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February 17, 2016
Speed Drives Mobile Engagement
 
In life, timing is everything. Timing – expressed as speed, intuitive content, and instant value or utility — are the critical variables for successfully engaging consumers on mobile devices.

Research by Facebook, Twitter, and others document a different pace of information flow and information processing on mobile devices. Information flows to smartphones and tablets quickly and in discrete bytes. Three out of four people have their phones constantly with them. Users typically look at their phones 30+ times each day and quickly scroll through the latest messages.

By definition it’s a quick-look, fast-paced environment. Think about your own behavior. You’re on a line scrolling thru emails or texts, instantly separating out real people from subscriptions or offers. You click several, then immediately back out looking for the next thing. You absorb a fair amount of information just from the headlines. Or you click on a video and watch the first few seconds to decide if it’s worth a further investment of your time. Opens are strong. Click-thrus are not.

Twitter used eye tracking to discover that people consume content faster on mobile devices. Facebook found that mobile users consume content in 1.7 seconds versus 2.5 seconds on desktop machines. Recall is also faster; as quickly as a single second, according to research done by Fors-Marsh. These findings were mirrored by Nielsen for Twitter, which found significant video recall after only one second of viewing.

One example is mobile coupon redemption. Sixty-five percent of mobile coupons are redeemed within five minutes of seeing it, according to a study of 104 million coupon users by Koupon Media. This quick recognition and conversion cycle makes the case for processing speed. It is enhanced by context; coupons are often geo-targeted and increasingly triggered in-store. This fast-paced attention-action sequence will become the norm, especially with younger audiences. 

Viewed from the opposite perspective, Retale found that consumers have little tolerance for accidently clicked ads. Many people inadvertently click on ads and within milliseconds back out and are annoyed, frustrated, or angry. Instant awareness of content prompts fast, almost immediate, action.

Brand marketers have to factor in context and assume quick, divided attention for mobile messages and plan accordingly. Here are 7 creative implications:
1.  You need an arresting hook to grab consumer attention
2. Subject lines and headlines must be telegraphic.
3. Product or personalities must capture attention in the seconds  
4. Journalism’s inverted pyramid should drive content creation — headline, RTBs, details. 
5. Communicate relevance, utility, and/or value instantly
6. Content must sell-in each sequential second
7. Calls to action must be big, colorful, and prominent 

Consumers are in motion. Increased use of more powerful and sophisticated devices by all psycho-demographic segments is a given. Mobilizing customers or prospects as they move through time and space, not to mention as they consider your brand, is a speed round. Strip away all extra rhetoric. Present your best content quickly and clearly.

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Danny Flamberg, EVP Managing Director of Digital Strategy and CRM at Publicis based in New York, has been building brands and building businesses for more than 30 years.Prior to joining Publicis, he led a successful global consulting group called Booster Rocket, as Managing Partner. Before becoming a consultant, he was Vice President of Global Marketing at SAP, SVP and Managing Director at Digitas in New York and Europe and President of Relationship Marketing at Amiratti Puris Lintas and Lowe Worldwide.
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