Tag Archives: Mobile advertising

A Better Ad Model

What does it say to you when people go out of their way to avoid your product?  Nothing good, probably.  That’s exactly what consumers are doing with digital advertising, and while it’s not good, it might actually be a blessing in disguise.  How so?  Source : comScore

I’ve been in digital media for 20 years, and during that time the question of “how do we pay for this” (monetization, in a word) has been asked constantly.  The obvious answer was to employ the ad-supported model of “old” media since adapting the subscription model to the digital age has proven incredibly difficult.  The problem is that with almost unlimited inventory, price pressures keep pushing down the revenue per ad and publishers just kept adding more “stuff” to keep revenues growing.  That’s not the case with traditional media, although TV has fallen victim to the same problem. Enter the ad blockers, which are a giant call to action to rethink the business model again. Well, maybe not the model but certainly the execution.

Some folks are already doing that with decent success.  Let me give you an example.  To unwind, I will often take short breaks to play a game on my phone.  While I don’t have an ad blocker installed on my phone, I have uninstalled a few games that popped up ads or placed the banners in places where it was likely that my fingers would accidentally click them.

One game I’ve been playing does something differently which I think is a very effective way to promote ad viewing.  Before I begin a level, a little box asks me if I want to watch a video and get rewarded with something I can use immediately in the game – a bonus life, a booster box, etc.  Saying “yes” brings up a full-screen ad of no more than 30 seconds – most are shorter.  The ads are almost always for another mobile game of some sort, and to get my reward I need to let the video finish.

This is a better way to market because it gives value to the user as well as to the marketer.  I almost look forward to the ad prompts since I gain something.  When was the last time you said that about an ad?  This sort of innovative thinking turned around the “avoid it at all costs” mentality, at least with this consumer.  It costs the publisher (the game I’m playing) nothing and brings value to all parties.

The business model hasn’t changed.  What has changed is that users are going to mobile, and within mobile they are hiding out inside apps. Rethinking how ads interface within those apps is how the business moves forward.  Showing ads that provide value to all parties – which includes the user – is the key.  You agree?

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Filed under digital media, Thinking Aloud

Disconnecting On The Phone

A report this morning from Kitewheel got my attention this morning. They “examined the current breakthroughs and breakdowns in engagement with today’s connected consumer.” The results aren’t very encouraging to those of us who like to think we’re in touch with the expectations of our consumer base

They hired some folks to survey consumers and marketing decision makers with respect to consumer expectation around experience and brand execution.  A few key findings:

  • 76% of consumers use mobile devices to compare prices and read reviews while shopping, yet 51% of marketers are not currently managing mobile apps as a consumer touch point.
  • 55% of consumers state frustrations in downloading an app that offers no functional difference from a business’ website.
  • 68% of consumer respondents expect a response to tweets directed at a brand, and one in three expect a response within 24 hours. Yet 45% of marketers state it is unlikely that their company can respond to every one of these social media opportunities.
  • 73% believe that loyalty programs should be a way for brands to show consumers how loyal they are to them as a customer; but 66% of marketers still see it the other way around.

In other words, we’re disconnected from those who access our brands via their phones.  We look at loyalty programs as consumers putting their hands in the air to show they love us.  They want them to be ways in which we show how much we love them.  Doesn’t sound like the basis for a happy relationship.

Five areas of disconnect were discovered including: mobile, social media, real-time e-commerce, omni-channel capability and brand loyalty.  Every one of those five has become far more important over the last decade and yet it seems as if many marketers are living in 1999.  As the study says, the overall journey of today’s consumer is frequently a broken one, with significant misalignment between consumer expectations and brand execution.  We need to think about how to fix that misalignment and do so quickly.  You agree?

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Filed under Consulting, Huh?

So 2004

I am meeting a former client for lunch today. As is the case so often, he suggested a local burger place to meet and I went to their website to check out the menu. It was a very pretty site – high quality photos, nicely written copy. Oh sure I have a few quibbles with it – why do I have to follow you on Twitter to see the specials? – but it’s a perfect example of what a site should have been about 10 years ago. Now? Not so much.

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 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What’s my beef with the burger joint (I crack myself up!) site?  It’s written in Flash.  Why is this an issue?  As you probably know, the number of smartphone users now rivals desktop.  Most of the site I work with see a large and growing amount of traffic from mobile devices.  A recent study about this stated that “Mobile is often the only tool used to make a purchase decision—this is especially true for restaurants and entertainment purchases.”

Sounds like good news unless your site is written in Flash.  You see, no Apple deviceiPhone or iPad – shows anything written in Flash.  Many Android devices won’t either unless Flash is loaded onto the phone.  In this case I tried to access the site via my phone’s browser and was prompted to load Flash.  No separate mobile site written in a programming language understood by all phones.

By leaving development – even state of the art development – as it was in 2004 before the massive growth of traffic from mobile, this place is hurting its business.  As the study found:

One data point is especially favorable for restaurants. Of the industries analyzed for this study, restaurants have the highest conversion rate from looker to buyer—80 percent. The factors that drive smartphone users to make a purchase at a restaurant after seeking information about it are:

• Right price: 15 percent
• Right brand: 18 percent
• Had a location in mind: 19 percent
• Reviews were good: 12 percent
• Close to my location: 20 percent

How is the potential customer to weigh those factors when they can’t see the site?  When mobile is 51% of your potential traffic, isn’t it worth at last SOME investment?

Have you gone to your site on a mobile device?  How did that work for you?  2014 or 2004?

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Filed under Consulting, digital media, Huh?