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Calgary Co-op?s mobile ads drive engagement, cost savings

Canadian-based retailer Calgary Co-operative Association recently bet on mobile marketing firm Juice Mobile?s flyer advertisement unit to generate buzz, resulting in a 50 percent lift in engagement over industry standard mobile ads.

As the productivity of direct-mail flyers is decreasing, mobile ads have taken center stage and are delivering relevant and timely offers. Furthermore, these mobile ad flyers have encouraged even further engagement, such as direct click throughs, given their reach to smartphone users.

?Advertising follows eyeballs, and there is no denying that the consumer is fully mobile,? said Neil Sweeney, president and CEO at Juice Mobile, Toronto. ?As a result, brands are having to rethink how they market to individuals, which has led to an increase in mobile spending. Brands are now looking to move beyond the banner and do things that embrace the utility of the device versus just accepting standard flat units.? 

Inclined on mobile
The Calgary ads were delivered by a number of news and lifestyle publications via their mobile sites. The ads featured rich media and dynamic updates to continue to expand Calgary?s reach.

The partnership between Calgary and Juice Mobile also utilized marketing agency DSA Media and the engagement initiative delivered at 5 to 10 percent of the cost of traditional flyers.

The conception of the ad unit derived from a lack of success with direct mail efforts. While traditional flyers have a higher drop-off rate due to the lack of relevance and visual fatigue, mobile flyers utilize timely deals and discounts.

The ads present a series of products, and price tags are highlighted in yellow if the product?s price has been lowered.

On the rise
Mobile advertising efforts undoubtedly attract younger generations, who are the up-and-coming consumers that will surely lead the trend in mobile dependency. Several brands, which are actively pursuing mobile, have garnered an increase of engagement using digitally enabled billboards and augmented reality. 

McDonald?s, already a leading mobile marketer, kicked up its efforts a notch this year by leveraging real-time technology to support how consumers use their smartphones to engage with the real world while driving traffic into a nearby location. 

A McDonald?s campaign that ran earlier this year in Kuala Lumpur featured a digital billboard in a busy town square, with passersby able to direct what was happening on the screen by using their smartphones. The Save the Sundae Cone campaign drove significant brand engagement on a mobile Web site as well as coupon redemptions, helping McDonald?s to raise awareness of its ice cream offerings in Malaysia?s capital (see story).   
Discovery Channel?s renowned programming block Shark Week utilized advertising mobile application Blippar to enhance physical ads with augmented reality capabilities and attract Generation Zers.

As the cable network's fans look forward to Shark Week every year, Discovery Channel likely tried to recruit younger viewers by incorporating a mobile capability. Smartphone users could scan the ads and instantly become a part of the augmented reality experience (see story).

Using the different tools associated with mobile advertising combined with relevancy and location-based initiatives can lead to direct engagement and brand loyalty.

?The lift is directly correlated to the utility of the ad and the device,? Mr. Sweeney said. ?An ad that is relevant, geo aware and actionable has a noticeable lift due to its context.

"Young people today are the mobile generation. Their worlds are dependent on immediacy. 

"Their friends, music and pictures are all on mobile, making it the number one device they own. Because of this, when activity happens on their device, they engage.?

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon, editorial assistant for Mobile Marketer, New York