands, and consumers may not click on a banner ad if it does not look right, per Mr. Betoni.
Another must for banner ads is advertising on the right kind of site.
For example, many marketers turn to the mobile sites and apps of publications such as The New York Times, Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal for banner ad placement.
Affluent, well-educated individuals populate these sites, so the banner ads have a good chance of being seen by some of them.
Also, depending on the brand and who it is trying to target, some marketers have dabbled with apps populated by millennials such as Pandora, Draw Something and Words with Friends.
Nordstrom on Words With Friends
Also, and most importantly, brands should format the banner ad itself for mobile devices.
Often, marketers use the same type of banner ad that they use on Web sites for mobile sites. This is a mistake because ads can look squished or like they do not belong.
“With the rise of mobile and tablet devices, it is becoming increasingly important to keep in mind the screen size and platform that you are developing banners for,” said Paul Tapscott, director of mobile at Centro, Chicago.
“Too often, advertisers will repurpose creative that was originally developed for the online space and simply shrink it down to run in the mobile space,” he said. “Advertisers that tailor banners for each platform, for instance mobile or tablet, will garner greater success and offer a better experience for their customers.”
Banner ads can help a brand out, but they can also aid in lost affinity for a marketer if the experience is not great.
“The first mistake is porting over creative and campaign objective from desktop display ad campaigns,” said Mike Boland, senior analyst and program director at BIA Kelsey, Chicago. ”The mobile form factor and screen size compel campaigns that are built natively and with a mobile-first mindset.
“In addition to the ad units themselves, the campaign objectives need to be different than the desktop,” he said. ”That comes with the simple reality that consumers are in a different modality when on their mobile devices so the types of engagments that campaigns strive for should correspond.
“Similarly the way campaigns are measured and assessed for ROI should fall in line with that reality.”
One of the major problems that brands face when using mobile banner ads is that the content post-click is not optimized for mobile.
For example, Salvatore Ferragamo had the right idea by enticing mobile commerce buys through banner ads, but failed to optimize content for mobile and could have dissuaded customers.
Ferragamo’s Flash-driven site does not load on mobile devices
Brands also need to make sure that the banner ad creative is in alignement with the content post-click.
Consumers who click on an ad expecting one thing and get another could become frustrated or bored with the ad.
However, the biggest mistake brands make is goal mis-identification, according to Mr. Betoni.
An attractive and functional banner ad should ultimately do one thing: drive sales.
“Far too often, I hear advertisers identify goals as things like ‘higher click-through rates’ or ‘more engagement,’” Mr. Betoni said.
“The ultimate goal of advertising should be to influence consumers to buy your product or adopt your service,” he said. “The advertising that is run ultimately should be attributable to those goals.”
Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York
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