2016. december 19., hétfő

History of mobile ads

The history of mobile advertising

Despite mobile advertising a new technology for advertisers, believe or not, but the first iPhone was released less than ten years ago (in 2007), mobile advertising seems to be much longer is the important part of our life. This is due to not just the lighting fast pace of advertising solutions in general, but the incredible development of advertising technology, the serving and supporting technologies, platforms etc. behind advertising solutions.

If it is already it is difficult to be updated with ever changing mobile marketing and advertising trends, than why would be interesting to know the history and evolution of mobile advertising. But seeing it from a higher perspective, it could be beneficial for all mobile marketing professional to know the history of mobile ads, and understand what makes it such important and effective part of a marketing plan.

So let’s take a short time travel back in time, not just so far, but just until the turning point to the millennium.

The first mobile ad

The first mobile ad was shared via SMS in Finland at 1997, when a finish news provider sent news headlines via SMS. The innovation is Short Messages Services (SMS) helped advertisers to understand that this communication channel is not just about in people to people communication, but a great opportunity to deliver brand messages also. Shortly Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) a global non-profit professional association was founded.

SMS has became mass media channel

Just a few years after, at the beginning of the decade, the time sensitiveness and the opportunity of location-based commercial messaging boosted SMS to the seventh mass media channel, as mobile marketer and advertising professional called. Companies started to use SMS to send exclusive promotions and user loyalty offers. The significant success of SMS led to developments in mobile technologies, for example smartphones not just created for on-the-web browsing abilities, but also for advertisers to capture user attention even when surfing on the net, playing with games or taking selfies. The first mobile advertising companies, like Admob and Millennial Media were founded.

Smartphones getting really smarter

So at was mentioned at the beginning of this post, the release of the first iPhone at 2007, was a game changing moment for the mobile advertising industry. Apple’s smartphone technology fundamentally changed the industry and mobile user behaviour by creating a products and operating system that not just helped users in their professional lives, but also added entertainment value also. And smartphone are getting part in private life also. However smartphone the opportunity to create, but mobile ads were ugly and annoying, because used desktop browser ads and then reformat them for mobile web browsers. Following the accelerating trends, big giants started to gain serious foothold at mobile advertising industry. Google launches Android and acquire Admob for $750M, Apple starts iAD and according to eMartketer the U.S. mobile advertising market size approach the $1.5B.

Present days

The mobile advertising is continuously evolving. As mobile app were in high-demand and due to in-app mobile ads were offered for free, by the middle of this decade it becomes increasingly important to include mobile ads to apps with seamless experience. By 2015, an average user spend the 88% of his online mobile time in-app. To achieve the best possible user experience, mobile advertising companies began offering a great variety of mobile ads, like interstitials, overlay ads, mobile video ads and native ads to create higher engagement with users. Also the technology behind that serves these activities, the evolvement of analytical and RTB companies make the mobile advertising ecosystem to generate the best single user view to make mobile advertising.    

Tibor Nemes 

2016. augusztus 26., péntek

Mobile moments to user engagement

Mobile moments are at the heart of user engagement

Just in the US, over 35M mobile moments happens per a day. And this number is just exponentially increasing. Marketers have to do something in order to meet this expectation both from quantitative and qualitative sides.

Believe or not, an average smartphone user pick and see his phone at least 200 times a day and according to Forrester, spending around more than two hours a day accessing to apps and mobile web. When users are on the mobile web and or using mobile apps expects context, immediacy, simplicity, in  brand communication in these moments, and brands have to be adapted to these mobile moments immediately.

Mobile moments have to be shrinked to very micro moments, due to the usage of mobile phone means simplicity and shortness for users. Also mobile moments are continuously disappear in the ether and the brands have a very short and only moment to get it. And finally, maybe the most important factor in mobile moment, context has to be appearing proactively and not pulled by the user.

Marketers are quite not successful in mobile moments engagement

However these advanced expectations are known for marketers, they are fall short in these mobile moments currently. However they know every interaction with the user could generate a positive – and thus loyalty and revenue for the brand – or negative experience on the user journey towards to the brands. Today’s users are demanding a seamless, consistent and integrated brand experience delivered with ultimate simplicity and relevancy in time and content.

New vendors for mobile moments automation and engagement

To solve these problems for brands, a new vendor category is emerged, the mobile engagement automation vendor. In this category the old rules do not work. Adapting, delivering and anticipating mobile moments could significantly challenge the most sophisticated tech-enabled marketers also. As a result, marketing technology vendors have to provide the intelligence and the synchronization of realtime interaction management platforms for wide scale of mobile moments and its complexity.
To deliver and meet these marketer expectations, Forrester suggest to follow the IDEA framework, that helps to automate the user mobile moments lifecycle from data and analyses to execution. The IDEA framework at step one identify (I) the audience and the mobile moments, than design (D) the engagement decision and assembly, following the engineering (E) phase which deliver the interaction, and finally analyse (A) the performance and measure the optimization.

Final words

Despite the proposed very basic structure, scope of the mobile and thus the user journey could differ vendor by vendor. Marketers have to choose partners wisely especially when soultions can vary greatly and vendor landscape is quite immature.

Anyway and finally, mobile moments engagement automation solutions can analyse and manage user information in real time, to allow marketers to proactively engage user in the mobile moment that could be a strong competitive differentiator for the brand. 

Nemes Tibor

2016. február 17., szerda

Twitter introduced conversation ads

There is no doubt, mobile becomes the most important channel for social media. Over the few years, Internet usage and the access to social media moved from web to mobile devices, increasing the request to adapt social network to mobile media, also adapt advertising on social networks to mobile media.

Importance of mobile to Twitter

Both Facebook and Twitter have created more mobile friendly user interfaces, mobile web and applications. Statista made a research on how users use Facebook and Twitter and for how long.

The chart suggests that, mobile is more important to Twitter than Facebook. The average Twitter user uses smartphone app more than three hours per month, which is much higher rate comparing to PC than in the same comparison for Facebook.

Conversational ads on Twitter

Previously, marketers used promoted tweets to improve brand engagement, with compelling images, videos and hashtags, that drive likes, follows and retweets. In conversational ads, message includes a customized call-to-action buttons with hashtags in order to encourage customer engagement. In the process, when the call-to-action button is tapped, it opens a brand messages accompanied by the creative and the hashtag button, and customer receives a message from the brand for having engaged. And finally, the new tweet appears on followers' timeline with the brand video, photo.

This conversation ads drive earned media for the brand with no costs, but could result a much higher ROI also.

Conversational ads are currently available in beta, and for selected advertisers.

Tibor Nemes

2016. január 30., szombat

Actuals - What appened in mobile adveristing at the begining of 2016

Let's start the 2016 with two important news, that could be more than interesting to industry professionals and representatives.

Microsoft possible acquisition of Inmobi

According to unconfirmed reports and industry rumors, Microsoft could be very close to acquire Indian mobile advertising company, Inmobi. If we believe the rumors regarding the acquisition, Microsoft - despite sold mobile advertising business in 2015 - is still keen on having strong position on the mobile advertising market. Due to preliminary evaluation, after the acquisition Microsoft could be the second biggest player in mobile advertising concerning revenue after Google AdMob, and with a very strong representation on important markets, like Chine and India.

Inmobi has been asking around a $2bn price, which almost twice that Google rumored intended to paid at last year. However Microsoft spokesperson has not comment on it, with this acquisition Microsoft would be a strong competition to Google's Admob, Facebook Audience Network and AOL's Millennial Media.

Apple closes iAD

At the begining of January, Apple has posted on company's developer site, after six years the company is shutting down iAD advertising network on the 30th of June, 2016. The close has not happened as surprise, due to Apple CEO Tim Cook said, iAD is a very small part of Apple business, while iAD captured only about 8% revenue share of mobile display advertising in 2015, according to eMarketer.

There are many guess about what will happen with Apple's mobile advertising business. Some industry experts say, company probably will automate processes and let developers to submit advertising directly.

Concerning the close, it is more interesting to mention Daniel Eran Dilger theory published on Apple Insider. It says iAD close is just a part of a much bigger strategy to crush Google. According to the theory, Apple is ready to stop playing in those mobile advertising fields, where Google has significant advantage, and instead begins to leverage its strong position in hardware in relation with mobile advertising. This hypothesis is backed with that, according by Goldman Sachs's analyst Heather Bellini, about 75% of Google's mobile advertising revenue comes from Apple devices. Anyway, the theory seems to be little constrained, it is noteworthy Apple could hurt Google, if the company comes back to mobile advertising business in any way.

Tibor Nemes


2015. december 22., kedd

Major mobile ad trends for 2016

In a few days 2015 coming to close, many industry professionals and gurus reflect on the year passed by and looking toward a year ahead about soon-to-be trends in mobile advertising. Many studies, researches and analyses have been published recently, below I summarize the top ones in which all professionals agree.

#1 Bypassing intermediaries

As big technology giants, like Google and Facebook extended their ad services, and playing both seller and buyer of their own media, encouraged other players to offer independent platform with more transparency in process. The demand of advertisers for greater transparency in media costs, ad types, placements etc. reduces the "go-between" connection of advertisers to customers that demystifies what is happening the the 'black box'. With additional platforms option for programmatic buying, advertisers will have the opportunity to gather data, target across platforms and more experiment to vary ad units. For this, advertisers have to make a first priority to cultivate their own first-party data.    

#2 Cross-device targeting 

However cross-device solutions is a great opportunity and challenge for the industry, there is no a true leading solution on the market. This means advertisers should to look for different third party solutions to leverage their first-party data to have the best approach to cross-devices targeting. Different ad platform solutions that include data management platform capabilities also could shortcut the process between multiple data source leverage and audiences targeting. 

#3 Ad-blocking

Many and more researches, studies have intended to forecast the effect of ad blocking solutions in mobile advertising. Due to it is quite new on market, advertisers should have wait and track the results over the next few quarters before over- or underestimating the effect of ad blocking.

#4 Ad units and engagement

In the next year, popular ad units will continuously evolve and change. With the main focus on customer experience, advertisers will use more native ads that are less disruptive for customers; further, they will make investments in those ad units that better fit to the given medium, engage customers more effectively and maximize distraction. On the other side of this coin, publishers also test and implement new native ad units that drive higher customer engagement and of course improve revenue to them. 

Anyway, anything will happen in mobile advertising industry, that is all clear for all,  2016 (and 2017 also and 2018 also and so on...) will be the year of mobile advertising. And this tendeny will lead to by 2018, according to ZenithOptimedia prediction, mobile advertising will have the second biggest contribution to global ad spend after television, and will overtake desktop internet advertising.

Tibor Nemes

2015. december 8., kedd

Mobile native ads best practices

A three times Pulitzer Prize winner American novelist Thornton Wilder said "In advertising not to be different is virtual suicide". This is more true for mobile native ads, which has to be designed to be fit in.

The request of being different raises the question of every marketers whose planning to be native - will mobile native ads really deliver promises as the ad says. The answer is probably lies in the understanding of the intent behind being native and implement is in the right way.

There is no doubt about mobile advertising, mobile native ads generate a higher level customer interaction and engagement compared to other display rich media. Further, marketers and advertisers welcome the uplift in brand awareness, consideration and purchase intent, which proves native mobile advertising is equally an effective tool for middle- or upper funnel brand objectives.

Advertisers best practices

Relevance - however relevance is relative, it ensure the mobile ad is relevant to customer. This relevance lies at both advertisers and publisher side. But when planning mobile native ad, advertisers need to take into account the customer's context when reading the message. Message has to be delivered in the most native manner across all interfaces, those are ideal for capturing customer attention.

Interest - in the really fragmented world of attention, catching target audience's eye and interest requires creative content writing for mobile native ads. This is where native ad optimization comes in, optimizing the headline, thumbnail brand assets that makes the native ad difference for better customer engagement. Cathy headline and images are must for catching customer attention.

Agility - however viral advertising is personal, it is mostly free even when it comes from a brand. Proliferation of social networks, and the always in hand mobile devices makes viral trends commonplace. Utilizing the latest viral trends and opportunities is a successful way to leverage public interest for mobile native ads.

Measurement - Mobile native ads have to had positive response both on direct (CTR, CVR etc.), indirect and inferred metrics (brand awareness, purchase intent etc.). The identification of the right metrics is critical to align native ads properly with campaign objective, because different forms of native ads have impact on different metrics to be measured. .

Final thoughts

Summarizing the best practices of mobile native ads for advertisers, the following points have to be taken to improve native ads effectiveness and influence on campaign objective

  • identification of customer context that are most relevant for the campaign, optimize and customize message and format
  • catchy and interesting creative to get customer attention
  • leverage social networks and viral trends
  • identify the right metrics and conversion that will be measured and optimize campaign accordingly.

Tibor Nemes

Mobile ads and in-store purchase

The importance of instancy

One of the major challenge and opportunity in mobile advertising is the instancy. As the mobile will play more important role in customer experience and decision journey (detailed on this blog previously at Customer experience journey on mobile), the moment of truth in the journey will occur when the smartphone is at hand. Mobile advertising has and will have the final impact whether customer will convert to purchase or not.

However mobile advertising is considered an effective way to reach customers, but being able to link it immediately to an in-store purchase opportunity when customer is at the store, is crucial to final purchase conversion.

Mobile coupons

According to Marchex and Digiday survey for the US market, almost two-third of marketers said, mobile coupons are the most effective method for attributing in-store purchase opportunities to mobile ads.

More than 80% of customers redeem mobile coupons or code through mobile devices when shopping online or offline. Further, mobile coupons are one of the most valuable tools in mobile advertising. More than the 40% of US companies with more than hundred employees used mobile coupons for marketing purposes in this year. And according to eMarketer, this number will grow more than 7% for 2017.


Beacons are an other effective tool for attributing in-store purchase to mobile ads, however retailers use it less frequently than mobile coupons. According to Lightspeed research, around one third of the surveyed retailers said some likelihood implementing beacons in store. This does not sound a rising new technology at retail industry.

Final thoughts

Anyway, the importance of mobile advertising, the request of converting targeted prospects to customers when shopping and the brand's message at hand; and mobile coupons cheapness to distribute makes mobile coupons one of the most effective mobile marketing tool. According to eMarketer estimations, digital coupon redemption will achieve $123M in 2015, in which mobile coupon redemption will exceed $97M with an approximately 18% growth in 2015 in the US market.

Tibor Nemes