How to navigate a mobile ad buy

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Six ways to strengthen your mobile marketing in 2011
Six ways to strengthen your mobile marketing in 2011

Navigating a mobile ad buy can be confusing for even the most astute marketers. Michael Becker, co-author of Mobile Marketing for Dummies and MD at the MMA, answers some common questions.

Q: What should marketers look for in a mobile ad network?

A: Marketers should first determine their strategy regarding mobile marketing, and ask themselvesfour questions: 1) What do I want to accomplish with this? 2) Who am I trying to reach? 3) Which of the eight mobile media paths (SMS, MMS, e-mail, video, content, mobile Internet, proximity channels and applications) am I going to use and why?, and 4) Will a cross-media strategy (placing a congruent advertisement across the mobile, broadband, cable and other media channels) be effective to reach my target audience?

Depending on a marketer's goals, consumer profile, media path usage and the idea of implementing crossmedia solutions, a marketer will find a number of mobile advertising solution providers to fit their campaign needs, e.g., mobile ad network, mobile ad exchange, demand-side platform and mobile media buyer/ seller. When looking for a mobile ad network, marketers must take the results of these variables and find a solution that suits their needs.

Q: What are the most common pricing models?

A: The most common pricing models are sponsorships (marketers run a site and pay a flat fee), cost per impression (CPI) or CPM (per thousand impressions), cost per click (CPC) (meaning how many people actually respond), cost per action (CPA), and DSP-based models.

DSP-based models only charge when the ad is actually required from the client side; therefore, the ad pricing is being created in real time by the client side engagement, which is similar to auction- based advertising on the Web. This structure creates a more dynamic and relevant pricing engagement.

Q: What kinds of measurement should a marketer look for with respect to a mobile execution or campaign?

A: Business objectives, campaign objectives and the eight mobile media paths all determine viable measurements and metrics that are appropriate for a marketer. Depending on a marketer's positioning and goals, different solutions will provide relatively superior results and data parameters to measure them. A marketer needs to be aware of these different objectives and ways they will be interacting with their consumers through and with mobile to best determine what types of measurement needs to be implemented.

Having said that, traditional marketing expertise still applies; for example, consumer intent and brand awareness are still viable measurement guides.

Q: What different kinds of ads should be taken into consideration when planning a campaign?

A: If we define mobile advertising as the paid placement of one's promotional messaging within the eight mobile media paths, then advertising will include messaging,  display, search and audio (e.g., the placement of an ad message within Pandora's mobile real-time audio radio).

Therefore, the marketer must consider whether to use messaging, display, search, audio or a combination of the four when planning a campaign. The Mobile Marketing Association's Advertising Guidelines can help determine which ad format will be the most appropriate.

Finally, a marketer must understand its target audience, type of phone and consumer behavior on mobile.

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