Mobile Marketing Is On The Rise, But It Won’t Look Like You Think

ads on the rise

Mobile Ad’s On The Rise

The promise of mobile marketing has raged for years and yet total ad spend on mobile still lags other forms of digital ad spending by a wide margin. While mobile ad spending nearly doubled in the first half of 2012, it still comprised only 7% of total online ad spending even while mobile content consumption was set to account for 27% of all digital content consumption by the close of 2012.

Even though mobile ad spending is on the rise there are a myriad of reasons ad spending may be disproportionate to content consumption, among them are:

  1. Lag due to traditional planning and budget cycles.
  2. Banner and pop-up ads get views and clicks but don’t convert well and we know it.
  3. Some companies just don’t get it yet.

It’s likely that all are causes, but with the rate of increase in mobile ad spending, we’re likely to see #1 & #3 being overcome in short order.

The bigger challenge lies in solving #2.

…the credibility of the ad also depends on who is delivering it

Unfortunately, more ad spending doesn’t necessarily translate into more sales for advertisers. Banner ads are an annoyance because the ad takes up so much of the relatively small mobile screen.  Banners may also be accidentally clicked when we’re just trying to get it out-of-the-way causing misleading click-through rates. Either way the days of the banner ad are numbered.

While advertising isn’t going away anytime soon, it’s time to rethink what advertising looks like, particularly when it comes to mobile.

The Future Of Mobile Marketing

Advertisements come with inherent bias: “I want you to notice me and buy what I’m selling”. That bias makes us understandably distrustful of ads even when we are interested in what they are selling. Consumers have become so distrustful and good at ignoring ads that it has a name: “ad blindness.”

We’ve entered an age where “know, like and trust” matter, so the credibility of the ad also depends on who is delivering it (your site, Google, Yellowpages, etc…) to cut through the noise.

Mobile advertising is going to become more subtle and more obvious at the same time while blending in with other types of marketing. In the same way,  product placement in movies is still advertising, but it isn’t as disruptive as a traditional banner ad or television spot. Though the days of product placement may also near the end.

Native advertising will become more common, but there are pitfalls to avoid if you’re considering native advertising as a part of your marketing strategy.

  1. Native advertising can be seen as deceptive, so it’s important to be transparent and not hide from visitors that what they are seeing is advertising.
  2. Native advertising should still have relevance. Articles, like the Scientology “write up” (read: Ad) which garnered a tremendous amount of backlash should still speak to the context of the viewer.

Brands will also benefit from telling their own story, rather than associating with someone else’s as with product placement. In the process ad’s will become entertainment as did when creating the ad (below) of a skydiver booking a hotel in free-fall.

Specific to mobile it means that products like Explore, which deliver content in a contextually relevant experience will allow more natural advertising in forms other than just articles to become more normalized, maintain relevance and only showing ads when appropriate. Ads that will not really look like ads thereby creating an experience which is less disruptive and deceptive.

When building “know, like and trust” not irritating consumers before you’ve even begun to build a relationship with them is a good place to start.


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