2015 was the first year in which there were more online searches completed on mobile devices than desktop — that trend has continued on an upward trajectory. Industry analysts predict that time spent on mobile devices this year will exceed 25% of all media consumption.

According to a new global study by digital marketing experts at ClickZ Intelligence and produced in partnership with Search Optics, more than 65% of customer traffic for Search Optics clients originates from mobile devices.

The State of Mobile Advertising explores the evolution of digital marketing globally. The findings of the study are striking: more than half of survey respondents rated themselves as “beginners” in their approach to mobile advertising. Meanwhile, digital marketers are still pouring most of their resources into desktop activities, despite the recognized importance of a mobile-first strategy.

The result? Websites that are not optimized for mobile performance are simply not showing up where their customers expect to find them.

“Armed with their mobile devices, consumers are conducting ‘near me’ searches that require brands to be more responsive than ever. If your business is not present when ‘near me’ moments of need occur, you might as well not exist.” - The State of Mobile Advertising respondent

Interestingly, statistics provided by Google suggest that Canada has a higher percentage of mobile spend than other parts of the world because of its solid broadband infrastructure. Canada is also #2 in the world when it comes to percentage of online video consumption.

Nevertheless, there is room for growth in digital advertising. According to Randy Price, general manager for Search Optics Canada, car dealers are still not making the connection between digital spend and sales.

“Ask a small-to-medium-sized dealer if they purchased an ad in the yellow pages 15 years ago and they will all say ‘OF COURSE.’ Yet most still don’t have a brand ad on Google, the most widely used search engine. There’s got to be a shift in thinking, and it will require greater education on the importance of digital advertising nationally.”

“Canada car sales have grown year-over-year for the past three years, but there are signs of a slowdown coming. Inevitably, this slowdown will require dealers to revisit their marketing strategies. Moreover, it likely will mean an increase in digital and a reduction in traditional media.”

The State of Mobile Advertising highlights new tactics that will help Canadian dealers optimize their digital and mobile efforts. The key takeaway? Make mobile the core of every marketing strategy.

With most consumers test driving fewer and fewer vehicles, dealerships need to drive prospects to their showroom through online efforts. Programmatic promotes growth by raising brand awareness, thanks to its more data-driven and targeted approach. Supporting a programmatic investment with a strong attribution strategy helps you evaluate campaign performance and assess the full impact of your dealership’s efforts.

Many smaller, rural stores still believe that everyone knows the name of their store and where they are located; however, studies show that more than 60% of consumers who are searching for a vehicle have no idea which make or model they plan to buy when they embark on their purchasing journey. Hyperlocal enables precise targeting of customers based on their location at any given time. Take the next step by using mobile as a marketing intelligence KPI to determine how many people saw your ads and visited your locations.

Paid Search
Lower-funnel purchasers often complete research on mobile or tablet devices while out shopping for vehicles. For this reason, mobile-friendly, responsive sites and mobile ads are the keys to a successful advertising strategy. Paid search is one of the most effective mobile channels for lead generation and direct online sales, particularly for engaging lower-funnel shoppers. Gain a better understanding of the ROI of your paid search efforts by enrolling in Beta opportunities with Google; this provides access to critical mobile data such as store visits.

For The State of Mobile Advertising full report, click here. For an infographic summary of our study’s key findings, click here.


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