Mobile Clicks Are Garbage!

Most mobile advertisement banner clicks are accidental.  The Harris group published a study yesterday saying this.  Surprised?  I’m not!  Has anyone actually clicked a mobile banner on purpose?  Really?  I can’t imagine doing so – the experience is so bad.  I think Shakespeare might have been thinking of mobile banner ads when he quipped “It is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Let’s detail a typical mobile banner click:

  • I am inside an iPhone app, let’s say the New York Times, reading an article.
  • I finish, and tap the screen to reveal the “back to current news” button.
  • Oops!  I fat-finger the banner ad that has appeared on the screen, courtesy of AdMob or the like.
  • Whammo!  My NYT app quits, and up pops the browser, which starts a 30 second load of a landing page where I never intended to go in the first place.
  • I quit the browser before the page loads.
  • I restart the NYT app.
  • I carefully navigate my way from there.
  • AdMob bills the advertiser keeps a nickle and tosses a penny or two to the New York Times.

What is the result of all this?  User ire/frustration and low effective CPMs for mobile publishers.  And to juice revenue, mobile publishers have found they can increase CTR by putting key buttons really close to banners.  Clearly this is a broken model.  Anyone know bounce rates for mobile landing pages?  99.999% is my guess.

What is the solution?  The answer is a seamless ad experience where the user stays within the app.  Pontiflex has that exact product available today.  The app displays an offer list, users select one if it is interesting, enter their email, and the app continues.  Marketers can follow up later via email, and the user is much more inclined to listen to the offer.  I am not at liberty to divulge the effective CPMs of these Pontiflex ads, but publishers are amazed at the checks Pontiflex sends them.

Mobile is an audience ready to engage.  Just don’t try to show them banners and landing pages.  Market to them in a way that works with the constraints of the mobile experience.  Well done Zephrin and Arun at Pontiflex.  Great study, and great new product!

(Scott Johnson – New Atlantic Ventures)

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