BARCELONA — Advertising no longer has to drive interest to an eventual sale – today, it can help complete the sale immediately, even on mobile, says an ad-tech chief focused on improving mobile performance marketing.

“The evolution of mobile is a direct response,” says Karl Elken, the boss of Americas for Light Reaction, a WPP unit focused on the issue.

“Today, (for) every step of the buying process, we use our mobile devices for now. And the biggest change there is the actual purchase. In the past, that was the one part of the buying process that was lacking.”

Much of digital advertising is premised on either building brands or on driving users to some third-party ecommerce opportunity. But the industry is starting to talk about shortening the purchase journey, helping consumers buy there and then.

“Clearly I think that we’ve turned a corner last year on that,” Elken adds. “Just take a look at the role of mobile in the Q4 holiday shopping period. It was just off the charts, both in terms of the traffic it was driving to ecommerce pages but also in conversions.

“Marketers are going to be trying to optimize their pages and their site experiences to drive sales.”

Mobile accounted for 27% of US ecommerce sales in Q4, according to Criteo.

The latest data-driven ad-tech operation under the WPP stable, Light Reaction was launched by WPP’s programmatic division Xaxis a year ago to put a performance spin on mobile-first ad sales.

This video was is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of Mobile World Congress presented by Light Reaction.   Please visit this page for additional videos from Barcelona.