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5 Mobile Advertising Features That Will Drive it to Surpass Web Advertising in No Time

05 March 20122 comments Android, inneractive, iPhone, Mobile Advertising, Mobile Industry, Nokia

By: Hillel Fuld (@hilzfuld)

While companies like Google and others have consistently generated billions of dollars from Web advertising, many believe it won’t be long before advertisers look to the mobile phone before the Web. Mobile advertising is exploding and it is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, the means by which companies target billions of people around the world is already advancing faster than advertising on the Web.

Smartphones are becoming more and more mainstream, even in emerging markets and if Mobile World Congress 2012 taught us anything, it is that innovation in the mobile space is not slowing down, if anything, it is speeding up by the day!

It is therefore no surprise that mobile advertising is an industry that is expected to reach numbers as high as $50 billion in the coming years, according to some analysts. This also explains why huge players such as Facebook and Twitter are now embracing mobile advertising. The Web is so 2009!

The following are five features of mobile advertising that enable advertisers to reach their target audience in an easier, faster, and more efficient way than advertising on the web, not to mention traditional advertising:

1: Is that a Smartphone in your pocket? The very nature of a mobile phone is that, well, it’s mobile. What that means for advertisers is that they aren’t restricted to advertising when the user is reading a newspaper or sitting by the computer. The mobile phone is almost always on and makes the user accessible around the clock.

While that can raise privacy issues for users, advertisers have to learn how to take advantage of this characteristic while enhancing the user experience of the mobile user.

2: It Knows Where you Are: If I had to choose one feature that brings the mobile phone to a whole new level as compared to the PC, it would have to be the ability to target by location. This is, in essence a continuation of the previous point. Not only is the mobile phone always on, but with the integrated location sensors, it essentially knows where you are at any given time.

If you have seen Minority Report, you surely know the potential of targeted advertising, but pinpoint targeting is no longer science fiction. With services like Foursquare and many others, you can already get a notification when passing by a venue to “check in”, which will grant you access to a coupon or discount you would have otherwise not been eligible for. Targeting users based on precise location gives mobile advertising an edge over Web advertising that is already showing results in the form of increased conversions and CTR.

3: You call THAT an Ad? In addition to mobile phones offering accessibility and pinpoint targeting, the unparalleled speed at which mobile phones and specifically screens are evolving provide the ability to serve interactive rich media ads the likes of which the PC can only dream of. The Web had its chance to bring ads to the next level and suffice to say, it failed. The best it could come  up with is an ad that plays music when you first access a website. I mean, really? Mobile ads are already experiencing a serious shift from traditional display ads to full interactive advertisements including HTML5, engaging gesture detection, and full-blown video.

While this is great for the user experience, how does this affect the advertiser? Well, the answer is in the question. The better the user experience, the higher the chances the user will engage with the ad, or  in other words, click it and eventually convert into a sale. Again, the numbers speak for themselves and mobile CTR has already surpassed the numbers the Web has experienced over the last few years.

4: A PC? What’s That? Here is the thing with mobile phones. They are everywhere! In 2009 (yes, three years ago!) Google released a staggering statistic that there are three times more mobile devices around the world then there are computers. Of course, today the line is completely blurring between the phone and computer but that is a different topic. In any case, Eric Schmidt recently declared that if Google makes all the right moves, they intend on getting an Android device into the hands of every human being across the globe. While that might sound a little nuts, there are many emerging markets that don’t have running water, don’t use PCs, but depend solely on mobile devices as a primary computing device.

Nokia has said in the past that there are more people around the world that have a Nokia device than have a toothbrush. That should put things in perspective for you. For advertisers who want to target a truly global audience, the PC just doesn’t cut it.

5: Advanced Capabilities: So we talked “Always on”, we talked location, we talked rich media, and we talked global coverage. But let’s not forget that given the capabilities of a modern smartphone, a mobile ad can behave in a way that a traditional ad or even a banner on the Web could never even dream of. Accelerometers, Gyroscopes, advanced multitouch and multitasking give the modern mobile phone the ability to turn into an unprecedented advertising opportunity that is already becoming a reality.

Please share your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook where we are always listening.
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  1. Lonny Dunn March 5, 2012

    Mobile has had some fits and starts mostly because the U.S. Congress decided to Auction the Spectrum in the late 90's, and the ensuing arguing and delays set the American public behind the EU and Japan by an entire decade. As a result, each year since we have heard headlines: "This will be the year of Mobile" and "Are we finally in the mobile revolution" We still have a way to go. King King has not yet defeated the giant lizard, or flying dinosaur. Apple and Google are still vying to be the big player in this space, and we saw what Apple did in the 80's with it's alternative platform, it basically went out of business, and conceded the victory to the "IBM" platform, and now has a paltry 6 to 8 percent of the market. Should Apple license it's OS and platform to ALL COMERS? Probably. The fact that the mobile industry is so disjointed, and there is no one clear winner is a good thing. We are in an innovative period, where apps are cheap to make, and Android is doing a wonderful job keeping the price of getting an App to market a lot cheaper than Apple.

    I wrote a stockpicking newsletter from 1995 to 2001 with a specialty in Wireless Telephony Infastructure stocks. Some might say that was a highly specialised piece of the market. I agree. However, it kept me aware then, and as now, just what the market has to do to innovate, and become truly explosive.

    I think there is a great need to have app developers work on tools and code that will allow an ad to be seen across all platforms and iOS. Much like Windows was forced to allow apps to work on Mac products, there are ways in which developers, rather than rush ads which work on iPhones, but not on Android, will begin to work on tools and programing widgets that let other developers put together uploadable display ads that work across all platforms.

    When you see more of these types of advertisements, than we will see the author of this article's predictions come true. Until a company can see a practical return on investment, and know that their ad dollars are not wasted on 20 or 30 or 50 percent of the market place, they won't go big on mobile, and they shouldn't.

    I get feedback daily for instance from Surgeons, and Doctor's Offices, and small business people like "Oh, our web guy is doing our site in Flash" and with dismay, wonder if anyone reads that Apple basically killed off Flash, since it won't work on an iPhone.

    It is a sad, sad testament to Mobile web browsing, that at this late hour, during this day and age, the best way is still an All Text Format, very few images, and writing script in small 1.5 inch across so that one's site may be visible by the most amount of customers, across all platforms. Some of this has to do with the fact that the industry trade group is disjointed, and this is an unregulated (thankfully) industry, since regulations won't solve a competitive problem.

    But we need to keep our advertising simple, and easily uploadable, or we die. And that is about as good as it gets right now.

    Lonny Dunn Editor/Author

    I Tweet at @ProNetworkBuild

    Join Me on Twitter I have a 200k Follower Network

  2. Sharecash Downloader March 5, 2012

    Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out.


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