Mobile Advertising: Here Be Dragons


Mobile Advertising Here Be Dragons

I’ve been very torn when it comes to assessing the quality and validity of mobile advertisements. While they’ve proliferated quickly, and often claim to have high efficacy, it is important to consider their weaknesses when picking a platform. Putting money from your marketing budget into mobile marketing can be a great decision, or a terrible one and it all depends on the implementation. So let’s get it right!

The primary issues stem from the very nature of mobile devices with touch screens (as is the majority): small screen space. The considerably smaller screen real estate means that accidental clicks occur with much higher frequency. In fact, depending on the research you read, as many as 75% of mobile advertisement click-throughs are mistakes. This should certainly be of concern if you are using the pay per click (PPC) model. You might end up paying good money for useless activity. This issue is only exasperated by mobile advertisements that are designed to emulate a desktop environment. They are woven between buttons and menu icons, making an accidental click far more likely. This is why it is absolutely vital to ensure that your mobile-marketing dollars are going towards implementations that use a “between screens” advertisement, a pop-up style system, or integrated video advertising to avoid these kind of problems.

The small screen space can also make your marketing, designs, and logos entirely useless depending on the platform, placement, etc. So designing and strategizing materials particular to the mobile campaign is absolutely critical. It should be obvious, but I’ve seen the mistake made many times before: NO small print! Keep the print to a minimum. This is a space where pictures really are worth a thousand words.

When it comes to implementing your mobile-marketing strategy a few simple rules will help keep you safe.

– Read the research, find out what the results really are.

– Design with the platform in mind.

– Test the implementation and find out how your target audience will discover and interact with your advertisement.

– Take results with a grain of salt. 100 clicks almost never means 100 interested consumers… at best you can say that you’ve got 60.

– Deploy the advertisement to highly defined demographics. This is something Facebook and Google both enable. If done correctly, a highly tailored advertisement, despite taking 3x the effort, will yield 5x the results.

Mobile advertising has its merits, and is certain to become more and more central to the marketing toolbox of any company, large or small. However, it requires different considerations, a conservative assessment, and platform specific strategy. Make sure your mobile “hits” really are hits, and not How Idiots Track Success (HITS)!

Reprinted by permission.

About the author: Maxim Wheatley

Maxim Wheatley is a recent graduate of Georgetown University, having studied Cognitive Science & Psychology. He is currently working to become an iOS development guru. His interests center around startups and new ventures, he has already been involved in three different startups, and started two small businesses before he graduated college. Currently based in Washington, DC, Maxim is always interested in talking about ideas and opportunities wherever they might be.

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