3 Mobile Advertising Strategies For Luxury Brands

insideflipboard / July 20, 2016

Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

The luxury goods sector is in the midst of a decade-long change. At the beginning of the decade we saw the rise of the Chinese consumer, and tremendous growth in the use of digital technology. According to 2016 Global Powers of Luxury Goods report by Deloitte we’ll see a shift towards disciplined innovation in the coming years. Disciplined innovation in the world of luxury advertising is about striking that very delicate balance between staying true to a brand’s legacy DNA, and the desire to influence new customers in a world increasingly dominated by mobile devices. A challenging prospect, but less so if you know where to look.

At Flipboard, we’ve consistently carried advertising from brands ranging from Rolex to Lexus and The Four Seasons. After four years of analyzing successful luxury brand campaigns, we’ve identified three strategic and tactical principles that drive performance:

1. Luxury consumers are more receptive to mobile advertising during their moments of “personal primetime”:  Men and women with the means and propensity to spend on luxury goods are often busy people. There are just a few moments in the day when they’re receptive to mobile advertising/branded content, and that’s when they’re undistracted.  Eating breakfast or on the train decompressing after work, as opposed to checking their social feeds while waiting for coffee. Over and over again, we see luxury brand campaign engagement deepen when brands deliver a relevant message during these moments of “personal primetime.”

2. Interests trump demographics….target passions: When brand messaging is surfaced within a topic that a person is passionate about, a luxury consumer thinks of it as valuable content instead of advertising.  Using a mixture of first party data and Datalogix profile indexes, Flipboard can identify which interests a brand’s target audience is reading most on our platform and place the creative in the context of those interests. Think about it: Does age really matter to a luxury brand looking to educate and influence future millennial customers to buy its product? Not really, as long as the consumer is qualified. Demographic makeup is merely a proxy for interests. On the contrary, the more granular a brand gets in targeting demographics on Flipboard the less engagement and post-click activity we see.

3. The creative matters: make it big and be beautiful: Let’s be honest, mobile banners aren’t working….it’s no secret, especially for brands trying to sell a $20,000 timepiece. The entire suite of ad/content products available to luxury brands on Flipboard are 100% share of screen. In other words, they don’t compete with or cover the content the user was there to read in the first place. Luxury brands are averaging 1-2% CTRs on full screen ads, 2-4% CTRs on branded content, and 40% video completion rate on user initiated video. Those engagement rates are super impressive when compared to the .54% industry average CTR for mobile rich media banners and 29% VCR for user-initiated video.   Committing to disciplined innovation and striking that perfect balance between past, present, and future isn’t easy.  

At Flipboard, we’ve found that the right audience, served the right, contextually relevant message, at the right time, delivers the type of engagement luxury brands deserve without jeopardizing all that they’ve built.

~ Colin Marshall is reading Bulgari’s Journey to Italy