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4 Brands Whose Creative Approaches to Mobile Marketing Are Getting Big Results

Google updates best-practice 'playbook'

Home Depot and Red Roof Inn earned praise from Google for their innovative mobile success. Photo: Getty Images

Did you know that 67 percent of smartphone shoppers will switch to a competitor's site if the checkout process takes too long? That's one of a handful of stats Google is releasing today in a new report about how brands like Walmart and Red Roof Inn are moving the sales needle with mobile marketing.

Here are four of the most interesting case studies in the report. It's no surprise that mobile budgets keep growing, but if nothing else, the below examples should give brand marketers a better idea of which mobile tactics actually work.

1. Red Roof Inn: An estimated 90,000 travelers are stranded every day from canceled flights. So the hotel chain and 360i ran a mobile search campaign targeting folks scrambling to find a nearby hotel with creative like, "Stranded at the airport?"

The result: A 60 percent increase in last-minute bookings. (The campaign also was a winner in Adweek's Project Isaac Awards, honoring inventive marketing.)

2. Home Depot: When people need help tiling a bathroom floor or building a patio, they're far more likely to watch a video on a smartphone than a desktop. With that in mind, Home Depot has published hundreds of do-it-yourself videos on YouTube.

The result: More than 43 million YouTube views, with the top 10 videos each generating a million or more views.

3. Walmart: Speed is everything in e-commerce. Last year, Walmart's mobile site took 7.2 seconds to load. That may seem like a small window of time, but it was slow enough to send a significant number of shoppers elsewhere. To speed up load time, Walmart changed its site's fonts, images and code.

The result: The big-box retailer cut its load time from 7.2 seconds to 2.9 seconds this year. Each second shaved off reportedly boosted conversions by 2 percent.

4. Realtor.com: A real estate website might seem like a strange brand for actress Elizabeth Banks to endorse, but the brand found a creative way for her to convey its message through online video. Banks created a five-part YouTube series that walks first-time homeowners through the steps of buying a house.

The result: 400,000 YouTube views in three weeks. Skippable video ads promoting the video generated a 30 percent view-through rate, which measures the number of complete views divided by ad impressions.

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