15 Mobile Advertising Advantages and Disadvantages

Mobile advertising has become a billion-dollar industry. Almost 4 billion people are using a mobile device somewhere in the world at least once per day and that figure continues to rise. That means you can reach up to half of the world’s population, at any given time, with a well-placed mobile advertisement.

To ensure the best possible experience, companies considering a mobile advertising campaign must evaluate demographic preferences, consumer wants and needs, and carrier costs to determine if it makes sense to invest into this type of advertising.

It is also important to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages which are associated with mobile advertising.

List of the Advantages of Mobile Advertising

1. It reaches people in real-time situations.

Mobile devices are carried by their owners almost everywhere they go. Many users will have their mobile devices active even when they are at home. You can contact people through multiple mobile devices if they are in your targeted demographic. The average person in the United States spends more than 3 hours per day on their preferred mobile device. Advertising through mobile gets your message heard.

2. It requires less content to be effective.

Mobile advertising can be effective with a simple headline and 1-2 lines of follow-up text. It is advertising that is based on images and first impressions more than a complex value proposition. You are creating something that makes the mobile user want to investigate. For many companies, the costs involved in creating this content are much less than video marketing, generalized content marketing, or social media marketing.

3. It creates instantaneous user responses.

When mobile advertising reaches the correct demographic, 90% of consumers with a smartphone are able to recall a mobile web advertisement that they saw even a week after they had seen it. Although in-app advertising is lower, the recall rate is still at 86%. The engagement rates are much higher for mobile advertising as well, with 11% clicking on an ad and 8% going to the website of the brand after seeing the advertisement.

4. It places advertising content where people happen to be.

According to information released by eMarketer, in-app activities account for 89.2% of adult smartphone usage time in the United States. For tablets, in-app use accounts for 76.8% of usage time. You must be engaged in some type of mobile advertising to get your message to these people. Although mobile web engagement rates are a little higher, the average person will spend just 16 minutes each day using the mobile web. The remainder of the time is with an app.

5. It creates content that can be shareable.

Mobile advertising does more than encourage a click or try to get a user to remember a website or phone number. It also creates content that is easy to share across social media platforms. This type of advertising helps brand ambassadors extend your message to other networks that may not always engage with the goods or services you provide. With the right message and a little luck, your advertisement may even go viral.

6. It creates data that can be instantly tracked.

The content offered in mobile advertising is designed to create interaction opportunities. When a campaign is released, the responses from users can be tracked instantly. You can see what is working with your ads, what is not working, and make immediate adjustments if you see users in your targeted demographics not responding as anticipated. Over time, this advantage allows you to fine-tune a mobile advertising campaign, so that it is able to provide your company with long-term results.

7. It gives you access to mobile payments for instant transactions.

Mobile advertising creates the modern equivalent of an impulse purchase. When you stand in line at the grocery store, what do you see? Candy bars, gum, sodas, water, and reading material. These are all items designed to engage a purchase because you’re bored, waiting for someone to scan your purchases. Mobile advertising does the same thing. Consumers use their smartphones as a form of entertainment. Boredom creates interest in something new. That is why engagement rates are so high with this option. Your advertisement is able to fulfill a consumer need.

8. It can be used in multiple ways.

Mobile advertising doesn’t always need to be about selling goods or services. You can also use it to ask for feedback about how you are doing. Consumer surveys, reviews, and other feedback options can be completed in real-time, allowing you to see how someone is thinking or feeling about your message at any given moment. That gives you more opportunities to solve problems for people before they spiral out of control and become negative PR for your company.

List of the Disadvantages of Mobile Advertising

1. It creates advertising that people hate.

Mobile advertising is an interruptive form of advertising. It allows you to create a message that will be remembered, which can be an advantage. It turns into a disadvantage when you create frustration for the user by interrupting their mobile experience in some way. HubSpot reports that 70% of people who regularly use a mobile device dislike seeing mobile advertising. Mobile ad-blocking apps have increased in popularity by more than 90%. That combination means you must be specific with your targets with advertising, or you could be wasting your money.

2. It needs to be perfect the first time around.

Real-time reactions can create positive interactions between users and brands. That means if your message is imperfect in some way, the negative first impression that is made is one that will matter. Your content needs to be error-free. Your ad size should be vertical to get the best result. Page position also matters. The most viewable position for mobile advertising is right above the fold instead of at the top of the page.

3. It may force some users to make assumptions about your company.

Because there is less content involved with a mobile advertisement, you’re relying on a click or a visit to your website to get the full message sent to a consumer. You’re forced into a position where consumers must see your advertisement, then make assumptions about who you are and the value proposition that is being offered. This creates opportunities for your message to be heard in an unintended way, which may drive some of your targeted demographic away from your business and into the hands of the competition.

4. It does not have a standard display option to use.

Although advertising providers will do their best to display mobile ads in the way your company submits them, there is no guarantee that users will see them as intended. Phones come in various shapes and sizes. Multiple generations of equipment are being used. Take the iPhone, for example. The iPhone 4 series still produces more than 3% of global web traffic, according to Apple Insider, despite several new series being introduced. How your ad looks in different browsers or apps may change for users as well.

5. It feels like a telemarketing call.

Remember those phone calls you’d get at dinner time trying to sell you something? That’s what mobile ads do for users throughout their day. Even when consumers have opted-in to receive marketing messages from you, there is no guarantee that they will continue wanting your messages. Even if you automate your entire process and allow your ads to generate results on their own, there is no guarantee for success with an investment into this advertising option.

6. It may create navigational difficulties for some users.

About 80% of the phones owned in the United States are smartphones. That means 20% of users are using standard cell phones to meet their mobile needs. Even when touchscreen capabilities are present, there may be navigation issues to consider when designing a mobile add. Some advertisements may not gain an interaction, even if the user is interested, because it is too difficult for them to access it.

7. It costs the user something to receive your advertisement.

This is the primary disadvantage to mobile advertising that should not be forgotten. Even though we live in an era of unlimited data, SMS, and MMS, not every consumer uses an unlimited plan. There are standard data and texting charges which may apply to some accounts. If you’re sending a barrage of advertising messages that are being charged $0.10 per item to the user, then you’re not going to create positive vibes with the consumer. We must remember that people are paying to see the messages that are being offered to them, in one way or another, and respect that fact.

These mobile advertising advantages and disadvantages indicate that businesses cannot ignore this potential market. More than half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. The share of e-commerce traffic from mobile devices continues to rise each year. People are spending more time with their devices than ever before. With a targeted campaign to well-researched demographics, this is an investment which makes sense.