American Marketer


How to monetize mobile traffic

February 1, 2012


By Scott Swanson

The mobile industry is what social media used to be five years ago: a booming marketplace that forces businesses to either get involved, or get left in their competitor’s dust.

Like Facebook or Twitter, mobile advertising offers enormous monetary potential if you can quickly master the medium and effectively capture the millions of consumers surfing the Web on their mobile devices.

Unlike social media, however, mobile advertising can be expensive if you go it alone.

Skin in the game

Developing a mobile Web site and mobile application can cost around $30,000, let alone the exhaustive man hours it takes to vet ad networks and find the right partner.

In the past, advertisers have been forced to choose between this expensive and time-consuming venture, or else miss out on the thousands of dollars in revenue from visits that are already occurring on their mobile site each day.

Thankfully, the choice to optimize your site for mobile users no longer has to feel like an ultimatum.

Do not have your mobile site up and running yet? No problem. No budget to build a mobile skin? You are not alone.

Three options

Here are three options that allow publishers or brands to monetize their mobile traffic faster than you can say “show me the money”:

1) Onswipe – “SwipeCore” technology

• What it is: a tablet publishing platform that specializes in touch screen feature integration and fluid movements

• Pros: Only takes three minutes to sign up

• Cons: Only a handful of template designs are available, forfeiting control of mobile advertising revenue to Onswipe

• Bottom line: A good option for publishers who want to target tablet users, but will require fitting any Web site into precise template specifications

2) Mobify Studio

• What it is: a set of design tools and templates that optimize select content from your desktop site.

• Pros: Integrated CMS allows for “plug and play” usability. Also boasts a popular mobile commerce offering, Mobify Enterprise

• Cons: Either pay fees for mobilizing, or forfeit advertising rights

• Bottom line: If you are looking to build out an ecommerce platform, this may be for you. An experienced CSS designer can have a mobile site up and running in hours

3) Mobile Theory – “Overpass” technology:

• What it is: a proprietary technology that enables mobile advertising on any desktop W eb sites

• Pros: No backend work necessary, just copy/paste code onto your site and begin monetizing your mobile traffic

• Cons: Mobile-specific Web site not developed

• Bottom line: A fast option for brands or publishers, Overpass delivers a quality experience for ad revenue.

Scott Swanson is CEO of Mobile Theory, New York. Reach him at