American Marketer


Mobile’s missing puzzle piece: Lead generation

July 2, 2013

Hakan Lindskog is CEO of MediaWhiz


By Hakan Lindskog

The rise of mobile seemingly knows no bounds. Billions of dollars are being invested in infrastructure, database development, payment technologies and branding across every conceivable device. Brands often seem to be tripping over themselves to prove they have the coolest and fastest mobile-optimized sites.

And yet a number of leading advertisers complain that all of their mobile spending does not improve their most important marketing metric: sales.

Mobile certainly captures a lot of eyeballs, but its ability to produce a consumer action — leads, sales and downloads — is often lacking.

In an era of fleeting consumer attention, companies need to focus on what really matters in online advertising: customer acquisition. To do so, brands need to begin implementing lead generation into their mobile marketing campaigns.

All digital marketing roads point to mobile
Mobile is not just the future of online marketing. It is the future of lead generation and customer acquisition. Mobile is leading a revolution in how direct marketers engage, acquire and retain customers.

As Mobile Marketer recently reported, mobile’s effectiveness for lead generation is growing.

Sales conversions across mobile devices now average more than 25 percent in some cases. Consumers are increasingly turning to their mobile devices first to take an action that increasingly leads to a sale.

By 2015, consumers in the United States will spend approximately $119 billion on goods and services bought via their mobile phones, according to ABI research.

There are now 1.1 billion global smartphone users, according to Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Mary Meeker.

The more important statistic, though, is this: 5 billion. That is the number of people worldwide who own a mobile phone. A majority are using basic feature or “flip” phones that do not play nicely with all of the bells and whistles of modern mobile branding campaigns.

These phones perform quick, simple online transactions extremely well. These consumer actions are the bread-and-butter of lead generation marketing.

The limitations of feature phones for consumers in developed markets require marketers to design mobile pages not with branding in mind, although that is certainly important.

To reach the 4 billion mobile phone users who do not yet have a smartphone, marketers need to design mobile sites with a simple purpose: acquiring customers.

Making mobile lead generation work
Where does mobile lead generation work best?

From our experience, many of the traditional direct response verticals — financial services, online education, automotive and insurance — are ripe for lead-generation-specific mobile campaigns.

But even non-traditional direct marketing verticals, such as online grocery shopping, can provide marketers with excellent opportunities to generate leads that convert to sales — if their mobile pages are designed with customer acquisition in mind.

Engaging and acquiring mobile customers in these and other verticals requires a back-to-basics approach to creative.

Consumers do not want to stare at a display ad flashing on a screen the size of their palm. They are often looking for specific information or are making quick-decision purchases.

Brands must begin using simple, dynamic creative and direct-response functionality — such as click-to-call features — on their mobile sites and landing pages. They should provide only the most relevant information, features and, most importantly, the ability for consumers to provide information to receive benefits.

But how often do you actually see this simplicity in mobile sites?

When was the last time you found it simple to use a mobile page to contact a sales rep or were given the ability to provide some information for a discount?

ULTIMATELY, THE POINT of mobile marketing should be reinforcing a brand’s value to the consumer while also encouraging some type of action — buying a product, downloading a report, or providing information in exchange for a benefit.

Branding will always have its place in mobile marketing campaigns. But it should be augmented by an equally strong consumer-action element built around lead generation.

Together, these two approaches to mobile marketing will ensure a company’s mobile presence not only positions it well in the marketplace, but helps deliver the true metrics of success: leads and sales.

Hakan Lindskog is CEO of New York-based performance marketing agency MediaWhiz, a Matomy Media Group company. Reach him at