Effective Mobile Marketing Across Retail, Travel, Automotive and Financial Services

RAW Marketing

By Soo Jin Oh

This post originally appeared on Marketing Land on May 22nd:  http://feeds.marketingland.com/~r/mktingland/~3/fS5Sb1rx24I/tips-effective-mobile-marketing-across-industries-83820

A recent eMarketer report, “U.S. Tablet Users: Q1 2014 Forecast and Comparative Estimates,” predicts that the number of dual tablet and smartphone users will reach 140 million U.S. internet users by 2018.


Because of this growth, marketers across industries are working to identify the most effective digital practices for engaging users, driving app downloads and increasing conversion rates.

While marketers across verticals are generally working toward the goal of creating more engaging brand experiences across all platforms, mobile marketing strategies can differ by industry.


Retail Industry

Today’s consumers move between retail channels, from in-store to e-commerce and now, m-commerce. According to Mark2Media, 52% of Americans use mobile devices to research products while browsing in-store, and comScore reports that 4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop.

To capitalize on this behavior, a cross-device strategy is key to increasing the time consumers spend with a brand. Not only does mobile sit at an interesting intersection between offline and online activity, but it provides an interactive platform that allows immediate ways for brands to engage users and view products through tools like mobile apps and functions like click-to-call and click-to locate.

target-smartphone-couponsTarget has been incentivizing consumers to make spur-of-the-moment purchases using hyper-local targeting and providing discounts and coupons to mobile users while in-store.

Adding location-based elements is a key component and differentiator for the mobile channel. Measurement is quite effective for this strategy, as each coupon has a unique ID tied to the source of the ad campaign that ensures proper attribution is given when redeemed.

Another tactic is to add gaming and social media share functionality to campaigns. Old Navy recently launched a rewards-based campaign where users earn points to redeem in-store for interacting with a “call-to-action” function on the app and sharing content on social media.

Automotive Industry

According to a presentation at last year’s J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable, auto brands are currently testing a combination of vehicle registration data, data from auto researchers and location data from personal mobile devices to track car shoppers and serve them relevant ads.

Ken Bracht, Communications Manager at Land Rover, told eMarketer, “With mobile, our audience is there, time spent is there and we’re continuing to experiment with the platform. At this point, probably measurability and creativity still need to evolve, but we think that mobile will become more important and make up a large percentage of our media mix.”

A 2013 consumer survey issued by Google, Millward Brown Digital and Polk, showed that the 34% of new vehicle buyers started their purchase path because of mobile, tablet and video ads. Additionally, the video completion rate for mobile banner ads was recognized at 79.8%, the highest of any vertical in 2013.

Although purchasing a car via a mobile device is unlikely, online and mobile are gaining traction for big-ticket items, making it imperative for auto brands to have a strong presence across devices and utilize strategies such as dealer-locators, click-to-call functions, and cross device targeting.

Precision targeting is generally less effective for auto and other big-ticket items, so using effective ad units that make most use of screen space is key (e.g., a mobile rich-media unit with different tabs).


The Kia Motors mobile rich-media ad campaign for the Kia Cee’d by InMobi (2012) was tremendously successful in these areas. The campaign resulted in a viral video distribution in 14 languages and in 16 countries along with participation in the Euro 2012 soccer tournament  — all of which helped drive significant traffic to Kia’s mobile site.

The mobile approach meshes well with Kia’s in-car media system called UVO, which is tied to a smartphone app providing drivers with navigation, diagnostics capabilities and other convenience features.

Travel Industry

A recent PhoCusWright report noted that mobile travel bookings would more than triple over the next two years, reaching $39.5 billion by 2015, which is about 25% of the total online travel market. This growth is in part due to an increasing trust of mobile apps and websites, combined with the improved mobile user-friendly interfaces.

Booking.com-mobileThe Priceline-owned Booking.com has a successful mobile app – the transaction value of Booking.com went from one billion to three billion between 2011-2013 through a combination of advertising and improvements to its mobile platform.

Consumers use mobile phones for planning, booking travel and looking up local information such as maps, weather and restaurants. For this reason, it’s important for brands to have a mobile-friendly website and app for their users. Brands with a high volume of app users can use push functions to send free messages to their customer base about their upcoming travel schedule, deals, etc.

Financial Services Industry

eMarketer estimates that the financial industry will spend more than $2.2 billion on mobile advertising in 2014, which would make financial marketers the second biggest spenders in mobile advertising.


This is all directly related to consumer behavior. A recent Celent study notes that 94% of users in all age groups use online banking and approximately 71% of respondents ages 18-60+ have signed up for mobile banking.

Mobile provides real-time marketing elements for an array of financial services including insurance, banking, brokerage, lending and credit cards, which are not as easy for customers to experience on the desktop.

Financial marketers can release relevant information about their investment portfolio or real-time economic data within an app, providing geographically-relevant information to consumers including the nearest ATMs, stores, etc.


Regardless of your vertical, mobile has become an important part of your consumer’s everyday life; in order to stay relevant and top of mind, you need to become part of the cross-device journey.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.