NEW YORK: Frito-Lay, the snacks group owned by PepsiCo, believes success on mobile rests on an understanding that this medium is non-linear, visual-first and involves a wide range of consumer mindsets.

Atin Kulkarni, Senior Director/Portfolio Strategy & Analytics at Frito-Lay, discussed this subject at the 2017 Annual Conference held by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF).

And his first piece of advice for brands seeking to progress on wireless devices reflects the fundamentally "non-linear" nature of this channel.

"Think about how we consume TV or how you read a magazine … You start from one end and go to the other. With mobile, you jump back and forth," Kulkarni said. (For more details, read Warc's exclusive report: How Facebook helps Frito-Lay understand mobile.)

Building on this theme, he suggested that mobile is distinct from legacy mediums like television – a difference indicated in "how people consume information, where they consume it, and the context in which they consume it," said Kulkarni.

Another core feature of the mobile space is the knowledge that striking imagery – be it photos, videos, animation, and so on – is vitally important.

"Mobile behavior is evolving content to be visual-first," Kulkarni said. "As human beings, we all consume much more information through our eyes – through our visual cues – [than] among most of the other senses that we have."

When marketing on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, the written word remains powerful, but "when we consume through our eyes, it's a much faster and much quicker way."

The hugely diverse range of entertainment, information and task-orientated options available on mobile should also shape how brands approach this channel. "Different mindsets mean different perceptions," Kulkarni said.

Visiting a social-media platform, for example, presupposes a very different attitude than accessing live sports. "Because the perception differs," Kulkami said, the task of marketing is "much more complicated".

Given that young, mobile-first consumers are spending ever-increasing amounts of time using these devices, marketers must constantly keep such issues in mind – and integrate offline and digital efforts accordingly.

"It's changing our media-consumption habits so drastically that ... our media and marketing have to work [hard] just to reach the people that we need to reach," Kulkarni said.

Data sourced from WARC