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Facebook's Daniel Slotwiner at Digital Summit

Mobile tech forces retailers to rethink how to appeal to consumers

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In just the past couple of years, smartphones and mobile devices have become virtually ubiquitous — with roughly 1.4 billion smartphone units in use today — and have transformed the face of retail marketing as we know it. At the Digital Summit, Facebook Director of Advertising Research Daniel Slotwiner described how new mobile tools allow companies to experiment with ways to share their brands and messages with new audiences.

Mobile has already altered consumer behavior. According to Slotwiner, roughly 65 percent of consumers surveyed use a smartphone for product research while in stores.

Mobile “will never be the sole channel that people market through,” Slotwiner said. But it’s significant enough that retailers should be figuring out how mobile plays alongside other channels. 

Slotwiner offered some tips for retailers looking to leverage mobile more in their own businesses.

Embrace a holistic approach

New research shows that the most effective advertising campaigns are those that tap into multiple platforms. According to Slotwiner, consumers are more likely to remember advertising that has appeared on multiple platforms like Facebook and television. This is good news, he said, because as “marketers get better at coordinating these channels, the more value” they will get from them overall.

Don’t be afraid to experiment

There is a great deal of experimentation in the digital marketing space. Approaches are varied and organizations are trying to figure out best practices. Slotwiner said some companies are simply posting their TV advertisements on Facebook, while others are more adventurous. One company, Slotwiner noted, actually created “almost 100 short, six-second videos each featuring a different product and rotated those to different segments that they thought would be interested in the product.” Others have taken a humorous approach: A series of “unskippable” Geico commercials informed viewers, “You can’t skip this ad because it’s already over.” No matter the technique, there is no single established formula when it comes to leveraging mobile.

The more things change, the more they stay the same

Despite all the changes in technology and consumer behavior, Slotwiner suggested organizations looking to draw consumer eyeballs still need to ask themselves the same fundamental questions: Who are your consumers? And how do you reach them? These things never change.