Mobile was always destined to attract higher advertising spend. In recent years, mobile devices have become more than just a means of communication – they’re our taxis, high streets, menus, tube maps, libraries and almost anything else you can think of.
It seems obvious that a device which we have become so heavily reliant on would offer huge commercial opportunities, but in reality we’re only now beginning to see marketers and advertisers take advantage of this small but powerful tool.
Zenith’s recent ad spend report found that mobile spending is set to overtake desktop for the first time this year, a milestone for mobile. As consumers continue to pour elements of everyday life into mobile, advertisers and marketers are following suit by making a similar switch to the smaller screen.
Small screen, big picture
Perhaps the lightbulb moment for mobile advertising has been realising the breadth and popularity of the audience. Take mobile gaming, for instance: where before we attributed the mobile gaming audience to young men glued to consoles, the likes of Pokémon Go, Candy Crush and Asphalt proved that all kinds of people play games. In fact, analysts at SuperData Research have found that mobile gaming is a $40 billion-a-year industry.
The same can be said for mobile more generally. We see different characters of all ages and demographics using and enjoying mobile devices, and it is through this understanding that real profit can be made.
Through mobile, consumers are becoming immersed in content far more frequently – a key advantage over desktop. Of course, it’s still a hugely valid platform for advertisers, but we tend to use desktop for those ‘bigger’ purchases that we make less often. With mobile, we have the power to make decisions quickly and easily. If the content is relevant and interesting, the path to purchase can be very short.
Levelling up with in-app advertising
As we move forward, it will be in-app advertising that drives spending growth for mobile. If used responsibly, it will deliver better engagement – and not just click throughs, but actual old-style engagement. The type of engagement that is normally reserved for TV and cinema, that makes people sit up and think – mobile’s secret weapon is its strength as a branding tool.
The key to successful in-app advertising is tailored content. If used correctly, in-app ads will be welcomed by consumers, and subsequently a positive affiliation can be made with the brand. In mobile gaming, for example, the immersive nature of gameplay means that players are far more invested in the content served to them.
At Gameloft Advertising Solutions, we’re able to create experiences that consumers actually look forward to and enjoy, through the use of branded mini-games that are carefully tailored to the players interests, or rewards-based messages that provide an incentive to watch. The simplicity of seamlessly integrating an ad that rewards the player, or advances their experience in some way, can be the difference between a positive and negative experience with a brand – something that stays with us a whole lot longer than the ad itself.
You only need to look at the likes of Snapchat and its use of augmented reality ‘filters’ in advertising to see that, if the content is engaging and adding to the mobile experience, consumers are on the whole perfectly happy to be served advertising.
Bad reaction to mobile ads? Take it personally
It’s important to remember, when we think about how reliant we are on mobile, that we’ve come to see our devices as very personal to us as individuals – almost as extensions of ourselves. Most people would be far happier allowing an outsider to browse their desktop than scroll through their phone. This is something advertisers and marketers need to keep in mind when producing and distributing content – placing irrelevant and intrusive advertising on mobile can feel like an invasion of our personal space.
Similarly, when we play mobile games, we want to be entertained. While this means the player is typically in a more positive state of mind, this can be especially detrimental if advertising proceeds to damage the desired outcome, which is ultimately to have fun.
Where desktop still has the advantage over mobile is in consumer trust. We tend to have more confidence in desktop, particularly when making purchases. If mobile is to overcome this barrier, we must recognise the importance of creating engaging advertising. By firing out irrelevant ads that fuel mistrust in mobile devices, marketers and advertisers are shooting themselves in the foot.
Play your ads right
We have never before had an advertising platform that stays with us literally around the clock. According to Deloitte 1 in 3 people check their smartphones in the middle of the night – an astonishing figure.
Yet the closer we get to our mobile devices, the more responsible we have to be when serving ads. Advertising is now entering into a far more personal space, and with it comes far greater risk. While advertisers may have the power of exposure through mobile, the power to accept mobile advertising remains in the hands of the consumer.