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Stop Treating Mobile Like a Smaller Version of Desktop

by Amobee, May 20, 2016

Nine years after the launch of the iPhone, it’s clear that the smartphone isn’t a mini desktop. It’s something else entirely.

From location-centric functions to small screen sizes to even more limited attention spans, the mobile experience is its own separate category. Mobile has its own rules and best practices. Here’s a look at how to best market in this environment:

Consider the context

Consumers may savor long reads on desktop, but they race through content on their mobile devices. A recent Pew report found that, on average, consumers spent an average of 57 seconds reading short-form stories on their mobile phones and 123 seconds for long form (1,000 words-plus). While that’s a respectable number, the report also notes most readers only view one article on any given site in the course of a month on their smartphone.

And it goes far beyond reading habits: From desktop, to tablet and mobile, consumers switch incessantly between apps and web, video and text, utility and recreation.

That’s the environment that a mobile ad competes in. In contrast to the lavish 13-inch-plus expanse on desktops, the smartphone screen is five inches, on average. Meanwhile, the human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2001 to eight seconds today, according to scientists. That’s shorter than that of a goldfish (nine seconds.)

Experiment with different ad formats

Mobile is usually one of several items to check off in an omnichannel campaign and marketers sometimes don’t give a lot of thought to the array of ad formats available on mobile. That’s a missed opportunity since some ad formats are better than others for engagement and time spent. Some formats do a better job of delivering an advertiser’s specific message than others. For example, tap-to-expand ads might make more sense for certain advertisers than standard banners. Experimenting with the full choice of mobile ad formats (listed here) can ultimately yield better results.

Take advantage of improving measurement techniques

Mobile advertising has suffered from inconsistent measurement and attribution technology. Cookies work very well on desktop, but on mobile, users switch between apps (no cookies) and browsers (some don’t allow third-party cookies), which creates inconsistency. Solutions have greatly improved over the past few years, specifically for cross-device, allowing the measurement of mobile impact across the consumer journey.

Exploit real-time decision making

At the risk of sounding tautological, the primary differentiator for mobile devices is that they are mobile, presenting opportunities for right time, right context, right message marketing.

Brick-and-mortar retailers, for instance, could benefit from sending info on deals or mobile coupons to consumers who are nearby (provided the consumer has consented to receive such messages). Location isn’t the only aspect of this mindset. Consumers on mobile devices are looking to do something immediately. Make it easy for them. App install ads do well because they don’t demand much of the user. If you ask people to take action, make sure it won’t take long. If you want them to fill out a form to receive an ebook, for instance, make that form more concise than the desktop version.

Take advantage of less-costly ad rates

Despite the hype about mobile and the fact that consumers are spending more and more time on their mobile devices, mobile ad rates are still pretty cheap. Rates have been held low because supporting metrics weren’t available. That’s changing though and the market is still catching up. In the meantime, advertisers can get a lot of value via mobile ads.

The market may still be figuring out how to use mobile ads, but at this point there’s enough information out there and enough options to try to find out which advertising approaches work best. Figure it out now. This opportunity won’t come again.


About Amobee

Founded in 2005, Amobee is an advertising platform that understands how people consume content. Our goal is to optimize outcomes for advertisers and media companies, while providing a better consumer experience. Through our platform, we help customers further their audience development, optimize their cross channel performance across all TV, connected TV, and digital media, and drive new customer growth through detailed analytics and reporting. Amobee is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tremor International, a collection of brands built to unite creativity, data and technology across the open internet.

If you’re curious to learn more, watch the on-demand demo or take a deep dive into our Research & Insights section where you can find recent webinars on-demand, media plan insights & activation templates, and more data-driven content. If you’re ready to take the next step into a sustainable, consumer-first advertising future, contact us today.

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