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Trends_in_Mobile_ Advertising

Trends in Mobile Advertising

According to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends, the mobile ad industry is growing at a rate of 34 percent year over year while desktop digital advertising is growing at 11 percent. In 2015, Americans spent nearly three hours on the mobile Web versus about 20 minutes in 2008.

Mobile is fast becoming the big kahuna in the digital advertising space and, while the future is anybody’s guess, here are several educated ones with respect to what is on the horizon for mobile advertising.

Filming “vertically” for smartphones

Twenty-nine percent of people’s daily screen time is now spent looking at smartphone screens. This fact is initiating a migration from video that is filmed in a horizontal perspective to video that is created to cater to a smartphone screen’s natural vertical orientation.

Otherwise known as “shooting vertical,” Snapchat is actively encouraging marketers to rethink how their video content appears to smartphone users.

Snapchat says that the best-performing shows and ads are the ones that are filmed with a vertical perspective. In fact, ads that are filmed “vertically” are viewed in their entirety nine times more often than ads filmed with a horizontal perspective. In other words, wide-angle landscape video does not provide the best user experience on a smartphone because it forces users to (constantly) turn their phones horizontally to achieve the best viewing experience.

In-app advertising

Consumers in the US now spend more time within mobile apps than they do on the mobile Web according to Flurry Analytics. And research by eMarketer projects in-app spending will soon be three-times greater than ad spending on the mobile Web itself.

Recently, global video advertising platform Teads launched a new feature that enables brands to include outstream (i.e., display) video within an app’s content, which is a first within the video ad industry.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Today there are smart watches, houses, wristbands, wallets, TVs, cars. Tomorrow, just how many inanimate objects will become “smart,” weaving technology into our lives—and to the Web—in useful, meaningful, and seamless ways?

Livestreaming video apps

Mobile users now have the capability to start sharing live broadcasts of their surroundings thanks to Meerkat and Periscope, the two platforms out front in mobile livestream video experiences (all video is broadcast in a vertical perspective).


Electronic commerce, or e-commerce, is the process of buying and selling goods, products, and services over electronic systems such as the Internet, the phone, and with e-mail.

Mobile commerce, or m-commerce, is the process of buying and selling products and services over the Internet via wireless handheld devices such as smartphones or tablets. Though still in its infancy, m-commerce is projected to reach 33 percent of all e-commerce sales in the US, and 40 percent globally, by the end of 2015 (Criteo).

Mobile ads

There are several new styles of advertising from which to choose:

Pinterest’s Cinematic Pin

Cinematic Pins offer advertisers a “promoted” way to reach consumers based upon consumer interests. Unlike the motion-based ads on either Facebook or Twitter, Cinematic Pins are seen in motion as the user scrolls but the motion stops when the scrolling stops.

Vessel’s 5-second video ads

Designed from the ground up for mobile devices, the main content feed is filled with video content from publishers, musicians, and Web video creators, algorithmically personalized to suit personal taste. Every seven panels you swipe through, the app serves up a “motion poster,” a custom ad unit created by Vessel.

Facebook’s Carousel Ad

This type of ad allows marketers to show multiple images and links in a single ad.

Google’s call-only ad

According to Google, 70 percent of people performing search via mobile will call a business directly from search results. Call-only ads are designed to make it easier for people to contact your business by displaying your phone number in bold type at the top of the ad space and by incorporating a prominent call button within the ad.

Google’s local inventory ad

This style of ad allows shoppers to view in-store inventory of a product based on their Google mobile search, potentially turning them into in-store customers.

Mobile ad spend

Ad dollars spent on mobile is surpassing ad spend on desktop. By 2019, it’s estimated that mobile ad spending will make up nearly 70 percent of the total US digital ad spend.

Mobile devices

The number of owned mobile devices—in the neighborhood of 7.5 billion (2015) and growing—has now eclipsed the human population of earth; currently, the mobile-device count is growing at a rate seven times faster than our human population according to The Mobile Majority.

Mobile games

Mobile games offer marketers a platform that is immersive from a user perspective and that translates to higher CTRs and conversions.

The average amount of time spent by users within a mobile game is two hours according to VentureBeat. That equates to users spending more time in games, today, than either listening to music or spending their time on social media channels.

Mobile Internet

Mobile Internet is growing faster than Internet usage in general. There are 2.8 billion Internet users, up 8 percent from 2014, and 2.1 billion mobile Internet users, an increase of 23 percent over that same timeframe.

Mobile native ads

Native advertising is fast becoming ubiquitous within the industry and native is making its way onto mobile platforms, too. Like other native media channels, mobile native ads are designed to blend into the look and the feel of a publisher’s app or mobile site as if the ad were a part of the publisher’s original content.

Because native ads tend to offer higher levels of engagement over traditional banner ads, expect revenue in this relatively new category to increase.

Mobile native apps

Developing mobile-friendly websites is already an industry best practice for any brand but bear in mind that the mobile world includes more than just Web experiences.

Mobile websites do the heavy lifting when it comes to introducing a customer to a brand, but native mobile apps engage consumers who are closer to buying or who have made at least one purchase and who are now returning to immerse themselves further in the content and experience of a particular brand.
Most significantly, native apps are able to access more than one smart device helping to connect consumers’ physical and digital worlds in useful ways; in the future, more and more inanimate objects will become “smart” making connectivity, or the Internet of Things (IoT), increasingly relevant.

Mobile programmatic ads

Programmatic ads are placed using artificial intelligence (AI) and are classified into either direct or real-time bidding (RTB) categories for the purchasing of online display and/or banner advertising, social media advertising, and mobile and/or video advertising campaigns.

Mobile programmatic ads will play a leading role in helping businesses connect more effectively with consumers: the information that marketers can now glean through client log-in data, app SDKs, mobile Web behavioral data and geolocation are offering brands a clearer picture of consumer interest.

Mobile video

According to Business Insider, Mobile is growing faster than all other digital advertising channels in the US. One mobile format in particular is set to skyrocket with respect to ad revenues: video advertising will top $4.4 billion by 2013—a 73 percent increase from 2013 levels.

According to VentureBeat, brands are discovering that video formats are a highly effective way to both engage users and create stronger ties to a brand’s ethos. In fact, Supersonic reports that its clients see CTRs in the range of 20 percent to 35 percent via mobile video ads.

Mobile wearables

Smart watches and wristbands—wearables—help to make life on-the-go useful and entertaining. Snapping streamlined and sensory technologies onto your person helps keep time, physical vitals, personal contacts, and daily reminders even closer than within arm’s reach.

Mobile UX

As more and more people rely on mobile devices to access information on the Web, designing user experiences that are engaging, inspiring, helpful and just plain useful will be the barrier to entry for any brand. Good—if not great—online mobile experiences will be expected by customers and potential customers everywhere.

Motion poster

Created by Vessel, a Web-video platform, motion posters fall somewhere between still image and video, with either subtle or prominent animation elements depending on the ad.

People-based marketing

In the not-too-distant future, it is estimated that there will be ten devices for every person on the planet and this is causing a shift in the way brands approach consumers. In other words, technology gives customers leverage and brands are adjusting their messaging to start conversations and build relationships with their customers, investing more time to become useful and to better understand the needs and wants of consumers instead of simply focusing on selling.

Rich media

Rich media ads offer users interactivity and entertainment—a sense of play and discovery—as well as more ownership and control over the messaging. Because of this, brands leveraging rich media are realizing higher CTRs than the average CTR of standard online banner ads.

According to research from MediaMind, rich media ads increase by threefold the chances that consumers will visit a brand’s website; if rich media and video are both used, consumers are six times more likely to visit a brand’s website compared with the conversion rates of traditional online ads.


This phenomenon is the practice of examining merchandise or products in a store and then making a purchase online at a potentially lower price. “Showrooming,” according to Google, essentially turns brick and mortar stores into showrooms.


Tablet owners love making purchases from their devices, leading to the birth of a new catchphrase: “t-commerce.”

According to data released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), more than 70 percent of tablet owners use their tablets to make purchases every week. Additionally, the average amount of time people spend shopping online per week is 4.4 hours on tablets compared with 2.2 hours on smartphones and 2.9 hours spent via desktops or laptops.


The word “viewability” is peppering conversations about mobile advertising and ROI these days. In other words, how can advertisers guarantee that their ad was actually seen by a human?


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