Rich media and video are driving mobile ad spend

click_to_video_smallAdvertisers need compelling reasons to shift budgets across media channels; here are a few for starters from our CMO, Paul Childs…

Mobile advertising spend is growing fast, actually very fast according to IAB US/UK/Spain mobile ad spend reports for 2011. In the UK alone, mobile ad spend grew 140% YoY from 2010 to 2011 at an accelerated rate.

However, mobile advertising remains a nascent market with enormous potential to exceed online ad spend in probably half the time. Let’s explore some of the opportunities for a small portion of ad spend.

Proportion of time on mobile devices not aligned with ad dollars

Despite the huge buzz around mobile advertising at the moment, mobile still accounts for a small portion of ad spend - approximately 1%. A study by eMarketer (see below) showed that in 2010, time spent on mobile devices accounted for 10.1% while spend on mobile accounted for 0.9%.

The interesting observation here is the disproportionate spend on traditional media – particularly the over index on Newspapers and Magazines. Some industry experts have estimated time spent on mobile devices in 2012 will reach 20 – 23% with ad spend remaining around the 1-2% level.

Source: eMarketer



Consumer behaviour is changing fast; we will soon be spending more time on mobile than desktop

As at the end of 2011, there were approximately 500 million iOS and Android devices collectively across the globe. In the top 20 countries with the highest smartphone penetration, the share of iOS and Android devices exceeded 60%. iOS and Android devices have changed how we use mobile phones.

The sleek design, coupled with the now superior touchscreen interface have created a new, slick browsing experience for consumers. Add to this the vast number of apps available across the growing number of app stores, and you can understand why consumers admit to being addicted to their devices.

A recent study by Flurry showed that we now spend one third more of our time on mobile apps than desktop web That’s a significant contrast to 18 months ago when the reverse was true. Another interesting data point came out of some studies carried out during the Superbowl in February 2012.

The two most interesting stats showed that 50% of viewers accessed their phone 10 times or more during the game and that 33% of viewers watched the entire game with their mobile device in their hand. It stands to reason that with these stats in mind, the big brands spending millions of ad dollars on TV advertising during the Superbowl will be considering an integrated approach for their Superbowl ad strategy next year that includes mobile.

Options for advertisers on mobile

Given the above, the obvious takeaway from the mobile advertisings status quo is the need to shift away from the old school static banners on mobile devices to more engaging consumer experiences. Rich media mobile ads, that contain an element of interactivity within the ad, give advertisers a blank canvas to create consumer journeys that align with brand values and experiences.

One aspect of rich media is video, and today Adfonic launched its end-to-end integrated video mobile advertising product (include link to press release). Tap-to-video opens up broadcast media to mobile opportunities. Here, advertisers can re-use commercials created for online, cinema or TV on mobile.

In practice, by tapping on a banner on an iOS or Android device the native video player is seamlessly initiated on the device, presenting consumers with typically 30 second commercials (ranging from film trailers for large studios to commercials for automotive new product launches). At any point during the commercial the user can tap on the “Done” button and immediately return to where they were within the original app or mobile site.

Moreover, Adfonic’s end-to-end advertiser solution delivers real-time viewing metrics into the advertiser reports, giving advertisers live snapshots from clicks to viewing engagement.  This example of a seamlessly integrated consumer journey, presents advertisers with new options to reach incremental audiences via a relatively untapped channel that we are spending more and more time connected with.

Integrated marketing communications

For advertisers considering mobile as an additional channel to their marketing communications plans, the new creative options offered by rich media and video provide an easier transition to an integrated approach (which includes mobile). For innovative advertisers that create engaging TV commercials, mobile now offers closer alignment between consumer experiences across channels.

Let’s not forget that few advertisers today are successfully executing integrated marketing communications, and for those that do get it right, it can hold the path for competitive advantage and access to untapped audiences.

Metrics: Talking advertiser language

Metrics for rich media fall into two distinct areas: hard metrics (such as click volumes and click through rates) that digital marketers live and breath on a daily basis; and soft metrics (such as product awareness, purchase intent and product recall), a metric typically used at more established digital and traditional agencies.

With both video and rich media, research companies, like Nielsen and On Device Research, are now tapping into effectiveness studies to measure the softer elements of campaigns and comparing these with similar metrics across other media channels.  The effectiveness studies that have been made public have demonstrated significant uplift when using rich media compared to static standard mobile ad banners.

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