many people hear the words “mobile advertising,” they probably think of mobile
banner ads, or perhaps mobile search results. But the reality of mobile
advertising is that the industry is expanding to encompass many different
formats and interactive experiences.
Mobile advertising has come a long way
from the days when a “mobile ad” was just a small banner to tap. Today, mobile
advertising is becoming a more crucial part of the marketing mix for app
publishers & brands of all sizes, as companies develop more sophisticated
methods to engage with consumers, influence their buying behavior, and even
complete the sale via mobile device.
Here are a few of the ways that mobile advertising is going beyond the traditional conception:
mobile advertising: In the early days of mobile advertising, most
mobile ads were just slimmed down versions of online display ads that would
appear on a desktop screen. But as the mobile marketing field has evolved,
there are now many sophisticated and precise methods to target users based on
their geographic location.
Being able to target people on a very local level
while you know that they are using their phone to search (i.e. likely to be out
and about) is very powerful. As this technology improves, local businesses will
have increasing control over getting their offer in front of consumers
just at the right time to engage in an offline interaction or purchase (e.g.
someone searching for pizza from their phone in a particular city). This brings
a new level of relevance to the mobile advertising offers – you can offer
consumers what they need, when they need it, where they need it.
advertising formats expanding: Mobile
advertising formats are becoming more dynamic and complex to match the
expanding capabilities of smartphones. Instead of static banner ads, more
mobile advertising now includes video and interstitial screens. Some
mobile advertising campaigns have even used the vibrating capabilities of a
smartphone to help convey a message – the Discovery Channel promoted their
“Storm Chasers” show with mobile ads that took over the speakers and made the
phone vibrate to simulate the sounds and effects of a storm. In addition
to new technology making ads more engaging with video and audio, many big
brands are using mobile advertising to create more interactive experiences.
example, McDonald’s ran a mobile
advertising campaign offering people some free “smart advice” from
a wise old man. After tapping the banner ad, users can ask whatever questions
they want, and they hear an answer via audio from their smartphone. For an even
more ambitious interactive ad campaign, Coke and Google teamed up to create a
massive mobile ad campaign to “Buy
the World a Coke” (inspired by the classic Coke ad from
1971). In the Coca-Cola mobile ad campaign, people are asked (via mobile ad) if
they would like to send a free Coke to someone else around the world. Then the
free coke is given away at a specially outfitted Coca-Cola vending machine in
cities in South America, Africa and elsewhere, and the recipient can record a
video greeting thanking the sender for the free coke. The whole campaign is
optimized for social media – so people can “give away” a free Coke, and then
share the friendly message from a stranger on the other side of the world.
These examples are part of a broader trend spotlighted in a recent study by the Mojiva
mobile ad network , which predicts that rich media mobile
advertising will grow 365% between 2012 and 2016.
3. Mobile commerce and shopping becoming a reality: One
of the early skeptical attitudes toward mobile advertising was that “people
don’t want to buy things from their phones.” But in the past few years,
consumers have become more comfortable using their smartphones and mobile
devices to shop and complete purchases. According to the Mojiva study, mobile
shopping and m-commerce are the fastest-growing categories of
mobile ads, growing from 4% to 11% of that network’s total ad impressions.
ads have gone from being just a smaller version of online display ads to being
a unique medium of communication that can help influence and drive the buying
process. Beyond just creating brand awareness, mobile ads are now creating
unique location-based and social media-friendly interactive experiences that
can deepen a customer’s relationship with a brand, or even close a
sale. As technology continues to improve, as people become more
comfortable shopping and buying from their mobile devices, and as companies
become more sophisticated about reaching consumers where and when they want to
receive offers, we expect that mobile advertising’s role will continue to expand
in exciting new directions.