The average person checks their phone every six and a half minutes, totaling 150 times per day. This statistic does not even include tablets, e-readers or any other mobile devices that vie for Americans’ attention. As mobile devices continue to liberate Americans from stationary restraints and allow them to take their business (and social life) on the road, the digital marketing culture faces pressure to make the same fluid transition.
Professionals and amateurs alike have voiced concerns that digital ads currently fail to effectively interact with mobile users. Brands must adapt their digital marketing approach to account for each device’s parameters and features, while also understanding the unique relationship between a user and their device.
To effectively reach users, the ideal mobile ad should:
- Adapt across devices: Since not all mobile devices are created equal, digital ad creators must account for changing screen sizes, capabilities and changing environment. A one-size-fits all ad may seem practical, yet an ad that embraces changing capabilities can optimize user interaction and value exchange. Designers have made strides toward ultimate transition fluidity across devices; with this ideal on the horizon, marketers should be mindful of mobile diversity.
- Dare them to look away: Users have developed the catlike ability to ignore anything they do not deem meaningful; consequently, any ad that would demand attention must have instantaneously perceived value or else it will fall into the viewer’s mental spam file. An effective ad must tell a story that captivates the imagination. This does not mean an ad must be a complex—something as simple as a kitten photo has the power captivate attention, even if for a single second. One second is a lifetime in user attention span.
- Create value through relationship: Ads should tap into, rather than detract from, the relationship between the user and their device. For mobile ads, this means finding a way to add to the user experience just like the other components of the mobile device. An ad perceived as valuable can join in this exclusive man-to-machine bond, while an unvalued ad becomes the uninvited third wheel. Since the mobile experience is one continuous social interaction, ads should always practice good social skills.
Despite the bad reputation mobile ads have developed among users, a new wave of highly effective ads could turn the digital problem child into a valued interaction.