Succeeding In Mobile Display Advertising: Little Messages That Pack A Big Punch

Mobile advertising comes with a plethora of challenges. Columnist Rob Rasko wants your help in understanding mobile marketing effectiveness.

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The number of jokes I can make about trying to fit something large into a small space …

When it comes to advertising in mobile environments, space is the wildcard, the industry’s monkey wrench that forces publishers to adjust their strategy in order to pack a big punch into that little area.

As if claustrophobia wasn’t enough, publishers need to also tailor each and every ad experience to varied types of devices on which the ad would be displayed. What a mess! Creating a successful mobile advertising campaign requires messaging that engages viewers.

With the amount of time we all spend on our mobile devices, it’s difficult to escape mobile ads. Just this morning I was watching a YouTube video with my 8-year-old son. As the video loaded, he commented, “Dad, just skip the ad,” to which I replied, “If you do that, Daddy won’t be able to pay the mortgage!”

My son’s reply captured what is one of mobile advertising’s biggest hurdles when he said, “Well, I do watch the ads sometimes, but only when they are fun!” Ads that don’t engage don’t deliver.

The numbers reporting the amount of consumers using mobile devices every day are staggering. Some studies report that as much as 60 percent of all online traffic comes from mobile devices, an indicator that must be strongly considered when advertisers are developing their campaigns.

Facing The Challenges Of Mobile Advertising

Mobile ads must be engaging, or, as my son pointed out, it is almost guaranteed that they won’t be effective. With such small spaces to work with, creatives must evolve to capture the attention of viewers, doing a lot with much less. So I pose the question: How do we make mobile work with all the challenges we face?

When I consider the current state of advertising on mobile, I divide the world into two major challenges in regards to understanding exactly what will be effective: the lack of data regarding which creative format is best used on each particular device, as well as the fragmentation of the technologies which support the operations.

If we go a bit deeper, it is our desire to help our readers think through the issue. So we have set out to organize the technology fragmentation question into three buckets to make this conversation easier. The buckets are:

1. Mobile ad-serving platforms — Mobile ad serving, like any other ad serving, comes down to service, price and features that match your business goals. But even in this market, there are multiple players with different features, including AppNexus, AOL, Google, Millennial Media, OpenX, Nexage, AOL and PubMatic that all offer a product.

2. Rich media partners and their technology integrations — These are a critical part of the decision, especially including video and SDK mediation services, which must be considered when looking for applications to be a part of your mobile content strategy.

3. Third-party monetization partners — The title speaks for itself. How will you look at third parties when considering monetizing your inventory?

A Call To Action

In order to properly answer the question of which creative to use on which device, our goal is to help the market understand the baseline to compare to, but we can’t do that on our own.

Today, I call on you, my digital advertising brothers and sisters, to share some data with us so we can publish and educate the market on how to clearly understand the best practices to help in this challenge. So to publishers I ask: Please provide us with your data on mobile advertising and creatives — we would like to aggregate it.

This will be the first article in a series I’m writing about mobile. In the next week, my team and I will conduct a survey asking publishers about their experience with mobile advertising effectiveness.

As we consider the responses we collect, we’ll create the baseline and I will use these responses to help write guidance on the best ways for publishers to use mobile advertising based on what we learn, which I will publish in the June or July edition of my Marketing Land column.

Specifically, we want to know the difference in CPMs on mobile as opposed to traditional display and how native on mobile compares in your experience. If you’re a publisher and are interested in participating in our survey, please email us at [email protected], and we’ll provide you with a link to our survey.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Rob Rasko
Rob Rasko is a thought leader in the digital marketing industry. His venture, global digital solutions firm The 614 Group, enables results-driven client marketing efforts in the practice areas of content monetization and revenue strategy, brand safety, technology and digital systems integration, and corporate strategy.

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