2014-25-July-Water-Test.jpgMobile has moved beyond a “channel” and become a behavior. A verb. A necessity. It’s safe to say that if you haven’t moved to mobile in some form -- advertising, app, responsive name, you name it -- you've fallen way behind. So I’m going to assume we’re all on the same page and have at least dipped our toe in the mobile waters.

Mobile is now the dominant channel in online advertising. And while many companies at least have a mobile site, most are missing that clear strategy for mobile customer acquisition.

We've all heard the stats: In the US alone, consumers will have spent nearly $119 billion on goods and services purchased on a mobile device by 2015. Mobile internet use has overtaken desktop use, and 35 percent of users are searching for coupons or shopping-related activities. It’s one reason why many companies are shifting their budget for desktop ad targeting over to mobile, and taking advantage of mobile-first data signals such as app engagement, location, etc. to fuel a better mobile experience.

However, as many brands leap to make bold mobile moves, they may be forgetting a few crucial requirements. Requirements which consumers demand, and are waiting for brands to implement.

1. There is no such thing as a national customer

When you’re doing business on the national level, it’s quite easy -- and natural -- to think about your marketing this way. Sure, you may want to target certain regions when your concentration of prospects is higher, but the problem is, no consumer thinks about themselves as a “national customer.” So whether its by a customers location or their unique attributes, running national campaigns on devices that are so personal and targeted is a no-no. In fact, hyper local geo-targeting now accounts for about 50 percent of mobile campaigns, while the other 50 percent is audience-based targeting.

But some brands are getting it right, and depending on their business model, using various forms of mobile targeting to reach an engaged audience. Take Taco Bell, they use geolocation targeting in locations with a high concentration of competitors, as well as areas that are heavy with consumer foot traffic. But a brand like eBay, which does not have a physical location, uses audience data to target based on products viewed or purchased, app engagement and other such metrics.

It’s time to think beyond targeting our audiences at a certain time of day, and learn, based on their unique or local signals, how to forecast their future behavior. Nobody should be putting out a general message any more.