Mobile Advertising vs. Online Advertising

One of the main reasons it has taken mobile advertising so long to really take off has been the mindset that marketers merely need to repurpose the same media and techniques that worked on desktop. But compared to desktop, consumers interface with their mobile devices in totally different ways, in totally different contexts, with a totally different mentality. Even the difference between marketing to your audience on a tablet vs. a smartphone is huge.

If you’re among the millions of advertisers just getting started with mobile advertising, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. Here are the 4 most significant differences between Mobile and Online advertising

1. Location-Based Audience Targeting

Not only is mobile geo-targeting totally customizable and WAY more accurate than IP-based desktop advertising (which is only accurate within several miles)—consider how different the context is when serving your ad to a smartphone owner who’s in the middle of running errands, vs. a desktop user who is relaxing at home.

Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes: how much easier is it to get the smartphone owner to visit a retail location? How much easier is it to get a desktop/tablet user to linger on a website and research a product?

For more on audience targeting with mobile ads:

2. Mobile-First Functionality

Most mobile ads are still entirely designed around basic click-through, as if mobile consumers were still restrained to using a mouse. But that’s not really representative of how people interface with their mobile devices, and mobile rich media ads that take advantage of mobile functionality tend to get a much better reception:

  • Swiping
  • Pinching
  • Tilting
  • Mobile Camera functionality for branded photo editing
  • Use GPS for to provide map directions to nearby participating locations
  • Remember that mobile phones are phones, by including a tap-to-call feature

FunMobility built an entire Rich Media Advertising Toolbox to help clients create mobile ads that leverage these features. In 2013, the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) released their Mobile Rising Stars, 5 new mobile ad standards designed to reflect mobile functionality.

For more on ads that leverage mobile functionality:

3. In-App Advertising

Apps account for a huge majority of consumer attention (80%). For advertisers, the main consideration with in-app advertising should center around a non-disruptive user experience: the more disruptive an ad is, the more likely it is to trigger an uninstall.

The least disruptive ads are “opt-in” ads that the user voluntarily chooses to watch in return for some sort of reward (typically in-app currency). Opt-in video ads see much, much better tracking in terms of total play through.

Even outside of apps, user disruption in general is a big concern with mobile advertising–you want to get noticed, but you don’t want people to hate you for re-directing them away from the content they’re enjoying. Unlike desktop browsing, which is typically done with a relaxed timeframe, mobile devices are used in short spurts, with specific goals in mind. Placing obstacles to those goals leads to angry consumers, brand devaluation, and ineffective ad spend.

We mitigate this at FunMobility by having display ads that expand when clicked, creating an overlay on top of the content being browsed (rather than opening a landing page in a new browser window). This overly can be closed with a click, and consumer returns right back to where they were before. Effective targeting is also really a crucial consideration regarding audience disruption–because of the condensed session times with mobile use, irrelevant ads served on mobile bother consumers a lot more than they do on desktop.

4. Post-Campaign Re-Engagement

While it’s certainly possible to collect email addresses with online ads (though consumers are now twice as likely to open emails on mobile devices compared to desktops), SMS remarketing and re-engagement is only possible on mobile. In addition to standard QR codes, EZ-Opt In kiosks, and short-code text-to-join campaigns, mobile display ads themselves can now be customized to collect opt-ins to SMS remarketing lists.

Consumers who subscribe to an SMS list can be targeted with messages that link to the same diverse rich media experiences possible with the best mobile display ads. What’s better, they are cheaper to service, and provide significantly better return on investment in terms of both purchasing conversions and brand advocacy.

For more on managing SMS Campaigns:


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