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5 Ways to Maximize Mobile Advertising ROI Ahead of Holiday Season Starting your ad campaigns early captures the consumer's attention at the right time

By Saurabh Bhatia

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With every holiday season coming, behaviors of consumers change and we can see a spike in their shopping interests. Apart from a few much awaited holiday events such as Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Christmas this year, there are few other events that marketers need to keep an eye on.

Key Events to Watch Out For This Holiday Season


As per eMarketer, people begin researching Halloween costumes online as early as the third week of September. Fashion and improvement brands need to start running their marketing campaigns as early as possible to reach this socially active and fun-loving audience.

Thanksgiving weekend

The biggest shopping event that drives the highest sales opportunity. Last year over 6,000 brands and retailers saw $4.6 billion in sales between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. Irrespective of what products you sell, it is advisable that you start promoting much earlier if you want to capitalize on this shopping opportunity.

December holidays

The season actually begins with Black Friday and Cyber Monday and leads up to the slew of December holidays. So, a more effective strategy would be to plan your campaigns well ahead of time which could also mean more ad inventory at more reasonable prices. Adobe reports that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the two top days for retail sales.

How Smartphones Are Redefining the Holiday Shopping Experience?

An early report from retail search marketing firm NetElixir predicts that holiday e-commerce sales will increase 15 per cent this year, after double-digit growth in 2017. NetElixir projects that more than 42 percent of all online purchases will originate from mobile devices. Hence marketers will see even more changes attributed to mobile in consumer buying behavior. Furthermore, to find their way to a brick-and-mortar store, smartphone activity is the most popular among holiday shoppers. Below list depicts what else consumers use their smartphone for during holiday season –

∙ Explore store locations

∙ Compare/check prices

∙ Shop/browse online

∙ Read reviews

∙ Explore/use coupons & discounts

∙ Check product availability

∙ Make a purchase

Strategies to Engage the Consumers

The 2018 holidays spell "opportunity" for mobile-focused brands that can drive engagement, retention, and sales with a personalized experience. Considering all these factors, we expect mobile advertising to get a boost during this season.

Considering the competitive environment this holiday season, advertisers and DSPs need to think of unique ways to reach their most appropriate audiences to create the best possible impact of their brands. Here are some tactics to keep a note of:

Start Early: Did you know 45% of US consumers start shopping before 1st November? Starting your ad campaigns early not only captures the consumer's attention at the right time but also gives marketers a chance to book exclusive high-value publisher inventory through the private marketplace (PMP) deals at a much reasonable price.

Increase the efficiency: 46% of shopping orders are expected to be via a mobile device on Black Friday this year. Advertisers must consider buying specific mobile impressions for their specific audiences on a guaranteed or non-guaranteed basis. They should consider managing campaigns through Private Marketplaces (PMPs) where they get first-look access of the inventory with negotiated CPMs. PMPs give you the opportunity to reach unique users which are otherwise unreachable through the open exchange.

Ad quality & Measurement: Make sure the exchange you buy from is having fraud-free, brand safe and viewability measurable inventory. Your exchange partner should apply strict quality standards to realize successful and tangible outcomes such as higher yield for your mobile advertising spend. Furthermore, you should be able to get a measurement of your ad spend to derive powerful insights of your campaign's performance and optimize it accordingly.

Powerful video ad formats: To tell your story it is equally important to choose engaging video ad units.

Full-screen video ads: The most popular ad size among the marketers because they get the undivided attention of the user with a full-screen ad and additional branding in the end card, which appears when users finish watching the ad. With this end card, marketers can give the option to users to find the nearest store or any specific action by making them land on their website or app.

Native video ads: Native video ads are usually better received by the users because they don't "feel" like advertisements, and hence don't disrupt their experience.

Rewarded videos: Since the users opt-in to watch the ad in return for in-app rewards, it is less intrusive. It drives a positive experience for the users while maintaining higher completion rates and brand recall. If you have a sports fan or gaming audience, this ad format is the best choice for your holiday season campaigns.

Saurabh Bhatia

CEO and Co-Founder, Chocolate

Saurabh Bhatia is the CEO and co-founder of Chocolate. 

Chocolate is a global leader in mobile video advertising. Chocolate offers two core products, Chocolate Marketplace, a global programmatic buying and selling platform for mobile video advertising and Chocolate Mediation, an end-to-end monetization solution for app developers & publishers. Chocolate is a privately held, venture-backed company headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices in San Francisco, CA and India. 


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