Mobile Ads Are The Future But We Need a Reboot
It’s obvious that mobile advertising can perform much better for media companies than it is now. Publisher Doug Bennett has been working on the problem of maximizing mobile ROI, and he shares some of the evolving functions he has been able to build out in-house that point to incremental improvements.
If Elon Musk built cars the way they’re “supposed” to be built, we wouldn’t have an electric car that goes 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds. When Steve Jobs decided that portable phones were really computers needing Apple’s attention, it changed our world. The lesson? If you’re willing to rethink everything you know and start from scratch with no sacred cows, you can do great things. That’s exactly where we are in mobile advertising today. We need a do-over with a laser focus on maximizing ROI.
The long-held belief of digital marketing is that display advertising is a powerful and cost-effective tool, while mobile advertising is unpredictable and unreliable. The question is whether or not mobile advertising can do better. It can.
Mobile devices are an incredible enabler for consumers and businesses, but they have been hamstrung by an ad model based on desktop ad thinking (which itself is based on traditional print ad thinking). When you combine this with the constant influx of new devices, features and software and then add ever-evolving user behavior and mindsets, you have massive missed potential and an ROI nightmare.
So what do we do? Do we throw out everything that’s known about mobile advertising and start from scratch? We could, but we’d be throwing out massive amounts of priceless data. Instead, let’s reinvent the entire process of mobile advertising. Let’s stop making ads with the hope that they work and maybe give us some useful data. Instead, let’s use pre-analytics (the data we have) to drive creative decisions, and drastically improve our odds for real success. And while we’re at it, let’s make creating ads a lot easier, too. There are many companies pursuing an answer to this problem. Celtra, PaperG, Flite and our own product called Adsperity are among them. All of these products are pursuing strategies that try to make mobile ads work, and we will all likely find success in increments.
We’ve also tried to take on mobile advertising’s Achilles heel—cookies. First and third party desktop cookies break down for a number of reasons in the mobile space, from incompatibility across devices and operating systems to automatic and frequent browser cache clearing. To solve this problem, we created custom tagging technology. The instant an ad that we’ve created runs, we know the device type, the OS, browser, connectivity, location, time, interaction rate, time spent and more. A custom dashboard helps users dig into this data, parse it any way one wants and get actionable insights one can use to optimize the ad or create new ones from scratch.
The world of mobile is always evolving: new devices, new capabilities, new operating systems, new browsers and whatever else is next. That means we must evolve, too, so we can accomplish the one thing that will never change – our singular goal of maximizing mobile ROI.