Times Square, NY advertising

Understanding the Trickier Parts of Mobile Web Advertising

Times Square, NY advertising

Deciding how to advertise on the mobile web requires a lot of research and consideration. The budget for advertising and marketing is an annual decision that has to be made, but nowadays it’s much more complex than taking out space in print or even investing in a web banner. In 2012, 47 percent of all people who accessed the Internet did so using a mobile device, according to comScore.com. Advertising on the mobile web is no longer so much a choice as a necessity, considering how much Internet traffic is happening through the conduit of mobile devices.

The Basics of the Mobile Web

A primer for the differences between the regular Internet and the mobile web is that one is designed for traditional computers, and one is designed to be accessed via smartphones or tablets. While you may have traditionally paid to have advertisements placed on partner websites, enticing people to visit your site, or invested in different types of banner ads, mobile web ads are very different in the way they function and react to user browsing habits.

Desktop Advertising versus Mobile Advertising

The rate at which businesses are investing in mobile search advertising is dramatically spiking, with around 2 percent of search ad dollars being spent on mobile in 2011, but which in 2013 is expected to reach 22.1 percent, according to eMarketer.com. The key here is how people are accessing the Internet, how their browsing habits are recorded, and what they see when they navigate the mobile web. Consider how much success you’ve had with desktop advertising so far. Review your analytics to decide whether or not moving more resources into mobile web advertising is advisable – are your customers mostly using mobile devices, for example, is an obvious question. At this point, however, it’s not a question of “should I invest” with mobile advertising, as, “how much should I invest,” given the statistics.

Targeting a Specific Audience

The way that users are targeted with mobile advertising is different than how they are with desktop advertising. The biggest difference is that with mobile advertising, users can’t be tracked through cookies. This isn’t a complete loss to the advertising industry, though, because cookies which are commonly used to track user habits on the Internet, are currently under extreme political and social scrutiny. With the increasing concern with privacy issues in the United States, cookies and Internet tracking mechanisms are losing legitimacy, and are being more heavily legislated. This makes it much more difficult for advertisers to find receptive viewers for their content, and overall, makes trying to target your business to users a shot in the dark. Get up to speed with how the advertising industry is adapting, and you can make the decision about how to target your customer base. One of the best moves you can make as a business owner is to simply try it out for yourself – search on your smartphone for a specific location or term, see what ads come up and how they strike you. Nothing can replace personal experience.

[Photograph by BK]