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The “Age of Emotion” Has Arrived in Mobile Marketing

Posted on by Brittany Fleit, Marketing Lead

There’s a rising trend in mobile advertising that is drifting away from the traditional metrics media buyers use. It focuses on positive feelings and the power of in-app engagements for a completely new view on mobile marketing. Kiip has coined it the “age of the emotion.”

Influencer pic, emotion

In today’s digital advertising world, the ubiquity of technology has quickly hidden the most important response rate of all time: The true human response – the emotional response. A click-through isn’t sufficient anymore; it should measure how users feel. But how?

A comprehensive consumer engagement study conducted by IPG Media Lab over 3 months once again validated: mobile marketing is about moments. In this research, IPG employed biometric bracelets to measure electrodermal activity of participants whilst being exposed to different types of media. As well, it leveraged facial expression recognition technology to detect changes in visual emotion in real-time.

IPG found this:

  • People are 40% more excited during an achievement moment vs. normal app usage.
  • 84% of people prefer rewards over banners and full-screen interstitials.
  • Rewards increase user respect for brands by 14%, whereas banners decrease respect by 7%.
  • Moment-based rewards are 14X more effective at increasing purchase intent than banners.

Unsurprisingly, the study finds traditional advertising tactics ineffective on mobile. Banner ads decrease both brand favorability and respect, barely touch purchase intent and remain the least preferred form of mobile marketing. It’s clear that "just having banner ads" on mobile does more harm than good. Rather than facilitating a conversation between brands and consumers, these impression-based models take consumer emotion out of the equation. As a result, they negatively impact consumers’ impressions of brands and are rarely acknowledged except when users click out. This overused tactic isn’t a conversation, it’s a one-way mirror.

“Rewards ditch impersonal methods 

in favor of emotional connections.

Looking for a True Solution: Becoming More than Just the “Mobile Checkbox”

It’s time to approach advertising with strategies that consumers enjoy. Kiip’s moment-based rewards ditch impersonal methods in favor of emotional connections that users crave. Rewards meaningfully engage audiences, tell stories and build consumer loyalty, going beyond fulfilling the “checkbox” on a mobile media plan. Take a look at the study and it’s clear: rewards build a higher level of emotion that resonates with the consumer core. They aren’t just a method of advertising; they’re moments people cherish. They inherently understand emotion, as they respect user behavior, add value and are awarded serendipitously.

Learning the Importance of Consumer Respect

Moments exist across the app ecosystem, in gaming, fitness, music, productivity and more. By understanding what the user is doing, feeling and who they are, marketers can effectively create campaigns that reach them at the right time. Kiip call this Moments Targeting. When a user logs a finished workout in a fitness app, they receive a free sample of Propel; when they create a new playlist, they see an offer to download a free MP3. Users fundamentally connect with rewards that anticipate their needs, often before they can even vocalize them. All of this needs to be done in a way that respects the consumer journey, where the behavior defines the rewards, not the other way around. This is the ultimate display of respect – letting your consumer be who they are and adapting to them using technology and your deep understanding of the moments they're living.

Establishing a Value Ecosystem

By targeting achievement moments, marketers reach audiences when excitement levels peak. Users are flooded with positive emotion and more receptive to brand influence, so it’s the opportune time to engage in-app. Instead of impeding this moment with a pop-up, rewards from beloved brands add value to user emotion in a respectful way. This creates a reciprocal connection between advertisers and their audiences that lasts long beyond mobile. The “gift” is an incredibly powerful human connector. This can be done in large volumes with positive consumer response, as long as they know that the trigger is variable and that their friends can’t just do the same thing to get the same thing. This is the beauty of value, individualized.

The Right Way to Engage with Emotion is to be Playful, Delightful

Consumers express stronger reactions to brands when rewards are given at moments they least expect. It’s vital that rewards remain serendipitous, to greet users as a welcoming respite from apps that are littered with intrusive ads and persistent screen estate. In contrast to ads, rewards feel as if they’re something the consumer has earned, so they have a higher propensity to use the reward. It’s something they can call their own.

It’s time to move forward towards a more connected future. Emotional engagement is the most effective tool, with a framework that benefits consumers, brands and developers. For our partners, and the millions of users who have experienced happy moments, it’s a cause worth celebrating. Join the solution, and discover how you can introduce the “age of emotion” into your marketing mix. Don’t target just customers. It’s time to target moments.

Check out a visual overview of the IPG Media Lab study, as well as a link to the full research. To learn more about Kiip’s moment-based rewards, visit

This post has been modified from Brian Wong’s LinkedIn Influencer page. To see the original post, click here.

Tagged IPG Media Lab, marketing, rewards, Advertising, advertising, Brian Wong, emotion, Kiip, mobile, Moments Targeting technology

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