2013: Tipping Point for Mobile Ad Monetization

smartphone-walletWhile last year brought increased mobile engagement among advertisers, their mobile investments were still proportionally low. However, industry leaders are expecting this gap to continue shrinking, with eMarketer predicting U.S. mobile ad spending will reach $7.19 billion this year.

This shift, in combination with deeper knowledge of mobile purchase behaviors, will mark the tipping point for publishers, agencies, and companies as they more effectively monetize their mobile ad strategies with this high-value, ready-to-buy audience.

Indications of this trend are already evident as more companies are adopting mobile-specific ad performance metrics to validate and improve their expanding mobile ad strategies.

As mobile consumer profiles and responses differ greatly from that of other digital (and traditional, for that matter) platforms, marketers are working harder to ensure their metrics align with distinct mobile user behaviors.

Ranging from calls – which reflect high quality leads across both traditional and digital platforms – to map views, directions, lookups, and reservation bookings, these proven metrics help advertisers confirm which mobile ad channels, formats, and creative content are generating results.

Display Ads, Localized Info and Deals Critical for Successful Monetization

As mobile monetization expands in 2013, expect to see more mobile display ads, which leverage the latest location-targeting technologies that provide the ability to focus on consumers at their highest point of interest.

Local information and deals will also be a critical must-have factor for effective mobile ad strategies. This trend is reflected in the recent Mobile Path to Purchase Study results, which showed that consumers’ mobile buying choices are driven strongly by local information such as phone number, address, driving directions and specific offers or coupons.

Results also indicated that local relevancy and local offers are the top two reasons mobile users engage with mobile ads.

Considering Mobile Device User Differences Key to Effective Targeting

While many businesses view mobile users as a single segment, smartphone and tablet users demonstrate significant differences in their purchase-related motivations and timing. Ignoring this fact can cost marketers millions in missed opportunities.

The average mobile consumer conversion rate is 60 percent, but the potential for harnessing these sales diminishes if mobile ads fail to consider device-specific usage nuances.

For example, smartphone users widely search while on the go for more immediate purchases while tablet users tend to use their devices primarily at home for looking up price comparisons and product/service reviews.

Marketers who tailor their ad campaigns based on device will inevitably see higher returns.

Develop Tailored Strategies to Drive Traffic to Mobile Websites

As mobile consumers now largely find business websites through utility/comparison, local directory and branded mobile websites and apps, it’s no longer safe to assume search engines are the primary gateway to delivering mobile leads.

In 2013 marketers will increase their efforts to optimize their mobile websites, as well as focus on targeted ways to drive quality traffic to them apart from traditional desktop-based search engine strategies. This includes studying mobile purchase patterns and timing needs within specific vertical categories and developing mobile ad strategies to reach specific types of buyers through their preferred referral channels.


As we reflect on 2012 and what’s ahead for this year, it’s clear that marketers are on an upward trajectory with their mobile ad investments — both in ad dollars and in leveraging mobile consumer behavior data to determine strategies for reaching their target audiences with the right messages at the right time along their path to purchase.

Mobile monetization will likely reach a tipping point in 2013 for advertisers who significantly refine their mobile ad strategies and establish key mobile metrics to validate them.

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