A mobile phone with multiple apps coming out of the screen.

Advertisers are having trouble with mobile marketing. What are they doing wrong?

Does it seem to you like most marketers today are more focused on the actual mobile devices—rather than the people who carry them? This is a new trend, and while the mobile-first movement isn’t necessarily a bad thing for advertisers, treating consumers like machines isn’t going to work. Here are a couple of ways to fix the mobile ad industry.

The Right Way to Use Cross-Device Tactics

The problem with cross-device campaigns is that most marketers are merely using this as a means to interact with users on as many different devices as possible without paying enough attention to the behavioral data. Sometimes it comes across as annoying or just plain creepy, rather than as a good sales pitch.

You should use cross-device campaigns to find your customer at the moment he or she is ready to buy. A consumer may be on a laptop at one moment and a phone the next. Meeting up with your ad on both may give a more negative impression than positive. But if you can tell the difference between research and looking to make a purchase, you can find a consumer in the right place, at the right time, with the right offer.

Think About Consumers, Not Mobile Devices

You get a lot of information about how consumers use their devices. Put that information to work for you. If someone does research on a mobile device but likes to make purchases in a store, provide them with in-store coupons through a mobile device. If someone likes to shop at a desk and buy from a tablet, provide education on the benefits of your product when the consumer is on a desktop computer, then go for sale when he picks up his iPad. Paying attention to behavior is key to closing the deal.

The fact is that mobile advertising is about more than just going where the people are. Yes, people are on smartphones more than ever before, but we still have to be smart about the way we interact with a consumer, especially on a mobile device.