This month, the iPhone celebrates its 7th anniversary of being introduced to the world. It’s incredible to look back and recall the pre-smartphone era when we couldn’t pay bills while standing in line for coffee, comparison shop while on-the-go, or otherwise instantly access information on devices that (usually) fit in our pockets. Today’s consumers shift between devices constantly and now officially prefer mobile as their primary mode of internet consumption. Mobile commerce is also shattering records: over $110 billion in sales will be purchased directly through smartphones & tablets this year in the US alone.

The rise of mobile presents a big challenge for brands trying to reach targeted audiences with the right message at the right time. Marketing executives everywhere are asking the same question: “How can I keep up and remain relevant with a constantly shifting consumer?”

Until recently, there were lots of reasons for marketers to put mobile strategies on a shelf. In the early days, we convinced ourselves that mobile was still too small to worry about. Sure, it’d be a poor user experience for a mobile user to arrive at our non-responsive website, but who’s really going to be browsing on mobile? After data got us over that hurdle, we looked for targeting options and were left largely disappointed. All the cookie-based behavioral signals and frequency capping options we were used to on desktop just weren’t available yet.

inline_accelSuffice to say, the options available to marketers for driving high-performance ad campaigns in mobile have been limited until recent history. Today, the industry has delivered exciting innovations enabling incredible precision with mobile audience targeting (i.e., deterministic & probabilistic methods based on unique user IDs & statistical models), programmatic buying for fair pricing on every impression, and native mobile placements that deliver high user engagement & utility. We’re also seeing a movement toward greater transparency into campaign performance and lower barriers to testing, helping marketers learn faster.

I’m lucky to work for a marketing technology company — I get to be inspired by over 15,000 advertisers as they adopt new strategies and move the industry forward. Earlier this year we announced cross-device, cross-platform retargeting as a high-performance solution to the challenge of constantly-shifting consumers, and we’re seeing exciting developments. If you were to go trendspotting across the AdRoll platform, you’d find smart strategies emerging:

  • e-Commerce advertisers targeting high-value desktop customers with mobile app install ads to drive deeper brand engagement
  • Brick-and-mortar retailers geotargeting special offers to drive local store traffic
  • Media & entertainment brands targeting audiences on mobile devices to drive TV tune-in for marquee events
  • B2B advertisers accelerating lead nurture lifecycles by reaching customers on mobile during the critical pre-purchase influence window

AdRoll’s advertisers are highly tuned to performance & measurement, and many are finding amazing wins with mobile: clients are seeing a 229% lift in conversions on average by adopting cross-platform campaigns.

We’ve been listening to advertisers at the cutting edge of cross-device strategies and working on some exciting product advancements to be announced next week. To be one of the first to hear the details, join us for a live webinar, Innovation in Mobile Retargeting, with Greg Fulton, Head of Product, and Ben Witte, Product Specialist, on Thursday, June 12 at 10am PDT / 1pm EDT. Hope to see you there!