Preference Choice Publication

2018 Awards Preview - Most Effective Mobile-first Service

Tyrone Stewart

Ahead of our 2018 Effective Mobile Marketing Awards, we'll be previewing the nominees in each category, giving you a glimpse at the high quality of entries we've seen this year. In this preview, we’re looking at instances of brands making a push to offer mobile-first platforms.
The Times v-Studio

The Bridge Digital, News UK – The Times and Sunday Times v-Studio
More than 80 per cent of The Times’ digital audiences visit via mobile but wider print market declines have caused its overall ad revenue to decrease. At the same time, while digital publishers were ‘pivoting to video, The Times mobile video ad revenue was virtually non-existent outside of branded content campaigns.

The publication realised it needed to grow its mobile advertising revenue. In particular, it became clear that it needed to offer tailored video content built exclusively for the mobile screen.

To achieve its goal, The Times and Sunday Times created v-Studio, a full-service creative studio designed to produce, publish, and distribute vertical video ads exclusively for mobile environments. The studio is designed to be a one-stop shop for mobile video creative that can be accessed by either filming and producing content entirely in-house via News UK’s in-house studios or re-formatting advertisers’ existing TV/vide assets. Ads created in the studio are skippable, five to 15 seconds, and auto-play with sound off and relevant captioning where necessary. In addition, vertical video ads are the only video ads accepted.

Since launch, v-Studio has secured over a dozen campaigns from both new and regular advertisers generating £250,000 in revenue in the first six months alone – doubling News UK’s video ad revenue. Campaigns have consistently produced click-through rates and engagement rates five times higher than large display and non-optimised video formats in the same environments.

Independent research also found that audiences exposed to a v-Studio format in isolation were two times more likely to agree that a brand was ‘prestigious’ when compared to those exposed to a standard home page takeover with 100 per cent brand share of voice.

Debenhams, Mobify and Sapient – Debenhams Mobify Progressive Web App
Debenhams wanted to deliver a world-class mobile experience for its customers. To achieve this, the retailer partnered with Publicis.Sapient and Mobify to introduce a Progressive Web App (PWA), a first for European retail.

The PWA platform, developed using Mobify’s framework, gives customers the benefits of a faster, intuitive app-like experience, without the need to download an app. It enabled Debenhams to improve the user interface and deliver a consistent experience across the site.

Debenhams’ PWA is between two and four times faster than the old experience. And it resulted mobile sales overtaking desktop for the first-time during Christmas trading. Alongside this, mobile revenue has increased by 40 per cent and mobile conversion rates have grown by at least 20 per cent.  

Merck Animal Health and Creative Digital Agency – My Vet Offers
Merck Animal Health was looking for ways to boost sales and market share for Bravecto, a flea and tick medication for cats and dogs. In the animal health industry, thousands of small independent vet clinics serve as both retailer and brand advocate, making up the single biggest factor for boosting sales, but as each clinic has its own POS system, a scalable mobile coupon integration is all but impossible.

Merck’s solution was to create My Vet Offers, a mobile-first web app build specifically to drive engagement within vet clinics. The web app handled both sides of the mobile coupon experience: distribution for pet owners, and redemption and reimbursement for vets. It offered pet owners helpful automated reminders, and provided vet clinics with a frictionless redemption process, especially compared to time-consuming paper rebate methods.

The program overwhelmingly achieved its goals, with each participating clinic selling an additional 11 doses of Bravecto every day. As well as generating new revenues for Merck and the participating clinics, it also created an all-new end-user database for re-engagement that also prompts pet owners when it’s time for a new dose of Bravecto. The success of the campaign has led to mobile becoming a top priority for Merck Animal Health, which is investing new resources in the area and continues to scale and expand the My Vet Offers program.