Retailers see mobile ads as a gateway, not an end


A new study suggests that most retail advertisers are planning to increase their spending on mobile platforms during 2012. However, they are not looking to get click-throughs, but rather are hoping to get ad recipients to sign up for retailer’s email or social media efforts.

The study, performed by The Relevancy Group on a commission by Pontiflex, says that 86% of the retailers it surveyed are looking to make more use of mobile than they did this year.

A problem with click-throughs is that they force potential customers to abandon the app upon which they came across the ad in the first place, something they may not be very interested in doing.

Instead, 54% of those planning to use mobile are hoping to get consumers to subscribe to their emails; and 53% are hoping to add them to their social communities.

One retailer looking to build its social media base is Lilly Pulitzer, a women’s specialist that also has items for men and children. “Including signup ads in our marketing mix has allowed us to reach new interested customers who weren’t already actively searching for our products on the web,” said Rachael Crews, Senior Manager, E-commerce, Lilly Pulitzer. “We really see the value of social media and online communities. Lilly Pulitzer is a brand that is passed down from generation to generation. What better way to reach like-minded and connected people than on Facebook and”

Ouidad, a stylist specializing in curly hair products, seeks to build its email distribution list. The company uses that list to drive its own social media presence, and in turn its builds sales both online and in brick and mortar outlets.

RBR-TVBR observation: For starters, we’ll note that gaudy percentages like 86% are generally possible only for new advertising venues. TV and radio are far too widely used to ever approach such numbers. We also note that if this study is accurate, the use of mobile does not duplicate that of broadcast – in fact, its usefulness would seem to be more limited, although it might make a great enhancement to a multimedia marketing campaign.