Billions of dollars are spent every year on mobile advertising. The primary benefit of creating a campaign is clear: you can reach up to 3.5 billion mobile users – and that number continues to grow. The primary disadvantage is that a campaign must balance carriers, consumers, and other advertisers in order to have a successful experience.
What are the other pros and cons of mobile advertising? Let’s take a look.
What Are the Pros of Mobile Advertising?
1. You reach people where they happen to be.
Most mobile users carry their devices with them throughout their day. Some users have multiple devices on them. They’re used at work and at home. This means an advertising message is often received by a user just seconds after it has been sent out.
2. Content is generally cheaper to develop.
Because mobile devices have limited viewing areas for users, the amount of content that is required for advertising is often reduced. This is true for both text-based or image-based advertising content.
3. User responses can be tracked almost instantly.
Since mobile advertising is viewed so quickly after it has been sent, a brand and business can begin tracking the effectiveness of that campaign almost immediately. This allows mobile marketers to be able to better understand user behavior, analyze trends quickly, and make necessary changes more rapidly so that the quality of product and service can be improved.
4. Mobile content is frequently shared with others.
Mobile users today often associate the message of a brand and business with themselves. They see the brand as an extension of who they are. This means many mobile advertising campaigns are shared through social media in a positive light, creating the potential to experience the exposure benefits of a message going viral.
5. Mobile users are a very diverse group.
This means a brand and business can reach out to even remote regions of the world today to gain a better brand exposure. It may not generate additional sales immediately, but can create long-term relationships with users that could result in a sale at a future date.
6. Specific demographic groups can be targeted.
Mobile advertising can use current demographic data for users to specifically target certain groups with a brand message. Thanks to geo-location technologies, even location-based advertisements can be distributed from national or international brands to make the message shared feel more personal and meaningful.
7. It’s very easy to focus on your specific niche.
It has grown in popularity tremendously over the last decade, yet most niche categories remain untouched in mobile advertising. Although a pizza shop might no longer find success by just advertising under the general categories of “pizza” or “pizzerias,” they can be more specific [i.e. extra-large pepperoni pizzas] and still be quite successful.
8. Mobile advertising makes it easy to engage individually.
Thanks to micro-blogging and other link-sharing opportunities, brands and business can engage with users on an individualized level like never before. This makes it easier to build relationships and develop brand loyalty over time while also getting to share advertising on a regular basis.
9. Brands and businesses can create all-in-one experiences.
Thanks to mobile pay technologies available today, a mobile user can see an advertisement, click or touch it, and then check out with a purchase in less than a minute. This satisfies the instant gratification need of the consumer and shortens the sales funnel for the business simultaneously.
10. There are multiple methods of advertising available to brands and businesses.
Mobile advertising can be anything from a sponsored tweet to a news feed promotion on Facebook to a direct advertisement sent out to phones that have signed up for SMS text ads. Google even offers a Click-to-Call service where users can click on an advertisement to directly call the business listed. This means you have many more options to bring in results than more traditional forms of advertising tend to offer.
11. New technologies are consistently shifting the mobile advertising experience.
Bluetooth allows mobile advertising to be created when users walk by certain products, hubs, or even doors. That’s just one example of technology changing how mobile advertising works. This type of marketing has only really been around since 2007, so the potential of what the next 10 years could bring is enormous. Now is the time to get in on the ground floor.
What Are the Cons of Mobile Advertising?
1. There are few opportunities to correct errors.
Because mobile advertising is virtually instant in nature, it is difficult to correct an error in the marketing product before it is received by recipients. This means there must be a heightened quality assurance effort to catch and correct potential errors before they are spotted. Yet even with enhanced error-catching efforts, some advertising still makes it out to users in an unintended way and this can harm the brand’s reputation.
2. Less content means more opportunities for user assumptions.
Because every word or image is so important for mobile advertising due to spatial constraints, fewer creatives are used. This means there is a greater chance for the content to be misinterpreted simply because there is less overall information given to the advertisement viewer.
3. There is no generalized standard for a mobile device.
Phones and tablets come in many different shapes and sizes. They can use different operating systems, browsers, and processors. This means knowing how a mobile advertisement is going to look on every device is difficult to accomplish. Creating one campaign that is consistent and responsive across all of these variables can become costly.
4. Even with greater connections, there is still an expectation for privacy.
Mobile users might share more information with others than ever before today, but that doesn’t mean they want an advertiser intruding into that sharing experience. Instead of forcing an advertisement to a mobile user, brands and businesses do better when they seek out permission to send out advertising from each user. This process takes time, even if it is going to be automated, and has no guarantee of success.
5. Navigation can be an issue.
Some mobile users have no ability to navigate on their phone or tablet. This is true even for mobile users that have touchscreens. This means many mobile advertising campaigns wind up having very few responses simply because the effort of interacting with it is too much for the mobile user.
6. A negative experience can be quickly shared as well.
Good experiences can go viral, but so can poor user experiences. If someone tries to check out after clicking on an advertisement and encounters a pricing error or some other issue they perceive to be negative, then that can be spread quickly as well with evidence backing up the claim. Only a few experiences like this shared by mobile users can quickly cause a major headache for a brand and business.
7. The data that is gathered on user behavior can often be misleading.
There is no real way to track why one user will interact with mobile advertising and another user will not. Sometimes a high CTR is simply because there is a larger-than-normal number of accidental clicks that happen. Going all-in for future products based on analytics gathered from a few campaigns can produce surprisingly negative results because there are no real consumer data metrics or standards to follow as of yet.
8. Mobile advertising really is a 24/7 experience.
Many brands and businesses simply do not have the infrastructure necessary to manage the around-the-clock contacts that occur. Some users may turn on their mobile device, get the advertising message, and respond to it outside of what would have traditionally been considered regular business hours. If there is a service issue that occurs with the advertisement interaction and no one is available to assist, then that’s the definition of a lost sale.
9. Many advertisements that are offered on mobile devices are simply ignored.
When people are looking for something specific, they will generally have tunnel vision on that goal. Even if the advertisement would benefit them in some way, they’re still not going to click on it because they don’t actually see it. SMS texts can be deleted, emails sent to spam folders, and push notifications removed.
10. More testing is generally required to determine advertising effectiveness.
Because there is such a lack of room in mobile advertising, one word can make or break the potential an ad has today. This means different phrases, words, and colors must be tested to determine how effective each message happens to be. Although the costs of content development tend to be less, the testing costs are more – and that means many businesses and brands simply ignore the testing altogether, which can make their advertising ineffective.
The pros and cons of mobile advertising show that opportunities are awaiting every brand and business right now. As long as there is a plan in place for the potential negatives that may occur, mobile advertising is generally a positive experience which still allows for a surprising level of growth.