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What will drive mobile advertising forward: tips, trends, and regulations

Do you think all digital advertising is the same and mobile ads are just resized to smaller resolutions? This article will show you that mobile advertising is turning into a new media and explain how you can take advantage of it.

Mobile marketing has been evolving since 2010, when it had become obvious that smartphones could substitute desktop computers. According to the recent IAB report, the global mobile advertising revenue has been steadily growing for 6 years straight now; in the US alone during FY2016 it increased to $36.6 billion from the FY2015 $20.7 billion. With the investments clearly paying off, Salesforce estimates that in 2017 67.4% of total digital ad spending will belong to mobile advertising – that is 5% more than in 2016 and almost 30% more than in 2014.

Unlike 6 years ago, when both mobile app developers and brands saw mobile advertising not so different from any other form of digital marketing, it is now a separate area with its own specifics. Researchers in cooperation with software developers have carried out many complex studies in order to understand which mobile advertising methods are successful with consumers. In other words, there are now trends and regulations helping brands create mobile ads that would pay off.

Keep mobile experience first, ads – second

Forrester and Celtra’s recent paper has uncovered that 60% of mobile ad consumers want their mobile experience disruption by ads kept to a minimum. The figure is more than justified given the limited space on small mobile small screens. Yet at the same time, brands think about ad relevance first, and only then about distraction they may create.

This mismatch between consumers’ expectations and brands’ goals mainly results in accidental clicks or even worse – in users’ choice to install ad-blocking extensions. Consumers feel that their opinions are disregarded and opt out of advertising at all. So by creating obtrusive ads, brands not only tarnish their own image but also aggravate the entire target audience.

Help consumers with native ads

Users rarely perceive native ads as nuisance. It can be a small carousel with ‘on sale’ products on the website where these products can be bought or a list of articles on a topic similar to the one they’ve opened. Native ads are exactly what consumers expect and want to see as they navigate themselves in an immense amount of content. That’s especially true for mobile, where menu and search aren’t always convenient.

Native ads work differently from the economic point of view: the space doesn’t bring income, since it’s the publisher who occupies it. Programmatic advertising is what can help to recreate the same feel of relevancy and nativity while still relying on the space leasing model.

Try out programmatic buying

Mobile programmatic advertising allows publishers to have ads either automatically inserted into the relevant content or delivered to a certain consumer based on their browsing history. As a result, advertisers don’t have to guess whether their ad will reach the right audience or not.

What’s more, the model is extremely effective with mobile devices. As mentioned in ScienceSoft’s overview of RiskIQ report on mobile security, people are not that bothered by security while on their phones, so they shop and search via smartphones, consciously sending all kind of data to servers.

Yet, the negative influence of programmatic advertising on creativity is a controversial issue. Some brands believe that if it’s up to the algorithm to let the ad show up on any page, it doesn’t matter if the ad is a work of art or a quick sketch. There’s no data proving that creative ads are a disadvantage, but ad creators probably would be reluctant to spend their time and effort on an ad that may never show up anywhere.

Stay creative

In the midst of the debates around creative ads, the recent On Device Research paper on ‘Mobile Creative Best Practices’ has revealed that when creative mobile ads are at work, they do much better than regular ones. According to the detailed statistics, 20% of creative advertisement is 6 times more effective than 80% of non-creative. This means that if a brand invests more time and effort in creative and complex ideas to develop one mobile ad, it can achieve better conversion than brands that go for quantity instead of quality.

The creative ad tactics that works best on mobile is making an engaging ad that lets users interact with it. Examples of such ads are quick tests that help consumers find a suitable solution, and playable ads which report highest click-through rates.

Reconsider video ads for mobile

Forrester says that about 41% of consumers prefer to see video mobile ads. That’s why, according to mobile experts, brands now should take advantage of video ad capabilities where they can be as free as they want in delivering their message.

There’s a lot of room for joint work of brands and mobile app developers here, since mobile video ads should be completely reconsidered. Until now, they mostly took shape of resized desktop video ads. Yet, it’s important to adapt them to mobile by making them easily controllable, vertical and mute.


Making mobile advertising a separate realm means acknowledging its specifics and users’ attitude to mobile content. If mobile ads are tailored in accordance with regulations that help them meet consumers’ expectations, they will continue evolving. Probably, they’ll even get a chance to become an absolutely new media in their own right.

by Anastasia Yaskevich
source: B2C