Building a Better Mobile Ad
In the last mobile panel of the day, the first question is whether mobile ads still suck, to paraphrase Steve Jobs? No definitive answer, but Craig Elimeliah, director of technology and digital solutions at Rapp said the agency is trying to make ads more utility-focused in mobile to better suit the medium. Creating ads that feature location-based or other mobile-specific features can be a more involved process than a banner ad but drive better engagement rates.
Other panelists emphasized that publishers have to do their part to create the infrastructure for good mobile advertising. That means starting with the basics like setting up a mobile-optimized site. Jeff Ulrich, senior manager, innovation, at United Airlines, said the company is still in the process of getting its app in good shape before tackling mobile advertising. Keeping the app updated is in itself a challenge with a growing number of platform and other changes—like the larger screen size in the iPhone 5.
Executives from Pandora and Zillow agreed with Ulrich on the effort required to make sure mobile sites and apps are tailored to different devices and specifications, which is totally different from the desktop.
Taking a step back, Chad Gallagher, director of mobile at Advertising.com, said a lot of the company’s clients still don’t have a mobile-friendly site. He also said they’ve been reluctant to expand advertising into mobile until they test and see better results than on the Web. “Clients are shocked to see better KPIs than on the desktop,” he said, referring in particular to one auto advertiser.
He noted click through rates for mobile ads continue to climb year over year, which he finds encouraging despite the hurdles holding back mobile advertising.