Advertising Technology

What Brand Advertisers Need to Know about Mobile and Foot Traffic

Richard_StalzerThe Makegood is pleased to welcome the CEO of Voltari, Richard Stalzer, as monthly contributor to The Makegood. Voltari develops predictive analytical solutions for the mobile space. Look for Richard’s column the 4th Wednesday of every month.

Last month, I shared my view on how much progress we’ve made in the mobile space, as far as our ability to personalize and localize.  Smart marketers increasingly understand that there are more things they can do to take their campaigns to a higher level of audience targeting and optimization. The fact is that there is so much more we can know—and put to work for our brands.

So, what’s the basic level of knowledge when it comes to our audience? Well, most brands can tell you with total confidence exactly who their consumer is: age, gender, geography, income—and even a few things about lifestyle. The truth is, not only is this not enough information to effectively target potential customers, drive them to stores, or gain a growing base of loyal customers—this basic snapshot is often inaccurate too. This is because it is shallow and not based on a granular look at segment, path of purchase and behavior. The beauty of today’s audience targeting and prospecting tools is that you can effectively uncover and stitch together previously undiscovered, highly productive audiences, if you delve into the right data and do all the right things. Those things fall into four key areas that should be dealt with together: personalization, localization, data and attribution.

You can be More Nimble on Creative Execution

Within any given campaign there are a number of factors one can optimize—levers we can pull. We tend to have certain assumptions going in, based on what we believe we know about our audience. Imagine if you could not only eliminate the guesswork but also gain a new level of precision and the ability to automatically reposition your creative executions and call to actions based on what you discover about your audience. Find the right combination of personalization and localization yielding action, engagement, and foot traffic. Image, message, experience, animation—why waste time devising your own test schematic around these variables, when you can find the right combination automatically while discovering new audiences and doing so all in real time.

You’ll Evolve Audience Segmenting as the Campaign Runs

As you learn more and uncover new audiences, you are in a position to partition campaigns and develop offers accordingly. Even within new segmentations, you will continue to learn—even finding sub-segments—and may tweak offers and calls to action to suit your objectives while continuing to deliver on engagement with new pay-offs for your consumers.

While knowing your audience and what makes it unique at a high level is essential—still more essential when it comes to the concrete objective of foot traffic—is understanding that not all foot traffic is the same. Driving foot traffic for QSR, a category in which decisive moments are potentially more impromptu, is a different proposition than driving foot traffic for an auto purchase. It’s the difference between “just in time” vs. “plan ahead” mode. Some products, offers, or even consumer lifestyles are more conducive to point-in-time, place-in-time, communication, in which you might leverage hyper-local targeting—for example, moving within a one mile radius of a location during certain time of day. At the same time, results around other offers and customers are more likely seen with top-of-mind message repetition, high involvement messaging, or duration of engagement strategies.

And we must remember, not all customers are the same, even within a segment—whether the segment is QSR, Auto, Apparel or any other. What will drive one person into a store is not the same formula for the next person. So, this is why you must have the ability to study customer mode and behavior at a fairly granular level, in order to evolve your campaign toward increasingly more organized and productive audience segmentations.

Get Better at Valuing Audience and Attribution

Budget allocation is always primary when planning an advertising campaign. When we are able to consider the relative value of new audiences—based on their conversion potential, we can more clearly budget and optimize our spend against those audiences. We confidently determine who our most productive audiences are and plan and scale efforts based on that. This is critical confidence that every marketer should strive to attain. The good news is that it’s never been more possible.

Turn Your Attention to Touch Points

What might this smarter level of attribution and planning mean along the path to conversion, along all the potential touch points? This knowledge brings greater flexibility. It gives us the ability to change delivery strategy, modifying calls to action along the path to conversion and shifting monetization of touch points, based on what we learn about different audiences. The key is having insights into what works and what doesn’t; when it works, and with whom it works; and understanding that even your best model is a variable/interactive proposition, based on the offer, the tactic, the person, and timing at hand.

So, how do we get it right with so many moving parts, and so many potential formulas? It comes down to a dedicated strategic and practical focus on the following:

  • Deep audience understanding—not just characteristics, but behavior, and not just history, but today’s customer actions and/or mode
  • Segmentation—not treating everyone the same, and even understanding one segment can vary in how they engage and respond depending on many other factors at play
  • Real-time learning and being able to start with your best insights to date, but then having a way to employ new point in time insights, including ability to take action immediately, based on what is working right then

We all know that the average consumer today navigates many screens within a given day and that they are in greater—if not complete—charge of their own consumption and utility. How marketers personalize the experience, localize it and then use data and attribution to continually improve upon marketing efforts and engagement are together the key to success, leveraging decisive moments to drive foot traffic. Now, that is putting what you know about your audience to work for your brand.