The Importance of Mobile Media

Beth Haufler, Broadcast Media Supervisor

February 23, 2021

Background and Industry Implications:

Mobile is a critical channel for reaching today’s consumers. It accounts for 10% of all Internet traffic, and Mashable reports that number is growing. It is an actionable platform.  Mobile customers are more engaged than online customers, which means they are active and will be interactive, as long as the interactions are simple and intuitive. Unfortunately pharmaceutical companies have not yet fully jumped into this medium. Of the top ten pharmaceutical brands (by 2011 U.S. sales rank), none has a mobile-optimized website focusing their efforts on relevant mobile content. 

The advantage of mobile media is that you can reach the consumer on the move – anytime, anywhere. Widespread adoption of mobile devices among patients, caregivers and HCPs presents a unique opportunity to impact patient care and influence positive outcomes.  An additional advantage for pharma marketers is that, for the most part, there is still little competition in the space.

For a pharmaceutical brand to be successful in their efforts, they’ll need to create a streamlined experience that pushes users toward a conversion at every turn.   It will be important for pharmaceutical companies to understand how and why decision-makers search on mobile phones and not try to reproduce their entire website for the mobile format.

Points to Consider

Measurement: Marketing momentum and budget in most industries is beginning to gradually shift to other digital channels, in particular mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), making testing and optimization essential components of any successful online marketing initiative.  In some ways this can present a barrier to pharma marketers who want to incorporate this medium into a plan, because ROI is not always measured in the same way as other media.

Video: Streaming video has soared in popularity, but because of the smaller screens of smartphones and tablets, repurposing a television ad does not take full advantage of this medium’s potential benefits.  It is critical for brands/agencies to create video specifically with mobile devices in mind.

Other Creative Assets: More and more, data and analytics teams are creating the creative brief helping to drive more effective campaigns for the brand.  Brands and agencies need to figure out new native formats to engage consumers, go beyond the basic media buy and utilize messaging that is relevant to the space — tap to call, tap to mobile coupon, etc.  The point is to present things that customers value, even if seemingly small.


Put the consumer journey first prior to developing your communications planning.  Think about your message and assets, and align that to how your consumer uses mobile.

Offerings must be integrated. The focal point of a big idea needs to be spread across all media— not just banners, not just video and not just television. Connection to your customer is through touch points across all media.  Messaging must be consistent and integrated across all platforms.

When planning for a mobile buy, the brand expectations must be identified up front.  Once this has been established, it is up to the media agency to set realistic expectations so they can be met, ultimately making it easier to have budgets allocated to mobile efforts. Making mobile work right must include a significant commitment of budget.  An average test buy can range anywhere from $50 – $100k depending on the various goals that have been identified.

Changing the Mobile Mindset

•  Mobile is not only an extension of the web.

•  Measurement and tracking are still not fully understood, and data is often blocked by privacy regulations.  In order to fully realize a mobile campaign’s success, marketers must recognize the differences in measurement and adjust goals accordingly.

•  Brands/Agencies need to create mobile  assets (landing pages, apps, etc.) so that the consumer experience is better and doesn’t just rely on small banners. 

•  We need to invest in the test.  Testing is an important part of the process and marketers must make a commitment to learn the most successful way to utilize the mobile platform for your brand and achieve the desired results.

Again, establishing and setting expectations for the brand is critical.  It may require asking hard questions up front but will ultimately provide the necessary direction. Once expectations have been set, goals can then be implemented, big ideas formulated and budgets realistically established.