The Year of Mobile Advertising

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This is it. THIS will be the year of mobile. I can feel it.

Nah, just kidding.

Every year for what seems like the last 5 bloggers, interactive marketers, agencies have all been touting how THIS will be the year for mobile, but alas, it never is. Mobile is becoming the Al Gore of advertising … almost, but just can’t quite get there.

Sure, the logic is there, the positioning, the demographics … it’s all there. It’s ripe. There’s no reason for it logically to NOT be the year.

So why isn’t it happening?

Oh, wait, it is happening, right? Sure, stats for mobile ad clicks are up, WAAAY up, higher than regular display ads. So it’s working, people are getting into it. You can hear the rally call of your agency, with a price quote in hand of course,

“We’re changing behavior, you better get on board.”


It’s not real. Think like a person and not like a business person having jargon shoved down your throat by a hungry agency trying to meet quotas and new business goals.

Stop and Think.

(no, I will NOT stop saying it, at least I won’t until people start actually doing it. It’s a pet peeve of mine that isn’t getting better.)

As a user how many online display ads have you ever clicked on in the history of your internet usage? I can honestly say, as a digital marketer who has been involved in interactive marketing for over 20 years (yes, there was interactive marketing before widespread use of the internet, get over it, you’re young but you’re naive if you don’t know that) I have clicked on no more than 8, 5 perhaps on purpose.

Now ask yourself how many mobile ads you have clicked on? Ok, go for in the last week, make it easier. NOW … ask yourself how many you clicked on and then didn’t slip into a bout of cursing and back clicking too far and adding more cursing?

We click on mobile ads, this is true. We just don’t intend to. Placement of them, delays in them, apparently touch screens on smartphones occasionally decide to treat you as if you’re a vampire and therefore refuse to register human body heat on your click-to-close action, but then catch a whiff of warmth from your breath and lo and behold you’re stuck in some game advertisement landing page that you had no intention of clicking.

No, mobile ads aren’t working, beyond pissing us all off.

Think like a person, think like a user. THEN do the research with that perspective.

(Please, don’t forget the research part, thinking is the first step, but you HAVE to do it. You then have to do the rest. Otherwise you’re doing what some like to call, “intuitive marketing” which is really just code for lazy guesswork!)

This will be the year of mobile, but not of mobile ads. There will be stats to say otherwise, but stats can say whatever you want. Stats are the creative writing of math. Check the ACTUAL results. (And don’t ask your agency, they’re trying to sell you something!)