Why is Mobile advertising so bad, and what’s the solution?

Why do YOU do mobile advertising?

Is it to interrupt people, to get in peoples’ way when they’re trying to get to work, to stop people watching that video from start to finish, or to stop people from reading the rest of that webpage? Or, do YOU do mobile advertising to help people discover interesting apps that make their lives better?

Then, why is mobile advertising so bad?

No Ads!

A recent eye-tracking study by AI company GumGum revealed some home truths about how users interact with mobile advertising. The most widely-used formats of mobile ads are unnoticed and intrusive ads are slowing down page load times and frustrating users. They go onto suggest that $billions are being wasted because of ineffective advertising.

We’ve made the classic mistake of just applying desktop style ads to the mobile world, and it begs the question – why aren’t we matching ads with the pace of a ‘mobile-first world’?

AdBlock usage has surged

The state of the blocked web 2017 – Global AdBlock report reports that in December 2016 there were over 600 million devices running AdBlock software globally, 62% of which were on mobile devices.

Mobile AdBlock usage is widespread in Asia – with 94% of global mobile AdBlock usage being in the Asia-Pacific region. Furthermore, mobile AdBlock usage has surged in Asia-Pacific by 40% in 2016, with 380m mobile devices using mobile AdBlock software.

Whilst no single mobile AdBlock solution has yet taken off in North America or Europe, it’s highly likely that any AdBlock solution will resonate strongly with a large, latent audience of former desktop AdBlock users. If manufacturers and distributors close deals to pre-configure mobile AdBlock software, then mass adoption in North America and Europe will happen fast.

Smartphone users block mobile ads because of interruption, slow page load times and too many ads!

It’s no wonder App retention rates are so poor

AndroidAuthority.com recently revealed the effects of ineffective mobile advertising on user retention rates. They highlighted only 4-5% of users continue actively using an app after the first 30 days. What’s more though, is that only around one in ten users are still regularly using a new app one week after they’ve installed it.

This isn’t really a surprise.

Isn’t Mobile just the same as Desktop?

Those of us who are old enough remember the good old days back in the early 2000s when Desktop was all about brand awareness, traffic and clicks. Much like mobile a couple of years ago – brand awareness, clicks and installs consuming the lion’s share of mobile ad budgets.

But, Desktop had to evolve when advertisers soon realised they were spending all their digital budgets on traffic that didn’t make them any money in return. Then desktop slowly moved towards usability, customer journeys and pay-for-performance – cost per sale media buys.

Mobile is no different. Why spend mobile budgets on installs that don’t convert into paying users, when you can pay-for-performance?

So, why are mobile ads so bad?

We know that the most widely-used formats of mobile ads are going unnoticed and that interruptive ad formats are the primary cause of user frustration. It’s therefore fair to say that AdBlock usage is driven by specific problems with the delivery of online advertising, but it’s not a rejection of digital advertising itself. People accept that free content is paid for by advertising.

What do mobile users want?

We know that non-interruptive ad formats, such as static banners, skippable video and native are broadly accepted by mobile users. And, that ads integrated into the editorial perform the best – users spend more time on them and they boost brand recall by 50%.

So surely, we need to innovate our mobile advertising to get ROI from our mobile ad spend. At Optimise, we think we can do this through contextually aware Native Ads that offer mobile users services that are relevant right now. In effect matching ads with the pace of a ‘mobile-first world’.

If we then combine contextually aware native ads with in-app sales technology, such as deferred deep-linking and deep-linking from mobile sites and apps to in-app, we can help users take action by making it easy for them to complete actions.

Moving beyond the install

At Optimise we focus on helping move users towards intended outcomes with our deferred deep-linking and in-app sales tracking technologies. By using post-click sale attribution, we can then attribute actions back to the correct media source that delivered the action as opposed to just delivering an install. This means we can focus on optimising to KPIs real-time and ultimately focussing activity to CPA-driven goals. That’s where the true ROI is.

It also allows us to apply a performance marketing model to mobile advertising by being able to remunerate publishers for driving repeat sales for advertisers’ apps. Just paying publishers for one-off installs isn’t sustainable and that’s what’s driving ineffective mobile ad spend and woefully poor app retention rates.

AppButtons – contextually aware native advertising that works

At Optimise we’ve recently launched AppButton – our solution to ineffective mobile advertising. AppButtons enable non-intrusive advertising for mobile that matches context with users, by integrating Advertisers’ Apps into other relevant mobile sites and apps. AppButtons appear in context to users predicted needs and match users’ locations to real-time product availability.

AppButtons are advertising based around users’ predicted needs

As an example, let’s take a Taxi App. To get ROI and LTV requires users to continuously use the Taxi app whenever they need to travel somewhere. If we consider all the various things a mobile user may need a taxi for we’d probably come up with a long list of things like cinemas, train station, hotels, restaurants, shopping, flights etc.

We can now place a contextually aware native AppButton on any mobile site or app that is content-rich or transactional based around any of these themes. The AppButton will only appear in a location where the Taxi App can be used, and it makes it easy for the user to take immediate action. The AppButton technology automatically shows available cabs and fares without the user having to leave the mobile site or app they’re on, and then deep-links them into the Taxi app when they’re ready to book.

Join the AppButton revolution!

As AppButtons are contextually aware native ads they’re less likely to end up getting blocked by mobile AdBlock software. They don’t interrupt, they inspire. And, they enable us to reward publishers and app owners for driving continuous repeat sales for the app owner, which means greater ROI and LTV for them.

We’ve recently launched AppButton in India, with Flipkart and Cleartrip as the early adopters.

Find out more >

Stephen has a degree in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, combined with a wealth of Advertiser and Publisher-side experience spanning Retail, Mobile and Finance, working for high-profile Brands like Aviva, Virgin and Hiscox. Since joining Optimise in 2011, Stephen has helped drive the commercial performance of the UK business through the growth of new publishers and technologies; and International growth through development of a global strategy for new technology and media. Stephen optimises the strategy, shared learning, technical development and revenue growth opportunities across the Optimise International businesses. Contact Stephen - Stephen.Rumbelow@optimisemedia.com