One of the iPhone’s original selling points was that it offered you the full Web, not just the mobile Web. This is true for most smartphone owners. But smartphones still represent under half of all U.S. mobile phones—although the share is rising steadily—and older models do not handle the Web as fluently. Even on smartphones, small screens and other interface limitations mean the standard Internet is not an optimal marketing tool.
Mobile Web marketing is more effective when it is conducted through sites that are optimized to display and interact perfectly on mobile devices. Interactive elements like forms and menus must be crafted to display properly and respond effectively to touchscreen input. If you’re going to spend significant resources on a mobile advertising campaign that sends prospects to your website—or on QR Codes that you expect users to scan with their mobile phones—you should make sure those links go to mobile-optimized landing pages.
Search and Display Ads
There are many opportunities for display advertising throughout the mobile universe. Apple, Google and Millennial Media (the three largest providers of mobile ad space) have sold mobile display ads for years. According to International Data Corp., the combined U.S. mobile advertising market was $2.1 billion in 2011, split mostly between mobile search ads and mobile Web display ads (banners or short videos that display while users surf the mobile Web). Beyond the mobile Web, there is also ample room for display ads in other companies’ apps, games and other native mobile functions.
One of the benefits of mobile display ads is that they can be highly targeted based on context, including location, device and content being browsed. However, according to Millennial Media’s November 2011 SMART Report, only 42 percent of mobile advertising is targeted, and 56 percent delivers clickthroughs to the main brand site. The tools are in place for much more targeted marketing, but many companies are not taking advantage.