Why the browser should be your mobile marketing focus

The mobile advertising divide: apps vs. the browser

Zach Kubin is the Director of Client Development at Onswipe.

Media planners just love putting apps in their mobile ad buying plans. But  are apps the right focus when it comes to mobile advertising?

With Media2Go WiFi Ads, users get free WiFi and internet browsing in exchange for their brief attention to the ad.

With Media2Go WiFi Ads, users get free WiFi and internet browsing in exchange for their brief attention to the ad.

Apps receive the lion’s share of attention because, on average, smartphone  and tablet users spend more aggregate time with their apps versus their browser.  When you dig deeper into the numbers, however, you find that the most popular  in-app behaviors include activities like gaming, photo sharing, productivity and  social networking.

But when it comes to consuming news and information, touchscreen users  clearly prefer the browser. In fact, according to a 2012 study from the Pew Research Center in association with The  Economist, the percentage of people who mainly use the mobile browser to access  news content jumped from 40 percent in 2011 to 60 percent in 2012. That’s a 50  percent increase in just one year.

So what does the browser-app divide mean for marketers? First, it’s essential  to determine the share of your mobile media plan focused on each. And because  users act differently in apps versus browsers, it is critical to be  laser-focused on the types of ads presented in each environment in order to  encourage and produce the most meaningful action.

Creating Relevant Mobile Ad Experiences

The main goal marketers aspire to achieve is a 1:1:1 relationship with the  consumer – meaning delivering the right ad, in the right context, at the right  time. Known as the “User Need State”, this is difficult to achieve. However,  your chances are better when you have a good understanding of exactly where  users will be more receptive to your message.

To drive relevance, it’s important to understand behaviors taking place in  apps and the browser. Native app games like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope, while  fun to play, aren’t the best place to effectively reach Fortune 500 CEOs. To  reach the appropriate decision maker that will drive a campaign’s success, it is  critical to understand where they’re likely to be more receptive to the  message—will it be browsing news and information on the web or gaming in a  mobile app?

The Pew study goes on to say that 60 percent of tablet users mainly use the  browser to access news, with just 23 percent doing it mostly through apps and 16  percent using both equally. Very few apps beyond Twitter and Flipboard  effectively recreate the web browsing experience that enables these tablet users  to jump around from news to entertainment to sports and politically driven  content. But the reality is that apps like Twitter and Flipboard are geared  toward the power user. We can assume that the everyday person is most likely not  curating their personalized news and information streams in apps, but as Pew  points out, they are consuming the majority of news content mostly in the  browser.

The Future of Mobile Advertising

The mobile ad market is moving fast, and 80% of the top 50 major US adbuyers plan to increase their  mobile ad budget over the next 12-18 months. This presents a healthy challenge  for marketers and media buyers alike to create a new paradigm for online  advertising, with higher consumer engagement and greater results.

As recently as 2009 very few brands were thinking about how to optimize the  mobile browsing experience. The browser was largely ignored because brands were  busy focusing on creating mobile apps instead of optimizing their mobile sites.  And because mobile sites weren’t optimized, traffic wasn’t being driven  there.

Now that companies are paying much closer attention to their mobile web  experience, they have turned to overlaying ads on top of content, creating a  parasitic experience where the ad and content have no relationship to each  other. So the challenge for brand marketers is to find places where the ad and  web experiences are more tightly integrated. Relevant ads need to be created for  specific mobile web experiences in a completely viewable, above the fold  environment that is consistent with the brand.

The balance of power is moving towards the mobile browser as a productive  place for marketers to allocate their ad budgets, so it’s crucial to focus on  creating relevant ad experiences for consumers in the browser environment that  drive results.

The Time is Now

Mobile users prefer the browser because it offers access to all the content  they want, in one place. There is no switching required between different  applications for different pieces of information, as all content they need sits  within a singular browsing experience.

As a result, mobile advertisers will benefit the most from browser-based  opportunities—it’s the best place to reach the fast-growing and lucrative  segment of tablet users.

Read more at http://venturebeat.com/2012/12/31/the-mobile-advertising-divide-apps-vs-the-browser/#95TgcXh4Qtdqx0JM.99

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