Why Personalization Matters Most in Mobile

kiip logoRecent research by Infogroup found that 93 percent of consumers have received marketing communications that are not relevant to them. The importance of that statistic becomes all the more obvious when you consider the consequences: 44 percent of consumers are willing to switch to brands that better personalize their communications. Personalization is now table stakes for marketing organizations, and nowhere is this truer than in the mobile space. It’s become something of a cliché to say that consumers view their mobile devices as part of themselves, but study after study shows that people are addicted to their phones.

With limited ad space and a greater opportunity for share of voice, it’s more important than ever for brands to reach consumers with appropriate messages within the windows of opportunity for engagement. Yet, Personalization is not seen as important within brands – just 7 percent view it as their top priority. A failure to deliver Personalization on the mobile platform will ultimately result in a failure to break through to consumers, especially with mobile accounting for more than two-thirds of all digital advertising.

Fortunately, brands can get on the Personalization path by following a few easy steps:

Start with Media

Adopting a Personalized approach starts with Media strategy. Many consumers say that they can’t live without their mobile devices, but you’d be hard pressed to find a marketer who says they can’t live without all of the mobile media they buy. While mobile internet use and ad spending are booming, mobile is still widely viewed as something of a crap shoot.

If advertisers are buying against bad media or low visibility, it doesn’t matter how personalized their messages are. A message that is never seen, or is part of the bad app experience, is of little use at all. It’s imperative that a Personalization strategy goes hand in hand with premium media and app environments, setting the advertiser up to better capture eyeballs and engagement.

Fortunately for brands, the mobile programmatic landscape is improving to the point where brands have more access to high-quality in-app placements, rather than suspect mobile web ad units. By delivering in the right environment, advertisers can maximize their returns.

Be additive, not disruptive

The time of the ad delivered plays a key role as well. Bombarding consumers with promotional messages constantly can kill the app experience, which damages the app’s reputation and brand equity. Even if the message is personalized, consumers don’t want the message to interrupt the app experience that they’re seeking out. While disruption is a popular term in the technology space, disrupting a consumer’s experience is a very bad thing.

The key to engaging audiences is to provide a value exchange. And this is where Personalization matters most. Ads can’t simply be branded messages or stale creative. They must be closely tied to the app experience and/or to the consumers’ interests.

This may mean working closely with premium apps to deliver creative and messaging that matches the content of the app, and is tied to specific situations that may arise when using the app. For example, CPG brands can promote healthy snacks in fitness and wellness apps, and promote those messages during natural breaks in activity or upon completion of tasks.

Creative ties it all together

Creative is often the piece most associated with Personalization, but Creative can only deliver its maximum impact on mobile when the mobile environment is handled first. With media and timing firmly in place, brands can move on to messaging that makes consumers feel like ads are tailored to them.

As mentioned above, Creative needs to be approached with the idea of value exchange. By factoring in additional audience data, based on locations visited or other apps used, the message can be even more tailored to the audience receiving it, upping the likelihood of engagement.


Marketers need to approach mobile with a personalization mindset for everything they do, from the creative they develop, right down to the moment they deliver the ad. By appealing to consumers’ interests and offering them something of value, they can stand out in an environment that has become increasingly important to the consumer themselves.

Read more: Customer Experience 2020: Personalization is Key

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