Week 6: Mobile to Universal Advertising

A Growth Opportunity

Mobile is one of the greatest opportunities for marketing.  Devices will increase from 7 billion in 2013 to 10.2 billion in 2018 (a 46% increase) (Cisco, p. 7). Smartphones (and smartdevices) will increase from 21% to 54% of the mobile device make up (Ibid., p. 8). And while these may seem like moderate increases, these changes will push data usage to explode tenfold over the same period from 1.5 billion gigabytes in 2013 to 15.9 billion gigabytes (exabytes) in 2018 (Ibid., p. 5).

Mobile Ads

With this growth happening, mobile ad revenue is projected to increase while desktop revenue is expected to plateau or possibly decrease (figure1, Singh).

Google vs. Facebook - Ad Revenue by Platform - 1



Mobile ads even have higher click through rates(CTR) than desktop ads (4.12% cell vs 3.12% tablets and 2.39% desktop).Yet while Google/Facebook may be getting higher revenues, there does seem to be a problem with lower conversion rates for mobile ( Hof).  This combination of high CTR and low conversion may be due to one of two primary possibilities: people may be accessing their mobile devices in the store and ready to buy in person; or people are just tapping the ads on accident.  According to RapidSEO 70% of local searches on a mobile phone lead to a sale within the hour! But the best way to find out how your ads are performing is to ensure that there are track-able aspects to your mobile advertising.  (Hof)

Ad placement

Another thing to note on the average mobile site is the lack of a sidebar being visible. And thus ads showing up off screen when the user is zoomed into the main content of a page, or below the main content of the page. (Gupta)  This makes ad placement critical to a business. For Google and Facebook you can tailor your ads to show up in your audiences’ search or news flow.  With Facebook you can put your ads into your audience’s newsfeed as a sponsored story, which can increase CTR by 12 times! (Porterfield)


But while ads can be incredibly successful, 4 out of 5 people find mobile ads “unacceptable.” (Gupta) So an alternative or complementary marketing path would be through developing an app.  If well done, apps can not only advertise your product and do so while being something the consumer seeks out.  Apps when they provide convenience, entertainment, social experiences or unique offers/abilities are not viewed as advertising (Gupta).   And apps can be cheaper than ads and sometimes create new revenue streams. With Google analytics, you can track pretty much everything a user does in your app (Goodman). So you can tweak your app/campaigns to actual data.


While Google analytics, and Facebook analytics work great online, one of the problems with digital advertising is the offline world. It is difficult to track offline impressions to online conversions.  One option to connect these points is to employ trackable QR Codes (Waters & MacDonald) .



Another option is to employ the new advertising platform from Facebook: Atlas.  Atlas is billed as “people based marketing” and can track customers offline.  Atlas does this by connecting the voluntarily given information from Facebook accounts with client information from businesses, such as email addresses and phone numbers. (Circa)

Do you think ad serving platforms like Atlas will lead to better customer experiences or just better tracking? How revolutionary do you think Atlas is?


What kind of mix of digital marketing would you encourage your boss or clients to employ?



Circa (9.29.2014) Facebook promises ‘people-based marketing’ with Atlas ad platform. Retrieved from http://cir.ca/news/facebook-launches-atlas-ad-platform

Cisco (2.5.2014) Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2013–2018 [Whitepaper] Retrieved from http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/white_paper_c11-520862.html

Goodman, W. (2.2011) Mobile Analytics: An End-to-End Walkthrough. Retrieved from https://developers.google.com/mobile/articles/analytics_end_to_end

Gupta, S. (3.2013) For Mobile Devices, Think Apps, Not Ads. Retrieved from http://hbr.org/2013/03/for-mobile-devices-think-apps-not-ads/

Hof, R. (3.26.2012) Study: Search Ads Work Way Better on Tablets, Smartphones. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/roberthof/2012/03/26/study-search-ads-work-way-better-on-tablets-smartphones/

Porterfield, A. (1.23.2013) What You Need to Know About Facebook Mobile Ads. Retrieved from http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/225564

RapidoSEO (9.11.2013) Mobile Marketing Strategy: Isn’t It About Time You Had One?. Retrieved from http://rapidoseo.com/mobile-marketing-strategy-isnt-it-about-time-you-had-one/

Singh, S. (5.27.2014) Examining Google’s Mobile Revenues. Retrieved from http://www.tech-thoughts.net/2014/05/examining-googles-mobile-revenues.html#.VCl4wvldU5t

Waters, J. and MacDonald, J. (n.d.) Linking Consumers to Your Cause with QR Codes. Retrieved from http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/linking-consumers-to-your-cause-with-qr-codes.html


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