Stuart Sankey of Quotient Europe explores strategies to drive consumer engagement via mobile advertising and promotions

FMCG: How to Make Mobile Contribute to Brand and Sales Goals


Stuart Sankey of Quotient Europe explores strategies to drive consumer engagement via mobile advertising and promotions

With the recent news from eMarketer[1] that mobile is now taking the majority share of UK time with digital media, the question of how brands can make mobile media contribute to in-store product trial, sampling and acquisition goals becomes ever more pressing.

Brands have been diverting more and more of their advertising spend into the mobile channel, with FMCG marketers being the biggest spenders on mobile display ads[2]. However, the basic nature of mobile media formats means that brands are finding it difficult to make them fulfil core goals such as engagement and in-store product trial.

Marketers need to address the paradox at the heart of mobile marketing: more and more, campaigns require a mobile element in order to reach and appeal to target audiences, yet the vast majority of consumer spend on FMCG occurs offline, in ‘bricks & mortar’ stores.

Brand teams are trying a variety of different approaches, such as interruptional display ads, contextual ads, in-game ads and Facebook media. As yet, though, these have not delivered the engagement levels brands seek nor have they had any clear, measurable impact on in-store, offline sales.

The inconvenient truth of mobile advertising is that UK consumers are only clicking on 1% of ads[3]. Furthermore, PwC states that 44% of UK consumers claim to not have clicked on any ads at all in the past month[4]. Add to this the growing issue of mobile ad-blockers, which 21% of smartphone users are currently using to opt-out of ads altogether[5].

So what’s a marketer to do?

Mobile Engagement and Acquisition

Brands that want to win in the mobile-first world need to be equipped to put mobile at the heart of campaign planning. This means being able to run entire campaigns through mobile; campaigns that push the consumer through the sales funnel from engagement to in-store purchase.

This is more easily achieved than many might believe. Although mobile users are often reluctant to engage with brands; many respond positively to targeted campaigns that offer genuine relevance and value: 

  • 59% of consumers say ‘relevant ad content’ is the most important attribute for mobile ads[6].
  • 79% of mobile app users are likely to engage with brands that offer value[7].

When it comes to relevance, the key is for brands to ‘show up’ when the consumer is actively looking for inspiration and ideas on their mobile – e.g. for new products to try or use. Brands, particularly those with new products, need to ‘show up’ when the consumer is in this exploratory mode and trigger their curiosity with relevant and engaging content.

To then deliver on this engagement, FMCGs are likely to have more success if they treat mobile as a combined advertising and promotions platform, offering ‘value’ in the form of a targeted promotion.

A strong call-to-action to purchase the product can ensure that the customer journey continues seamlessly into the store to make a purchase. Ideally the brand should be able to furnish information on the nearest store – and even aisle – that has the product in stock. Again, this is easily achieved.

Lastly, it’s crucial to ensure that high quality, on-brand messaging supports the value proposition in any mobile advertising to ensure that the audience buys into the ethos and usage ideas of the brand.

A variety of di­fferent activation mechanisms are now available to FMCGs: these include digital and mobile coupons, both of which do a great job of converting consumer engagement and brand media into significant purchase intent and of tying in-store activity back to digital engagement.

Stuart Sankey is European Sales Director at Quotient Europe. In the UK & Europe, Quotient delivers digital promotions and media solutions that help FMCG brands and supermarkets engage consumers and activate in-store sales through web, mobile and social. Founded in 1998, the parent company Quotient Technology Inc. is listed on the NYSE (QUOT). Quotient has put together a free Mobile Marketing Playbook which explains to FMCG marketers how it is vital to understand ‘how’ consumers want to engage with brand content on their hand-held devices – and that this is key to ensuring that mobile delivers the high levels of engagement and customer acquisition that they are looking for. You can download the FREE Mobile Marketing Playbook from the Quotient website. (link to:










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