Mobile Advertising is Ever Evolving

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Mobile Advertising is Ever Evolving

By Jim Machi, SVP of Product Management and Marketing  |  January 16, 2017

Given that more than 50 percent of consumers are accessing the Internet via mobile devices now, it stands to reason that the Internet model of advertising would come to mobile access. After all, websites are now designed specifically for mobile devices in addition to desktop, so why wouldn’t desktop internet models of making money also apply? That is, seeing ads pop up on your browser screen after you’ve done a search. 

I have noticed in 2016 more mobile ads than I’ve noticed in the past. But the ads you see on mobile are clearly different than the ones you see on your desktop. As an example, I typically go look at the New York Giants website once a week during the football season.  When I went to the site in October on my wired connection, I saw ads about Toyota and Verizon (News - Alert). When I accessed the same website within minutes of that using my smartphone, I saw a banner ad about Aquafina. The ad was more interactive, as it was a banner that changed a couple of times. This simple example is repeated countless times on many websites across the globe. 

In fact, according to eMarketer, during 2016, global mobile advertising market will surpass $100 billion in spending and account for more than 50 percent of all digital ad expenditure for the first time. This makes sense to me given that more than 50 percent of all internet access is via a mobile device. But the screens are smaller and so the ads are somewhat different. What kinds of mobile ads are there?

First and foremost, there are location-based type ads that might be in text, MMS, or some kind of rich media format. Your smartphone knows where you are, so the service provider knows where you are, and so it’s a marketing ad marriage made in heaven. Clearly, certain businesses would love to take advantage of where you are and propose some kind of special to you if you are near them – like a special on coffee from a coffee shop. It would be nice to get this if the ad provider knew I liked coffee, and it would be super annoying if I didn’t drink coffee. Dialogic (News - Alert) has had some of our customers using our PowerMedia XMS software-based media server, deploy these location-based advertisements to the benefit of the enterprise putting out these advertisements.

Another type of ad is a video ad. We’ve all seen these – you can’t get to your search until you watch at least five to 10 seconds of an ad. If you don’t know what I mean, go to The Weather Channel. It’s annoying, but I get why these ads exist.

Banner ads are another type of ad. They are somewhat unobtrusive, at least compared to the video ads, though I have accidently clicked on these, which seems to be a more common occurrence than I thought. Retale did a survey in early 2016 that showed 60 percent of all mobile banner ad clicks are accidental. Studies have also shown that mobile banner ads are not terribly effective, simply because people know they are ads so they don’t intentionally click on them.

Pop-up ads are another type of ad. I’ve seen these with games, but I’m sure they are everywhere. In August, Google said it might send less traffic to websites that make use of these types of ads. The blog post said “Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller. To improve the mobile search experience, after Jan. 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.”

You will also encounter native ads. According to the Mobile Marketing Association (News - Alert), “native advertising is distinct from content marketing. Where content marketing aims to match content and format, native advertising, at least on mobile devices, is primarily an ad format that matches the style of the site or app where it serves.” In other words, it looks like what you are typically used to seeing. I see a lot of these native ads on Twitter (News - Alert) for instance, since I’m using Twitter for work quite a bit. 

And finally, we might see voice enter to fray. Voice ads have potential. These are ads we can talk to, and will respond with more questions to help us find what we’re looking for. This concept first came out in 2013, but I haven’t seen much of it. After all, we’re getting used to talking to the internet – see Siri or Cortana – so why not have the internet talk back to us?

With the increase in mobile ads, I’m sure there will be an increase in smartphone ad block adoption. It’s happened with the desktop, so I’m sure it’ll happen with the smartphone, although, it doesn’t seem like that has happened on a big scale in the U.S. yet. 

Jim Machi is SVP of Product Management and Marketing at Dialogic Inc. (

Edited by Alicia Young