American Marketer


Why you should buy mobile advertising in Q4

September 13, 2012


By Parag Vaish

The fourth quarter of the calendar year has always been a busy time for advertising. With Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year all in Q4, it is no wonder why this quarter has always seen the busiest advertising activity of the year.

However, this fourth quarter is particularly special for mobile advertising.

There are a bunch of landmark devices coming to market in this window.

To start, the iPhone 5 makes its much awaited appearance. This is the biggest device launch in Appleā€™s history.

The Amazon Kindle has just been announced with bells and whistles such as HD, Dolby audio, and varying screen sizes. One of the most pronounced differences with the Kindle announcement this year is the role advertising plays on the device, with an opt-out option which remains to be seen how many users will buy their way out of ads.

The first few days following the acquisition of a new device is when there is a notable increase in the volume of downloads and content consumption, as users enjoy getting familiar with their device. This is the window I am suggesting marketers seize so they can see higher than average engagement rates with their advertising creative.

While the holidays are about family, friends, food and gifts, another fact of the holidays is lots of time in lines. Consumers have found outlets to the long lines in their smartphones where they can catch up on email, news, and seek out deals on holiday gifts.

Users could be clicking on ads that they may have never normally considered, simply because they are just trying to make the most of their down time.

And, let's not forget that barcode readers on smartphones are going to be encouraging people to buy from their phones, seek more information and hunt for the best deals. Consumers are going to be buying more using their devices.

As an example, eBay is on track to make $10 billion in mobile revenue in 2012.

The Presidential election is another draw in the fourth quarter favoring news organizations, like NBC News. When the public wants to know the latest on the election, they are going to turn to their smartphones for information. This is another main event for mobile advertisers to focus on in this quarter.

In short, the election, tech product launches, and the holidays create the perfect alignment for mobile advertising which advertisers should not miss.

Parag Vaish is director of product management and marketing at NBC News Digital, Redmond, WA. Reach him at