Smart Mobile Cross Marketing Effectiveness (SMoX) Study Findings


Greg Stuart, Global CEO Mobile Marketing Association

The MMA Announces Results From First-Ever Cross Marketing Effectiveness Research (SMoX) Conducted for Mobile, Based on In-Market Campaigns from Coca-Cola, Walmart, and MasterCard

Study Reveals Optimised Mobile Spend to be in the Double Digits of Total Marketing Mix

The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) has released the findings from its Smart Mobile Cross Marketing Effectiveness (SMoX) study. Conducted in combination with Marketing Evolution and InsightExpress, the study assessed the economic value of mobile compared to traditional marketing channels by closely examining real, in-market campaigns from Coca-Cola, Walmart, and MasterCard. According to the study, the optimal spend for mobile (based on total campaign spend) is in the double digits—far more than most marketers are currently allocating.

Results from the SMoX research confirm that marketers would significantly increase their overall campaign ROI, without increasing budget, by simply adjusting mobile spend upwards. The study also showed that mobile is a strong driver of campaign performance across the entire purchase funnel. From upper funnel metrics like awareness and image, to purchase intent and actual behavior (foot traffic or sales), the empirical evidence proves that mobile has a fervent contribution to campaign results, justifying a double-digit allocation of the entire media budget (not just digital) to mobile.

As the first comprehensive study of its kind, SMoX is expected to trigger a turning point in the mobile industry in the same way similar research drove Internet advertising in the early 2000’s. Brands that participated in those studies increased their online ad spend by 30x on average, based on the insights. Additionally, the impact to the growth of the industry, measured as a direct result of the research, was 2.2x.

“The market has acknowledged there is a deep chasm between what brands are currently spending on mobile and consumer behaviour, but now there is real, indisputable proof on the value of mobile to a brand’s business goals,” said Greg Stuart, CEO, MMA. “I believe mobile presents the greatest transformation of marketing in our generation. With empirical data, SMoX now demonstrates the competitive opportunity for those marketers who figure out how to leverage the power of mobile effectively and optimise their spending with the most impactful allocations in their marketing mix, finally keeping pace with consumers.”

Key findings include:

The Coca-Cola Company: Gold Peak Tea Campaign

  • In Spring 2014, Gold Peak Tea brand was looking to build brand awareness and drive increased sales using a mix of TV, print, online, and mobile to drive messaging.
  • After evaluating how effective the campaign was and how each of the various media performed, the study found that mobile drove 25 percent of top-of-mind awareness, 9 percent of “home brewed taste” image conversions, and 6 percent of sales with 5 percent of budget.

Walmart: Back-to-School Campaign

  • For its annual Back-to-School campaign in the summer of 2014, Walmart was focused on driving grocery intent to shop among mothers of school-aged children.
  • The study found that mobile impacted more consumers per dollar spent than both broadcast and cable TV. Mobile drove 14 percent of change in overall shopping intent, despite accounting for only 7 percent of spend.

MasterCard: Travel Card Campaign

  • In Q4 2014, MasterCard launched its Travel campaign to increase association of the card within the travel sector and to drive awareness of its Concierge app.
  • The SMoX study investigated the impact of mobile in the above KPIs, quantifying the value of mobile display and video as they relate to the “nester” and “empty nester” target groups. In this case, mobile worked almost twice as hard compared to the campaign average, in terms of the number of people it converted on image per dollar spent.

In conclusion, the study found that reallocating to mobile (8-16 percent of the total marketing mix, on average) would drive incremental impact for each of the campaigns, making existing budgets work harder.

In addition the study revealed the most effective ways for brands to implement various mobile tactics (including video, native, location) in order to leverage mobile to its full potential.

  • Mobile video and native all performed significantly better than display.
  • Different ad formats had different types of impact.
  • Location targeting (retargeting and proximity) significantly improved the performance of display advertising, driving important KPI’s, including actual foot traffic.

The full SMoX report, including deeper insights and additional guidance on how marketers can use this information for their own businesses, will be available for download by attendees of the MMA’s London Forum on June 8th.


Written by:

Greg Stuart,

Global CEO Mobile Marketing Association

Smartphone dominance is here; marketers must shift their approach


Robert Bridge, VP head of international marketing, Yahoo

Last month marked the 20th anniversary of Yahoo being incorporated as a company. While it’s amazing to think how much the internet has evolved and changed in the last two decades it’s even more exciting to look forward.

User activity has shifted to mobile across the globe with users now spending more time on mobile devices than PCs.

Smartphone adoption will reach two-thirds of the global population next year. We are seeing that a computer is used to fill in the gaps on things which aren’t easy to do on a smartphone.

Developers must create efficiency and improve user experience to drive the next wave of consumers to smartphone dominance.

It is Millennials leading this charge. Although older smartphone users own the majority of devices, it is younger consumers who are far heavier users.

Flurry’s research found more than half (51%) of 13 to 17-year-olds are classed as heavy users. The 80/20 rule is in full effect, as heavier users dominate the most sessions and time spent on mobile devices.

It’s important to understand what drives smartphone dominance and what drives future users to adopt quicker. Historically the ‘app-osphere’ was a black hole for marketers, we didn’t know what users were doing inside apps, or the relationship between different apps. Of the nearly three hours users spend on mobile devices daily, 86% of that time is spent in apps – so it’s critical this is done right.

When building creatives, we must ensure to account for the rapid adoption of larger phablet devices. This will allow for more freedom in mobile messaging.

On top of this, mobile ad budgets should not be thought of in isolation. With two in five consumers crossing devices daily, siloed mobile budgets must evolve to larger cross-device buys. Native advertising in particular, is seamlessly integrated into the user experience, is the must need weapon in every marketers’ arsenal.

There should no longer be mobile-only strategies. The continuation in cross-device and dual screening means any strategy must follow a sequential process across devices with creative messaging that can live across various formats.

In the smartphone dominant era, success in digital mobile marketing will come from companies implementing a multi-pronged strategy that drives word-of-mouth and use of paid advertising, while creating opportunities through content marketing that activate app discovery.

Written by:

Robert Bridge,

VP head of international marketing, 


Customer value management: the industry’s new buzzphrase

Written by Juan Ageitos, Senior Marketing Manager at mGage

Written by Juan Ageitos, Senior Marketing Manager at mGage

What could be a better way to end the month and prepare for the next, than with a new buzzphrase? Customer Value Management (CVM), the industry’s new buzzphrase and a current trend in the market, represents a focus on optimising the value of the customer.

Alternatively, or perhaps better, described as Customer Value Maximisation, CVM can be described as the ‘upgraded’ version of loyalty, taking the traditional notion of loyalty one step further. Rather than simply rewarding its faithful customers, CVM focuses on how to maximise the value of every customer, at their every interaction with the company – and covers the entire end to end customer journey.

Why end the relationship prematurely?

It would seem banal to not (attempt to) gather data from your customers, in order to increase your knowledge of your customer-base and the market in which you operate. In the same way, it is increasingly unusual to treat the purchase of a product or service as the end of the interaction with a customer.

To end this connection so abruptly would be to cut a potentially life long relationship very short; a huge faux pas. Rather, this should be seen as the beginning of the relationship. That first transaction may have come to an end but, if given the opportunity, it could be the first of many.

How to maximise customer value

Mobile plays a key part in helping businesses to maximise the value from their customers. Using SMS engagement technologies businesses can track and re-target customers sending personalised, relevant offers and products based on buying history. To use the example that Nick Fletcher, Director of Service Strategy at Rakuten Marketing Europe, gave: “If a shopper bought flights as a… present, a retailer could follow up with hotel offers for that destination.”

A simple yet effective technique, targeting and communicating with customers in this way will not only benefit the business financially in the short-term, but will improve both the customer’s perception of said business, and therefore its reputation, as well as its relationship with the customer. This will bring invaluable reward to the business in the long term.

Case study: Homebase

The immediate rewards of SMS communications can be seen through our work with Homebase:

Late last year Homebase embarked on its first SMS broadcast campaign to support its DM activity with promotional offers redeemable in store, or online.  In short, the results saw an uplift of 20% in incremental sales from SMS alone and 26.5% incremental sales driven by customers who received both email & SMS.  Email supported by SMS was the best performing communication channel in terms of ROI.  A clear success, Homebase will be trialling this channel further to help drive footfall and incremental sales.

This is only the tip of the iceberg; SMS can be easily adoptable for any sector. Whilst the gambling sector is currently the most focussed on CVM, businesses in every sector would do well to re-work their priority list for 2015 to include this. Adopt a long term mind-set and your efforts will pay off as you find yourself with a growing, increasingly loyal and increasingly profitable, client base.

Written by:

Juan Ageitos,

Senior Marketing Manager,


Why Publishers Need to Grab Back the Programmatic Power Pendulum

Written by Simon Birkenhead, CEO of Axonix

Written by Simon Birkenhead, CEO of Axonix

Publishers are getting screwed. The exponential growth in mobile usage has created an explosion of ad volumes that has pushed down prices and revenues. This can’t continue. If they want to survive, publishers need to find a way to pull the power pendulum back from advertisers.

In the early days of the ad tech industry (around five to ten years ago), innovation was driven by the supply-side of the marketing value chain – i.e. the publishers. The first ad tech platforms were ad servers, from the likes of DoubleClick, which helped publishers to optimise their ad inventory. Their internal media sales teams then brought in demand and set the prices.

However, with the shift to programmatic and real-time buying (RTB) over the last five years, this power pendulum has firmly swung across to the demand-side.

First we had ad exchanges, which allowed advertisers to buy inventory through real-time auctions. Now they could buy only the ads they really wanted, on an impression-by-impression basis. This revealed that the true market price of some supposedly ‘premium’ ad inventory was actually much lower than publishers had been charging – whipping the market power away from publishers.

Then demand-side platforms (DSPs) were created, which enabled advertisers to run campaigns across multiple exchanges at the same time. Recently, we’ve even started to see ‘Super DSPs’ emerge, which allow agencies to optimise campaigns across multiple DSPs. With valuable consumer data being shared across all these technologies, advertisers can now find their audiences wherever they are on the internet, on any device. And that might not be on the traditional ‘premium’ publisher sites of yesteryear.

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Beyond pre-roll

Written by Stephen Upstone, CEO & Founder of LoopMe

Written by Stephen Upstone, CEO & Founder of LoopMe

Mention mobile video advertising and most of us will think pre-roll. It’s true that the format has a natural place at the top of the digital marketing funnel, helping brands raise awareness and drive website traffic.

But I think we have become fixated on pre-roll. As the IAB has pointed out, pre-roll is just one part of digital video ad effectiveness. And let’s face it, pre-roll can become irritating when you just want to watch something.

There are so many more exciting formats coming down the pike. I think mobile video is going to find its way further down the funnel, grabbing people’s attention and persuading them, through the art and science of advertising, to convert.

Principal among these I see as native video ads. Unlike pre-roll, native ads are less intrusive and make for a better overall user experience. When they’re in-app they also tend to stay on-screen and are therefore better for viewability (another hot topic doing the rounds currently). This all makes for greater awareness: for example, IPG Media Labs recently conducted an eye tracking study showing that consumers looked at native ads 53% more frequently than banners.

It’s not all rosy for native – yet. There is limited inventory that can actually support native mobile video in-stream. This is where the onus is on us as an industry to enable publishers to embrace this format, by providing clear, concise and up-to-date SDKs.

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Maximising the Unique Capabilities of Mobile Search

Written by Matt Brocklehurst, Product Marketing at Google

Written by Matt Brocklehurst, Product Marketing at Google

Successful mobile search depends on a respect for variations in user context. To create useful, meaningful mobile campaigns, marketers must keep four contexts in mind.

  • Local intent: Uniquely bridging the consumer and the physical world, mobile search helps consumers find nearby places, opening hours and directions.
  • Task-oriented activity: Compared to desktop or tablet, mobile searches are less about browsing and more about achieving key tasks, such as locating a store or checking prices.
  • Deep, direct connections: People consume video and social content on mobiles throughout the day, and when they download an app they’re effectively carrying a brand in their pockets. Mobile’s rich, personal experiences facilitate engagement.
  • Time-poor users: Mobile searchers are often in transit, impatient and close to the end of their buying journey, providing marketers an ideal opportunity to give consumers what they need when they need it.

Making things easier with mobile ad extensions

To effectively cater to these contexts, mobile search ads need to offer a user experience that’s quick, intuitive and seamless – mobile ad extensions can help.

  • Location extensions show an address, phone number, map marker with ad text and a link with directions to a business. On average, these boost click-through rates by 10%.
  • Call extensions help consumers contact a business by showing a phone number and clickable call button with the ad. They typically increase click-through rates by 6 to 8%.
  • App extensions encourage downloads by showing an app icon and a link to the app on Google Play and iTunes. Businesses can deep-link to a specific page inside the app right from the ad.

 How to improve mobile performance of ads in three key steps

  1. Offer a mobile-optimised site using one of three approaches. (1) Build a separate site specifically for mobile. (2) Use responsive web design so all devices view the same site but pages adapt to suit the layout of each device. (3) Employ dynamic serving to detect the user’s device and display custom pages accordingly
  2. Aim to calculate the impact of cross-device conversions where users start their journeys on one device and complete on another. AdWords uses aggregated data from users signed into Google to provide an anonymous approximation of cross-device conversions.
  3. By measuring everything that mobile ads contribute to (including in-store or on phone purchases and non-transactional conversions like app downloads), build an attribution model that highlights the full value of mobile.

Understanding user contexts, using ad extensions and grasping mobile’s true nature and value are critical steps to developing a multi-screen strategy that successfully engages your customers. For more insights visit Think with Google.

Written by:

Matt Brocklehurst

Product Marketing,



Mobile First – Plan > Tech > Create


Chris Minas Co-Founder and Managing Director Nimbletank

The days of adding technology and digital on to the end of a Marketing or advertising campaign are, thankfully, numbered. Strategists and planners are thinking about the vast array of possibilities with mobile technology as a key component from the moment they receive the brief, enabling the creative team to execute innovative campaigns.

Technology First, Mobile double first

In days gone by, Planners, Strategists or Media Planners, I should say, have been key to encouraging, persuading or manipulating an audience to take some sort of action whilst also ensuring that marketing performance and business objectives were met. They achieved this through the strategic positioning of artwork and media placed throughout the various channels available to them.

The worlds of branding, as well as media placement have moved relatively slowly over the years. It has taken over two hundred years to evolve advertising from shipping crates (circa 1800’s), to the creation of visual brands and logos (circa 1928), where its rumored that Sandeman Port brewery company, hired an artist to create a visual identity.

Advertising has moved comparatively quickly over the last fifty years, developing into the global industry we all know and love, across OOH, print, radio and television broadcast. Across these traditional channels it has always been crucial to be inventive, innovative and competitive in order to be noticed.

Circa 1998 digital was introduced into the marketing mix and consequently took off. Although digital has been a huge part of the marketing strategy, it has usually been an afterthought to the overarching advertising campaign. At this point the desktop was the tool of choice for digital, and we often heard “Let’s build a website to support the campaign”. In 2007 smartphones were introduced and the desktop become the mobile. The digital afterthought then moved onto “Let’s build an app”. Next up will no doubt be the smart watch.

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Ready, Aim, Track – Mastering the Mobile World

Elizabeth D’Arcy-Potts

Elizabeth D’Arcy-Potts – Sales Director, Europe at CAKE


We all know that as consumers spend more time on mobile devices, it would make sense for advertisers to spend more on mobile advertising. However, statistics show that increases in mobile advertising spending are not keeping up with total media usage.

Mary Meeker’s 2014 Internet Trends Report states that consumers spend 20% of their total media time on mobile devices, but advertisers only spend 4% of their total budget on mobile advertising. The same report reveals consumers spend just 5% of their total media time looking at printed items, but advertisers continue to spend 19% of their advertising budget on print advertising. It is clear that advertisers should adjust their spend to better align with actual media usage, but care must be taken when increasing digital ads as consumers can be easily irritated if they receive too many.

Get Ready…

Make it Meaningful

Advertisers can easily push more sales promotions and engagement campaigns to customers’ mobile devices, but care should be taken to communicate with consumers in a way that is actually meaningful for their mobile experience – not distracting, intrusive or irrelevant.

Go Responsive

With mobile device usage so high, advertisers should also ensure their sites are viewable on mobile devices. Unfortunately, advertisers continue to take mild action on mobile site responsiveness with only 11% of the UK’s top 100 brands finishing 2013 with a responsive site, according to the IAB’s Mobile Optimised Site study.

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How getting mobile right is key to getting media right


Duncan Southgate, Global Brand Director – Digital, Millward Brown

The power of mobile is undoubted; it is not just a new advertising medium, but a potential communication channel that travels with consumers wherever they go and has the power to transform the overall media mix. But with power comes responsibility, the responsibility to connect wisely and respectfully with consumers.

So while Millward Brown have identified the need to ensure that every brand touch point exploits the possibilities of a mobile response channel as one of our key Digital and Media Predictions for 2015, this comes with caveats. Mobiles are very personal devices so mobile marketing should be deployed with care. Brands can engage consumers via many different approaches (ads, apps, QR Codes, NFC chips, audio recognition, beacons etc.), but what’s important is that they connect in some meaningful, inspiring creative way.

The danger for mobile as a medium is that it oversteps the mark and is considered too intrusive – that won’t offer a long-term basis for success. So while it is now possible to alert consumers because they are near retail outlets for example, that is unlikely to work well unless consumers are coached on how and why the alerts are being generated, and delighted by the results.

Ultimately, the technology is secondary to the need to identify a quality connection – by time, mood or location for example. Indeed brands will very likely need to vary the mechanism by location using beacons in shops and QR codes or hashtags in traditional media, for example. Location offers huge opportunities but only if you really think about what people want in a given location. Mobile marketing should not be seen as a stalking device but a way for marketers to build a greater understanding and empathy with their target audience.

Integration with other media is also critical. Research conducted by Millward Brown into the winners of the MMA’s Smarties awards in APAC found that 80% of the winners had a clear, well-defined role for mobile in an integrated campaign. Eighty-six percent of the winners used a multiple channel strategy.

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Finding the perfect match: What to look for in a technology partner

Chris Le May 2015[1]

Chris Le May, Country Manager UK & Nordics at DataXu

Consumers don’t stick to one channel, so your marketing shouldn’t either. Although mobile is taking a larger chunk of advertising budgets each quarter, it’s often still looked at in isolation. In this increasingly connected world it becomes essential though that marketers understand the whole customer journey and adapt the way they engage with their target audience accordingly. By using a programmatic approach to marketing, advertisers can better engage with prospects and customers, understand their path to purchase, optimise content, develop better buying strategies and glean actionable insights.

The first, and maybe the hardest, step to implementing an omni-channel programmatic marketing strategy is to find the right partner. Here we’ve listed five characteristics to look for.


Essential partner capabilities[1]

Figure 1: Essential Partner Capabilities


  1. Engage customers throughout their customer journey

The mobile phone is a consumer’s most personal device. Recent Ofcom statistics show that 62% of UK adults own a smartphone and a third of mobile users make purchases on their device. So what role does mobile play in the path to purchase? Working with an omni-channel programmatic platform helps marketers answer this question and more. Your technology partner should be able to measure which channels, in which sequence and with which creative messages were most effective. These real time insights can then be used to inform future campaigns.

  1. Activate data across an entire media plan

Mobile is a significant part of any modern marketer’s media plan and huge volumes of mobile and tablet inventory, alongside display, rich media, video and social media are available to buy in real time. There are different ways of accessing this inventory and your programmatic partner should be able to not only execute your open exchange buys, but also your private exchange and ‘direct’ buys. Find a platform that offers buyer controls to let you define inventory quality so that you only purchase inventory that meets your criteria. Continue reading