'Fat Thumbs' Still A Problem for Mobile Ads In Growth Regions

With rich media and display companies like Kargo bringing in large revenues, and mobile accounting for more than 55% of all display advertising according to some metrics, it may be surprising to some that display advertising is still performing so strongly. A survey from Reuters Digital News Report shows that more than 30 percent of online news audiences actively avoid sites where display banner ads interfere with the content.

One notion that marketers have not been disabused of is that much of the traffic that display ads receive is from mistaken clicking. Recent data from Omnicom Media Group (OMG) found that 48% of respondents surveyed in Southeast Asia only engaged with a mobile ad by mistake.

Google has done much to combat the problem of “fat thumbs,” which can be a marketers' worst nightmare — costing money to deliver an ad to an unwilling participant and actually debasing branding efforts. Google implemented several fixes to display ads to adapt to the phenomenon: taps close to the edge of an image ad are not be considered clicks; in in-app interstitial ads users will need to click the call-to-action button and actively engage; ads will only become clickable after a short period of time.

The OMG survey found email to be the most effective channel for marketing on mobile in Southeast Asia, ahead of Facebook newsfeed content.

Despite all the information available to marketers about mobile users’ likes and dislikes, there is still little data regarding mobile advertising, stated Thue Quist Thomasen, head of group sales and marketing at Epinion, a subsidiary of OMG. Many marketers still do not know how to fully utilize mobile because of this. Thomasen says he believes brands should think more about the utility of ads, rather than their entertainment value.

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