But in reality, the mobile ad landscape still has a long way to go before it meets its potential. Marketers are faced with an immature marketplace that lacks creative and tracking standards and has a myriad of vendors offering disparate and probabilistic solutions. To execute on mobile advertising, many are deferring to their familiar desktop thinking, with marketers translating desktop ads into mini-desktop ads for mobile and looking to programmatic to bring clarity to their buys.
There is one big problem with this approach: It completely overlooks the uniqueness of the mobile experience. Your mobile customer is task-oriented, using a smaller screen and demands that their mobile experience be immediately actionable, simple and contextually relevant to them.
Go Beyond The Banner
Today’s mobile ads are not meeting customers’ expectations. In fact, data shows that 57% of online U.S. adult smartphone owners who see in-app ads find they interrupt the user experience; only one in five think the ads are relevant. To combat this, marketers need to embrace distinct, mobile-first formats.
These formats are still under construction as marketers and agencies are slowly tiptoeing into creating mobile-first ads, publishers are not yet offering a lot of innovative inventory, and creative standards are in flux. But as the landscape takes shape, be on the lookout for these four types of mobile formats:
Give buying a personal touch
Once a marketer has crafted a mobile-first ad strategy, it’s time for the mobile buy. If you listen to industry chatter, it seems like the answer to mobile buying is clear: programmatic. Ad tech vendors are rapidly expanding their mobile programmatic services, and inventory is pouring into exchanges faster than what we saw with desktop.
But remember: the mobile customer expects contextually relevant and personalized experiences from their phones, which requires using deeply integrated and custom formats. But because these types of custom ads can’t be completely standardized, they can’t be bought programmatically. This type of advertising also requires rich data to identify the audience -- and while ad tech vendors continue to navigate the difficult mobile ecosystem, many publishers are sitting on rich first-party data that they aren’t sharing with the exchanges.
What does this mean? That the automation of certain processes will take over to facilitate high-quality buys -- and this won’t be totally programmatic. In the best-case scenario, people will have to be involved. For example, working directly with publishers, and having the brand and publisher experts included, will create the most innovative, integrated, and relevant ads possible today.