This week, we take a look at how back-to-school advertisers are increasingly engaging with customers on digital as consumer preference shifts in a mobile world. Retailers everywhere are following suit, most notably the European fashion brand, Scotch & Soda, who utilized Facebook lookalike audiences to reach an all new customer base with similar attributes as their most loyal customers of the past. Not only are we seeing an increase in mobile activity; mobile video in particular has grown rapidly as an engaging ad format as well.

According to a study by Bazaarvoice, back-to-school shopping exceeded $60 billion last year, with the earliest shoppers acting around June 15th. In this study, nearly 50% of connected consumers agreed that advertising helps find relevant products, and a third say digital ads help them find the items they need. Today’s consumers are always connected, researching where to find the best deals on backpacks and colored pencils using their mobile devices. As a result, advertisers have the opportunity to connect with consumers whenever and wherever. So advertisers, take note! Shoppers are already actively searching for all their back to school needs, and it’s not too late to reach them.

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Whether you’re reaching out to back-to-school shoppers or to fashion-forward consumers, the best place to start is with your own data. If you know who your most loyal customers are, wouldn’t you want to use that information to find more shoppers just like them? The answer is likely “yes”! Scotch & Soda, a European fashion retail brand, took advantage of their own CRM data in an effort to grow their customer base. Scotch & Soda partnered with Emark and Salesforce, to build lookalike audiences on Facebook made up of users that shared many of the same traits and behaviors as their most valuable customers. They hoped that by finding new customers similar to their current customers, they would attain a larger, broader audience of valuable customers for the future. As a result of this campaign, the retailer saw 9x return on their ad spending, and a cost per checkout of 3.95 euro. In addition, Scotch & Soda now has a whole new audience of loyal customers for the future.

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As you think about your next digital ad campaign, consider that different ad formats may produce better results. According to a recent study by Smaato, this year advertisers will spend $4.4 billion on mobile video advertising, reaching $9.9 billion by 2018. In addition, it was found that eCPM ( known as “effective cost per thousand,” the ratio used to compare ad units with differing numbers of impressions) increased by 28% from Q4 2015 to Q1 2016 for mobile video ads, 11% higher than the eCPM for text or display ads. While this ad type may be more time-consuming to create, it’s proven to be well worth the effort. Consumer preferences are shifting in favor of this engaging ad format and advertisers are taking note.

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To learn more about the recent advertising success of Scotch & Soda, check out the full story customer story.