Smartphones are used constantly all day long and are one of the most impactful devices we use in daily life. The availability of a variety of wireless communication technologies on mobile devices, such as mobile communication (4G), WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network, where Wi-Fi is the most popular), and WPAN (Wireless Personal Area Network, where Bluetooth is dominant), are all included in smartphones, giving users easy access to online information and mobile commerce.
Current marketing trends indicate that mobile channels have become the leading platform for advertising, promotional campaigns and customer engagement. According to a report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) mobile advertising revenue reached near $32 billion in 2014 worldwide. Mobile display ads topped the growth at 88 percent and overtook mobile search as the dominant mobile ad segment. Clearly, brands have taken attention and have been increasingly identifying mobile as a key to mobile commerce and more effective marketing.
Digital advertising, which most often combines multiple online and offline channels such as mobile, web, online social media, TV, and more, is perpetually experimental. In order to assess the results of a meaningful campaign (i.e. an experiment), brands define goals and need to measure outcomes. Ad blocking apps interfere with the ability to push deals or promotions, engage, build brand awareness, conduct commerce, inform, and more. No wonder ad blockers are a nightmare to marketing professionals and advertisers. Ad blockers allow users the option to turn off pop-up ads and banners on their smartphones and tablets, creating a new conversation for advertising on mobile platforms. With the recent launch of Apple’s mobile operating system iOS 9, ad blocking apps can be used. In fact, for the last few days, iPhone users have been downloading these apps, making them the top App Store downloads. There are also new ad-block options for Android smartphones and 16 percent of Firefox users on Android devices had used ad block from within their mobile browsers.
Obviously, the concept of ad blocking came about as a way to avoid current advertising models. New models will surely sprang, where some frameworks will focus on overcoming the blocking apps and others might prevent native ads from being blocked.
Social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have already begun to design models beyond pop-ups and banners. For example, Instagram and Twitter trickle sponsored posts that appear organically in feeds along with the users’ initiated content posts. Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook have presented the ‘buy’ button concept, where ads that appear as regular posts take buyers to an advertiser’s website right after the first click (i.e. purchase). This model ‘encourages’ the user to have a seamless and easy access to additional purchases.
According to a study by PageFair and Adobe, mobile ad block usage in the U.S. grew 48 percent from June 2014 to June 2015 and today includes 45 million monthly active users. Worldwide, the number of ad blocking active users is 198 million.
Time will tell: In the next few months, publishers and advertisers are likely to come up with new ideas and workarounds to address ad block pressing issue.
If mobile online ads are no longer a marketing campaign solution, what would the future of mobile advertising hold?
1. The FairPage/Adobe combined report examines global impact of ad blocking in 2015. It includes geographic information, providing per-country and per-state results on ad block usage rates, monthly active user counts, as well as estimates of the total cost to publishers in many regions.
2. The GMIC Silicon Valley conference will be held in San Francisco on September 28 – 30. GMIC SV focuses on the global mobile ecosystem. Thought leaders will presentation on the industry’s hottest topics. GMIC SV has become Silicon Valley’s largest mobile conference, drawing thousands of mobile leaders from over 60 countries.
More information and registration are at http://sv.thegmic.com