How Advertisers can win with Mobile Advertising

Joey Chee

( – By: Joey Chee, Sizmek Regional Director, SEA

Joey Chee Sizmek

In advertising, the 10 second Snapchat video is becoming the new 30 second commercial – well at least for the millennial market. The content format is fast, short and compelling.

For sure, how generation Z views and interacts with content today is a signpost towards the future of the mobile experience, and small-screen advertising.

Even for those outside this young demographic, mobile devices dominate our lives. We use them for everything – research, communication, shopping, information, entertainment, and random browsing. The modern digital brand needs to understand the different audience behaviours that occur in different contexts, whether it be mobile web or app, or different screen sizes. Mobile is the most personal media channel, and advertisers are missing a huge opportunity by not making ads specific for this device.

Research shows consumers are spending 39 days of the year, or three hours per day, on smartphones. So why are we still serving them static mobile ads? Why aren’t we making them engaging, creative and relevant for the environment in which they are served and seen? If we want to serve rubbish ads, why don’t we just go back to pop-up ads? At least they were 100 percent viewable.

The advertiser’s ability to engage and inform users with creative and personalised mobile ads has not matched the pace of change in consumer behaviour. As a result, there is a lot of wastage happening – a big rubbish chute of unseen and unimaginative mobile ads.

There is still a gigantic gap between the high levels of consumer mobile adoption and usage and the low levels of marketing spend allocated to mobile. Part of this is due to fear of the technical complexity.

Due to the overall lack of creativity within mobile, the full potential of mobile advertising has not yet been reached. Many marketers are stuck in a desktop banner time-warp – where they try to force yesterday’s technology into today’s world rather than adopting a mobile-first approach. The ad creative should fit organically within the mobile or tablet screen.

We are in the early stages of small-screen advertising. Our creative output, and approach, is still evolving. But ultimately, our goal should be the same as television advertising – we want consumers to say, ‘hey, that was a great ad, I enjoyed that experience, and I might even show my friends or share it via my social networks.’

Thankfully, new standards have changed the market pretty quickly. The shift from Flash to HTML5 as the digital standard enables advertisers to build dynamic, more personalised ad experiences that work across screens.

But to successfully capture the attention of today’s connected consumer, brands and agencies must consider the intricacies of mobile. What makes mobile unique is its tactile nature – the pinch, swipe and zoom features of the new touchscreen generation has major implications for how mobile ads should be presented to users.

Rich media and video are proven winners in engaging mobile users –rich media with video nearly doubles the CTR, for instance. The small screen requires more interactivity to take place after a consumer has been enticed to engage with an ad. However, advertisers must also think about designing for the moment that the consumer is experiencing –where an interaction is taking place, and how the ad can make it easy for them to take an action.

Technology such as adaptive streaming detects bandwidth and serves the appropriate video to a consumer so, for example, if a consumer is in a high bandwidth environment they will see a high quality ad and in a low bandwidth area they would be served a lower quality version of that same video.

Consumers have accepted desktop and TV advertising – we now have to show them that mobile advertising content can be compelling and creative too.


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