1nativeAlthough the percentage of mobile adblocking is still considered being quite low, compared to adblocking on desktops where almost every fourth computer is denying advertising, the next generation of mobile browsers should be based on the "Coalition for Better Ads" and try to block particularly disturbing advertising materials. Although, with pre-installed browsers including blocking functions, we could get the impression that the end of mobile advertising is near.

In-app advertising as a way out

Depending on the market survey, mobile users are said to spend only 10-20% of their time on the mobile web, since they are using apps as well for their known benefits: Together with the installation, apps usually ask for permission to send advertisement and to use GPS localization. As a result, it is not only possible to deliver advertising material within apps to target groups, but also drive-to-store mechanisms. The advertising material is then not just based on geo-targeting (because users are addressed according to their location within the radius of business X or restaurant Y), users can also click to get navigated to the nearest shop or dealer - what they perceive in case of need as added value.

Keeping an eye on the quality of targeting

The same scenario wouldn’t work so well on the mobile Internet, because users aren’t equally willing to receive ads or grant access to their GPS data, especially if the advantages of an app - such as navigation, car-sharing use in the area, weather forecast at the place of residence etc. - are missing. What's more, large portals already started to eliminate annoying advertising, like interstitials, since they can disrupt the user experience. This means for advertisers: 1) position your advertising where immediate and tangible opt-ins are generated; 2) test inventory on the mobile web against placements in apps; 3) do not put more emphasis on intermittent advertising, instead test alternative formats for branding and sales-related KPIs.

Interruption only "on demand"

Currently, the most effective advertising formats that develop their branding and sales impact on the mobile device are expandables, native formats and content ads:

  • Expandables are small format advertising media (about 320 x 50 or 300 x 250 pixels), which only enlarge when there is interaction. They are eye-catching and generally not perceived as too disturbing.
  • By contrast, native formats are optically integrated into the content of an application or platform - therefore, they are credible. They do not disturb users, because a news article, for example, scrolls over the advertising material and the native format stops in the background. Furthermore, they can stage eye-catching imagery - similar to content ads (300 x 250 pixels). Anyone who uses a finger to uncover a virtual scratch pad to secure a voucher for the point-of-interest will perceive the brand stronger through the scratching.
  • No matter if expandable or content ad, creative interaction mechanisms behind this advertising media must be adapted to specific mobile customer segments and the needs of the usage situation. As a result, these formats differ significantly in their mechanism from "desktop ads".  For example, as part of a campaign, McDonald's measured the swipe rate. An FMCG manufacturer used a "puzzle completion rate" (the user should assemble a virtual, nine-piece puzzle on the touchscreen) as the measure. The goal is clearly to quantify the degree of user engagement. Interestingly, this not only works for whoppers, but even for low-interest products such as salad oil.

Advertisers should be able to effectively and legally segment their target groups, grab attention and be engaging. So-called verification providers should come into play as well, which prevent advertisers from paying for (wrongly) delivered advertising. Of course, third-party tools help here as well, since companies should not rely solely on the statements of the Demand Side Platform (DSP) or the information provided by the publisher. Verification providers give advertisers the opportunity to check the number of ads they deliver and only pay for impressions that are not blocked, that are visible, and "brandsafe".

Despite these precautions, mobile adblocking will become more prominent in the future. It is therefore in the hands of advertisers to maintain the trust of customers on the most personal gadget – the smartphone - by moderately paying attention to less annoying, perfectly targeted and creative advertising materials. So, be smart, funny, relevant and entertaining when it comes to the creative implementation of your advertising material.

By Daniela La Marca