American Marketer


Mobile vs. online ad campaigns: Leveraging differences

April 6, 2011


inbar-chapBy Inbar Chap

The vast new profit streams of the mobile world can become an important opportunity for direct response advertisers.

The creation of successful mobile campaigns requires a combination of the knowledge that has already been accumulated in the world of result-based online marketing together with a thorough understanding of the differences, limitations and options provided by the mobile platform.

Here are some issues to consider:

Early stage

Result-based marketers have only recently begun to expand into the relatively undeveloped mobile realm.

The scale is much smaller than online, and there is little data available regarding the why’s and how’s of campaign success.

There are few reliable measurement technologies – including only limited tracking – and CPA/CPL pricing methods are rarely employed.

The situation is similar to the early days of online advertising a decade ago when tracking results and ROI were new and unfamiliar concepts.

However, as happened with online advertising, mobile is developing into a profitable channel, based on the principles of measurement and accountability.

Unique considerations

Unlike the online environment, mobile presents an ecosystem which consists of a mix of device types and wireless carriers, creating a greater challenge for mobile marketers.

To optimize their campaigns and achieve maximum ROI, direct response advertisers need to focus on these diverse parameters, ensuring optimal campaign delivery through the addition of multi-parameter optimization layers.

Controlling ROI through technology

Measurement is possible in mobile advertising, but is still at an early stage and can be found on only a few network platforms.

Even pixel implementation, a standard method for measuring results in online advertising, is not easy to integrate into mobile platforms.

However, new solutions enable the management of mobile metrics in ways similar to those used in the online environment:

Conversion tracking enables a view of the entire campaign value chain as well as all aspects of the process, helping to achieve control and ROI in mobile campaigns.

Unified reporting consolidates campaign data into a single, unified report, including real-time knowledge of specified creative or landing page and the publisher’s performance.

Customizing the creative

Mobile marketing requires: (1) matching the creative to the device’s smaller screen size; (2) designing messages for creative and landing pages that are short, instantly understood and effective; (3) creating a call-for-action with minimum steps and a simple registration form; and (4) selecting correct ad formats.

Pricing models

While online advertising provides multiple pricing options – including CPA, CPM, CPC, dCPM and hybrid – mobile advertising options are decidedly more limited.

The low/no-risk CPA and CPL are still relatively rare.

While this is another illustration of the still-early stage of mobile, in the final analysis, these are only pricing models for buying media.

What is of more importance is the fact that results can be effectively measured and high ROI can be achieved, even with mobile’s limited range of pricing models.

Maximizing limited traffic

Mobile has both fewer advertisers and more limited traffic.

Most publishers have not yet completely transitioned to using a separate or integrated ad server that is focused on today’s mobile user.

Also, many publishers have not yet incorporated technology to track and properly deliver content to mobile users and, therefore, offer only limited exposure for advertisers.

However, volumes can be maximized by supporting WAP, smartphones and a wide range of devices.

BY ENHANCING existing online skills with an understanding of online/mobile differences, advertisers can effectively create new channels of profitability and expand their reach into the mobile realm.

Visibility and control achieved over the entire mobile campaign will allow selection of the best media source and creative for each campaign, enable the right choices and help to rapidly achieve ROI goals.

Inbar Chap is co-CEO of DSNR Media Group, Ra’anana, Israel. Reach her at