Bridge The Gap With Mobile Ad Networks

As the scope of mobile communications continues to expand, advertisers, marketers, publishers and content providers are working overtime to optimize this medium's revenue potential. At the same time, much attention is being paid to the phenomenon of mobile advertising networks -- some say they are too incremental or pervasive, yet they are crucial to the continued growth of the mobile economy, and are contingent to the sustainability of the existing mobile revenue structure.

These networks function as a critical intermediary between businesses looking to reach consumers and publishers seeking revenues for their mobile content. They provide a means for advertisers to enter the mobile space without dedicating substantial resources to developing contact lists, messaging, and outreach tactics. The networks are vital in assisting publishers in placing their content inventory and can provide a visible platform for smaller and newer content providers.




Perhaps the most important reason mobile networks are gaining importance so rapidly is the way in which they reduce the barriers to entry into the mobile advertising market for companies new to the channel. Networks, particularly those with comprehensive distribution models, marketing capabilities and cross-channel partnerships, offer advertisers a 'one-stop' shop for mobile advertising solutions, reducing or eliminating the need for costly infrastructural investment on the part of the advertiser. Why would a company invest scarce capital into an in-house mobile initiative when a mobile ad network can provide unique touches, penetration, and a sizable return at a fraction of the cost?

Other networks go further, bridging not only the content-viewing gap between smartphones and traditional handsets but also the gap between consumer touchpoints by offering partnerships with other media channels, including broadcast channels like radio and TV. These comprehensive networks represent the future of mobile advertising; by being highly accessible by both advertisers and publishers and highly visible by consumers, these networks can deliver as many as 200 million unique impressions per week.

Advertisers and publishers are realizing that mobile advertising, while effective on its own, is truly resonant when used in conjunction with other, more traditional media, or as part of a comprehensive, cross-media marketing strategy. In-store point of sale advertisement coupled with mCouponing, or mobile ads reinforced by radio spots: These kinetic combinations represent the way forward for advertisers seeking to reach their constituencies in relevant, actionable ways, and the path to these is being forged by leading mobile ad networks.


On the other end of the mobile advertising spectrum are the publisher, the content provider, and the ultimate platform by which mobile advertisements reach the consumer. For them, these networks are a vital method by which to sell their remnant inventory -- that content not purchased at a premium. Remnant inventory sales are an important part of the mobile ad network business model, and are vital to top publishers seeking to distribute the bottom third of their content inventory.

But, ultimately, these are only part of the story.

Mobile ad networks have a nobler publishing use: They can provide a valuable platform for smaller and newer publishers. There is a long tail of independent content providers. While the open source revolution has essentially enabled an unlimited number of publishers, only the top 50 account for 91% of all mobile advertising revenue. The rest -- and for the mobile channel, 'the rest' signifies hundreds of thousands of publishers -- fighting for visibility and the remaining 9% of advertising revenue. An incoming publisher, new to the market, inherits a support structure and a distribution capability by engaging a mobile ad network that it would be hard pressed to achieve trying to sell content on its own.

Readers, this is not a bad thing. Ad networks link advertisers and publishers in ways that a market free of intermediaries could never achieve. Networks also provide crucial services to advertisers both new to the market and unwilling to assume the burden of in-house mobile marketing implementation. On the other side, mobile ad networks are key to distributing and selling all tiers of content inventory, and can help showcase emerging publishers.

The mobile ad network is here to stay, so get used to it.

Editor's note: If you'd like to contribute to this newsletter, see our editorial guidelines first and then contact Nina Lentini.

2 comments about "Bridge The Gap With Mobile Ad Networks ".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Jim Dugan from PipPops LLC, May 15, 2009 at 10:14 a.m.

    I'm curious, Eric, as to your sources of information.

    Also, as an owner of a company that uses mobile advertising (an exterior cleaning company - and, also, the inventor of a mobile advertising website - - allowing businesses such as my cleaning business to create their own ads, change them at will in real-time and see instant results as to the views/redemptions of the barcoded instant e-coupons at the point of purchase - we've actually had people see the mobile ad for ShingleCare and respond and receive the $100 discount - whoa, it really does work. Cool!

    Here's my question: If you're suggesting that people use mobile ad "networks" with their approach, how is a business able to determine which or how the methods being used by a particular 'mobile ad network' work or don't?

    Any mobile attempt will work, especially when coupled with all of the other marketing, BUT,

    We feel that our system, allowing a dynamic for a company to completely control their own full color mobile ad, change it at will, and if you look at the need for the local engagement, which is KEY to mobile working, not just some "network" it will be more effective. Mobile, even attempted without any clue, will work. Even 'unsuccessful' mobile marketing works. Why? Cause it's on our mobile devices. We sleep with these things.

    BUT, GREAT mobile programs provide the most productive results for companies. What's a GREAT mobile program?

    Do you anticipate that there will be an increase in mobile advertising and marketing? It will only get better and be better for all of us.

    But, here's the difference between a 'network' approach and ours.

    I would much rather search in Orlando on for a restaurant because I know I'll find the ones with deals.

    I'd much rather go to Ruth's Chris' for a two-for-one (or at least have the option of knowing about it) rather than search for restaurants on google or citysearch to find out where all of the restaurants are located.

    And, we don't need no stinking stimulus money. We're all about advertising the best deals. We're all about advertiser supported. Hey, advertisers, it works for me and my other companies. Try it out. You'll never go back.

    We don't have time to search for all of the restaurants' websites (mobile or otherwise) just to find the best deals. 70% of searches are for retail.

    We do have time to go to one site - in this instance - to see ALL of the specials at one mobile site.

    Once again, though, Eric, great timely article. Thanks for your efforts.

  2. Dave Gwozdz from Mojiva, May 15, 2009 at 5:18 p.m.


    Great article!
    You made many excellent points. there are so many marketers scratching their heads trying to figure out their mobile strategy. You put a lot of the benefits of ad networks in perspective, especially the concept of a "comprehensive distribution model" the seemingly trivial concept of pushing out ads to mobile customers can quickly become a marketers nightmare.

    Ad networks play a critical role in targeted distribution of mobile advertising while allowing advertisers to achieve reach and measure their effectiveness.

    Good work!

    Dave Gwozdz

Next story loading loading..