09/23/2013 09:12 am ET Updated Nov 23, 2013

Mobile Video Advertising Works Best in the Right State of Mind

It's no small secret that mobile video advertising is one of the most effective channels for savvy marketers today. Similarly, the ubiquity and usage of mobile apps presents the ideal environment to deliver a marketer's message with sight, sound and motion. But knowing these basic facts is not enough to deliver a successful campaign. Marketers must also look closely at the consumer's state of mind when they engage with mobile apps.

Consumers love mobile apps, but different apps serve different needs. The relaxed guy watching movie trailers on Flixster while lounging at the beach is in a much different mindset than the hurried guy looking at Google Maps for directions to a meeting starting in 10 minutes. Mobile apps serve each scenario, but they address very different states of mind.

Consumers are generally in one of two mindsets when they are using apps: want or need. Understanding which mindset a consumer is in can make or break engagement with mobile video campaigns. Reaching consumers at times that they are more open to seeing video ads can drive metrics such as recall, engagement, purchase intent, and even the likelihood to recommend upward. Consumers are much more likely to pay attention and engage with creative when it is served to them in the right mindset. Mobile video ads served up at the wrong time and place are more likely to annoy consumers and are usually tuned out or simply skipped.

With more than 50 percent of the U.S. population actively using a smartphone or tablet and 80 percent of the time spent on mobile phones passed engaging with apps, advertisers shouldn't ignore the want vs. need dichotomy. The two different states and the corresponding behaviors that come along with them demand contrasting approaches to mobile video advertising and are affiliated with totally different kinds of apps.

Need-driven apps often provide users with helpful information and utilities. These apps usually serve a specific purpose and include things like weather, GPS services and alarm clocks. Consumers use these utility apps quickly for one reason and tend to close them once they have obtained the information that they need. Apps that are driven by want, on the other hand, include categories such as music, movies, news, games and social networks. Consumers tend to have longer sessions within these want apps as they look to entertain and immerse themselves within the content.

But it's not always black or white. Consumers engaging with m-commerce apps might be operating in a want or need mindset. For example, a consumer might want to purchase a dress from Zara, but need to deposit a check with the Chase app. She might want to read recipes for dinner on Epicurious, but need to make an order from Fresh Direct.

So what type of mindset and app environment is best for your brand?

Those consumers in a need state of mind are less receptive to ads because they are focused on one specific task and usually have limited time on their hands. They need to know how the traffic is on their morning commute and find alternate routes; they need to time and log their 5K run. They definitely don't have time to watch a 15 or 30-second video spot.

On the other end of the spectrum, want consumers have more time on their hands and are usually looking to be entertained. This state of mind makes them more open to engaging with content and makes them more willing to interact with brands. A well-executed video ad running in this scenario can really catch a consumer's attention. This is the ideal audience to target with in-app video advertising, as the audience is more open to new content and willing to engage.

The good news for advertisers is that consumers spend 87 percent of their app engagement time using apps in the want state of mind and only 13 percent of their time using utility apps in which they are in a need state of mind. Opportunity knocks for advertisers as mobile adoption continues to increase, but it's important to target consumers where they are more likely to watch, listen and engage. Identifying the right app environment for your brand is critical to insuring the success of your mobile video ad campaign.