Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Mobile Industry is Cooking!

The Mobile Industry is Cooking! One just has to review any one of the popular blogging forums and you'll see that.

The ad Networks are in a very comfortable space with brand spend increasing rapidly. I've seen increase in brand spend of well over 1000% between 2009 and now which is remarkable.
The only concern I have is with regards to the integrity of data that we are being fed by most of these ad networks. I have have seen targeted South African campaigns delivering users from Kuwait, Vietnam, Kazakstan, Tehran, India and many other countries where the campaign would have little or no reference. This needs to be challenged!

In terms of Brand KPI's it may be easy to overlook these things as the results themselves will blow any other medium well out of the water! Last year we ran a campaign for SA Tourism, our very small budget out performed any other medium significantly. Web brought in about 200,000 users and mobile in excess of 2.2 million visits - within a 4 week period. This is the power of Mobile!

The KPI's were pretty much all based on engagement and number of entrants into a competition which worked exceptionally well however if you are measuring conversion against Cost and Payback periods - well then this area becomes quite interesting as the variances move dramatically based on available inventory, quality of publishers and users browsing those sites.

There are a number of ad networks out there which make it even more of a challenging decision as to where to place your advertising. I personally look at their publishers as this gives one a fair idea of the quality of user engagement one can expect to receive. I think it would be safe to say that Admob/Google and iAds would be your safest bet as they have the cleanest inventory and consistency in output.

Another thing to be aware of is that there are a number of 'ad-networks" that lay claim to millions of publishers, billions of impressions, blah blah blah..... ask them if any of the top ad networks back fill into their platform? Ask them if they use any of the top ad networks to distribute their adverts. 9 out of 10 times you'll find that the Admob/Google's of the world are back filling into these platforms and they 'the media owner' lays claim to their numbers and not the 'Actual' statistics of their property - which should be concerning for large Brand as the integrity of that property should be checked.

At the end of the day its not all bad, as your costs in mobile are relatively low and if you spread your budgets across a couple of networks you'll soon realise which are the ones that perform and which are the ones costing you money. Its a relatively new space, with every Tom Dick and Harry trying to "cash-in" on mobile - what will separate the serious contenders from the inexperienced and or fly by nighters will be the performance of your ad spend which needs to be measured against very specific KPI's.

So be aware - be very aware - ask for examples and case studies prior to jumping into any mobile advertising commitments.

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