The mobile market: right here, right now

Sponsored Feature: Ian Carrington Director of mobile advertising at Northern and Central Europe, Google. What’s in your pocket or handbag at this very minute? Chances are the inventory includes at least one mobile phone. Ask just about anyone that question and you’ll probably get exactly the same answer.


Connecting more than 5 billion people, mobile is the most widely used technology in the world, and it’s growing – quickly. That means that every day, more and more of your customers are searching online, reading the news, finding directions, watching videos and networking – all from their mobile devices. That also means they’re continually engaging with mobile advertising. It’s time to be there with them.

The good news is that it’s not too late to be early.

No matter what your marketing goals are, the first step to mobile success is to build a marketing plan that’s right for your business.

Mobile phones are incredibly personal devices: always within reach, constantly connecting us to the people and things that matter. With such proximity to our hearts and minds, it’s not surprising that mobile advertising is a proven channel for driving brand engagement and response. And with the interactive experiences possible with rich media and video, ads are no longer just ads. They’re music players, video viewers, app downloaders and portals, all in one.

Look at your website analytics – it’s likely that you already have traffic coming from mobile devices. But what does your website look like to these visitors? Only 21% of the world’s top advertisers have mobile-optimised landing pages. Imagine if customers came to your desktop website and had trouble clicking on links or couldn’t see the graphics properly. Make sure the mobile experience on your website is a positive one.


Once you’ve created a functional mobile website, set yourself apart from your competitors with a well-defined mobile advertising strategy. For example, rather than tacking mobile onto your existing campaigns, you can create mobile-specific campaigns such as the case study featured opposite. While in search, ad units unique to mobile, such as click-to-call, make it easy for customers to convert in new ways. Combine the reach of desktop advertising with the immediacy of mobile to drive direct response ad performance. You’ll be better able to use mobile-specific features and you’ll have more control over your performance and investment.

Next, think locally to bring customers to your door. Mobile is an extension of our everyday lives. Mobile users are most active during lunch, at night and weekends, when they’re out in the world and not tied to a desktop. As your customers move through their day, drive them to your stores with locally targeted mobile ads.

Meanwhile, bear in mind that phones are increasingly becoming indispensable shopping tools. Whether researching a product or comparing prices, 79% of smartphone users have used their devices to help with shopping, and 74% of those shoppers have made a purchase.

Stats like these show there’s never been a better time to get on board the mobile revolution. Last year saw a 400% increase in mobile searches, and this year the only way is up.

Mobile Blast

Connecting more than 5 billion people, mobile is the most widely used technology in the world, and it’s growing – quickly. Last year saw a 400% increase in mobile searches, and this year the only way is up. Research from the US shows that 62% of smartphone users conduct a search daily; 72% use theirs at work and 66% at social functions; 39% access their mobile device in the restroom while one-in-four female smartphone users would rather give up their high-heel shoes than their mobile. So is it too late to be early? Absolutely not. Visit
and get dialled in.

Case study – part of SNCF – harnesses the power of the AdMob network to stimulate downloads of its iPhone, the online travel agency and subsidiary of French rail giant SNCF, was founded in 2000 to offer internet travel services to rail passengers. Recognising that mobile technologies are ideally suited to travel customers on the move, launched its mobile website in 2007, which currently receives 2 million unique visitors per month. Today, passengers can book rail travel both through the mobile optimised site and through a mobile app.

With 51% of’s mobile internet users booking tickets for travel the day before and the day of departure, it’s clear that the immediacy of customer need is matched by the immediacy of the mobile medium.’s rationale behind developing the iPhone app was the belief that an app allows greater control over the user experience and offers the best opportunities to refine functionalities for maximum ease of use.

The application transforms the user’s handset screen into a train schedule with real-time traffic monitoring for more than 3,000 stations. It also lets users geo-locate their position and nearest station, receive alerts about delays and book train tickets.

To deepen brand engagement and trigger downloads, used Google with the AdMob network to serve platform-specific advertising on mobile websites and apps, employing innovative ad formats for maximum impact.

Half the project budget went toward CPM advertising, which included an animated multi-panel banner, an expandable banner that allows user interaction within the ad itself and an interstitial ad. The CPC component of the campaign comprised a classic banner format. Because a large proportion of the French public use trains, the campaign required a broad reach; AdMob’s extensive network was able to provide this too.

AdMob’s penetration on iPhone is significant. Ads ran for ten days in December on sports, news and information channels. The banners enticed users to enter a competition. By clicking through, users entered an area of the mobile optimised website where they could provide their name and phone number to try to win a year of free travel. From here they could also download the mobile application and automatically receive a free iTunes track. Finally, they could forward the competition to Facebook friends.

Optimisation during the course of the campaign was critical to success. Says Dominique Mohamed-Cadi, who handles business development at, “Advertising through the AdMob network enabled us to maximise the return on our mobile investment. Thanks to ongoing optimisation during our 10-day campaign, the results we recorded were beyond expectations.”

His goal for the app was to achieve 15,000 downloads in December. In fact, in that period it notched 87,000 downloads. Of these, 70,000 were generated by customer newsletters and communications. Simultaneously, AdMob banners delivered 50,789 clicks, generating 17,000 downloads representing a conversion rate of 33.5%. Specifically, the click-to-site ad format generated 21,014 clicks with a click-through rate of 1%. Meanwhile, 1.5 million impressions were served through the three rich media ad formats averaging a click-through rate of 2%.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here