Understanding the purchase funnel, along with how to engage consumers in each stage, is crucial for getting the most out of your mobile marketing strategy. Here are key considerations to keep in mind at every stage of the customer shopping journey.

Matt Knust, vice president, Aki Technologies

This year, consumer time spent on mobile will surpass consumer time spent watching TV for the first time ever, according to eMarketer. As our society’s digital-first behavior overwhelmingly evolves to mobile-first, marketer mentalities must also shift.

For retailers, the concept of “mobile shoppers” is becoming less relevant. The term describes a device, sure. But it doesn’t describe distinct behaviors or consumer mindsets anymore.

Coupons motivate the attention of 30% of mobile consumers.

Mobile shoppers, for all intents and purposes, are simply shoppers. They’re using their mobile devices not just to make purchases, but also to research products (both in-store and elsewhere), build shopping lists, check availability, learn about certain product categories and more. From a marketer standpoint, what’s most important to figure out is where consumers are in the purchase funnel and tailor their mobile ad experience accordingly.

Understanding the purchase funnel, along with how to engage consumers in each stage, is crucial for getting the most out of your mobile marketing strategy. Let’s take a look at key considerations to keep in mind at every stage of the customer journey.



It takes an estimated six to eight touches to generate a viable sales lead, per the Online Marketing Association. Thus, driving awareness for a product or service is all about delivering the right volume of messaging to the right audience.

But that doesn’t mean brands should open the floodgates to 24/7 messaging. Ads that are delivered during busy content experiences get quickly buried—wasting ad dollars—while those that interrupt the consumer when they’re trying to accomplish a task can work against the campaign goal.

The key to building cost-effective, positive awareness in mobile advertising is ensuring these touchpoints come during natural moments of pause in the mobile experience.


As consumers move into the consideration phase of their journey, it’s time for marketers to provide tailored educational content to create a deeper relationship with their audiences. In this regard, retailers should be incorporating brand content into their mobile ad experiences. Seasonal shopping guides, guides to finding the right fit, gift idea lists—these are all great ways of connecting with consumers who are just starting to consider a purchase and need some help discovering the right brand and product for them.


Just as in the case of awareness ads, brands will want to deliver these ads—which tend to be more costly rich and/or video creatives—when consumers are most likely to engage with them.


Of course, a great deal of mobile advertising today is focused on driving that ever-important conversion. These types of promotions can take many forms, so retailers need to carefully consider what kinds of offers and CTAs [calls to action] are going to help them meet their business objectives. For example, in a world where brands can reach consumers while they are out and about, foot traffic becomes a key performance indicator for mobile campaigns. Mobile creatives that aim to drive foot traffic should consider features like store locators, coupons and other incentives to support the goal.

For online conversions, coupons can also be effective—a consumer study we conducted last year noted that coupons motivate the attention of 30% of mobile consumers. Free shipping offers can be a great way to convert mobile browsers to purchasers.


Of course, retailers shouldn’t forget about their customers once they’ve made a purchase. While many are diligent in encouraging repeat purchases via email campaigns, mobile advertising is also a great way to drive loyalty.


Retailers can delight consumers with helpful or educational information like a summer trends shopping guide to keep them engaged, and they can also target them with special promotions of items that are complementary to their previous purchases.


Finally, mobile advertising also enables retailers to connect with consumers on an emotional level to convert them into fans who talk about their brands to their friends and family.

Messaging around a brand’s charitable activities (such as donations made based on each purchase) can inspire customers to advocate on behalf of the brand to their social networks. Messaging that encourages customers to boast about their recent purchases online can also speak to people’s desire to keep their friends and family in the loop on their daily lives.

The best mobile advertising campaigns, like any good overarching marketing strategy, look to connect uniquely with consumers depending on where they are in their customer journey. The above are just a few ideas for tailoring ads according to needs, delivering value at every step and—most importantly—increasingly customer lifetime value through mobile advertising.


Aki Technologies provides mobile advertising, targeting and campaign-management services.