Mobile Advertising In Applications Still Premature
Mobile advertising is the new buzz word for smartphone applications. Google mobile ads are apple iAd are the solutions available for Android and iPhone respectively. Broadly there are two types of mobile advertising today. One form is ads being generated as part of a browser search query and the other one is where ads pop-up as part of an application. The former is very similar to ads that one would see while using the Google search on a PC. Since a mobile phone as the ability to make calls unlike a typical PC, phone numbers are published along with the Ad. For example, if the search query is pizza, then the search results can show a listing of the closest Pizza Hut along with a phone number which the user can click, to initiate a call directly from the browser window. The publisher of the Ad would now pay in a PPC (Pay Per Call) model vs. the traditional CPC (Cost Per Click) model. The later which is mobile application advertising is where a publisher of an application can sign up for ads within the application. This mode can also have the PPC and CPC models of payments by the advertisers.
The above two pictures are two screen shots depicting the two forms of mobile advertising available for advertisers today. This article concentrates on the later form of mobile advertising which is In-Application advertising. The secound picture above is a screen shot of the popular game angry birds. On the top right hand side you will notice the banner of the Audible Ad. When the user clicks on this banner he/she get navigated to the audible site in the browser. Following this, money is deducted from Audible’s advertising account in the CPC (Cost Per Click) payment model. But is the advertiser really getting the bank for the buck with this form of advertising?
Issue of Mobile Application Advertising
Google acquired AdMob for their “In-Application” advertising. This service is promoted by Google as “Mobile Display Advertising”. Using this service publishers of applications can choose to promote Ad content within their applications there-by being able to monetize their applications via Ads. The Ads get displayed like a banner as shown above in the angry birds picture. However, advertisers don’t seem to be getting value today from this form of advertising. So what are the problems involved.
- Clicks because of confusion or curiosity: This form of advertising is very new and users are still not used to seeing Ads within applications. Some of the users sometimes assume that the banner is part of the application itself and click on the Ad to explore the functionality. They quickly realize that it is an Ad and close the browser window when it takes the user to the respective advertiser’s page.
- Clicked by mistake: The phone display is definitely much smaller than a PC screen. Users tend to click on the banner by mistake. For example, when I play the Angry Birds game, I end up clicking on the Ad banner purely by mistake. I’m trying to negotiate the movement of the bird in the game and end up clicking the banner when I had no interest in the Ad itself.
- Non context based Ads: This form of advertising is currently not context based. Why would a gamer of Angry Birds be interested in audio books from Audible? It is indeed possible that the gamer would be interested but the probability is quite low.
Jumping bounce rates
A bounce rate for an advertiser is the number of visitors to his advertisement landing page who leave almost as soon as they visited the page. This is an indicator to the advertiser that he/she is attracting visitors who are not potential buyers. The higher the bounce rate the more ineffective is the Ad. So when advertisers investigate the results of their ad campaigns, they would realize that their bounce rates are going high. This means wasted money on Ads. An advertiser is only interested in advertising if the company can help improve sales. If this does not happen it is a de-motivation to advertise in the respective form.
Context based advertising
Mobile advertising in applications need to become more context based. For example, an Ad for a game similar to Angry Birds when advertised in the Angry Birds application could generate serious interest in the target audience. Of course, this would definitely raise concerns of privacy. Mobile advertising is still very premature and has to be more targeted for it to gain popularity with advertisers.