Wed Nov, 2011 by Derek Mehraban
Metrics for the 2011 Q3 about mobile advertising are out and the news is not good. The clickthrough rate for most mobile ads is about 18%, which is a 1% drop from the Q2 numbers. Many say this fits the trend because the summer months are slower than usual months. However, the 19% number from Q2 is still a problem. Numbers that low mean developers of mobile apps are not receiving as much income as they hoped and this low number might chill future developments.
Windows based smartphones had the highest clickthrough rates of any OS. BlackBerry came in second with iOS and Android rounding out the bottom of the chart. This can be explained because the more common platforms have the highest amount of inventories for ads and hence the odds of them being clicked is higher.
The advice for the digital agency is to increase some targeting towards the least common platforms, especially Windows because its user base is growing. Eventually the clickthrough rates will stabilize, but until then it seems to make sense to target where the results are. The data also has some other advice for digital advertisers.
Ads that have rich media are better performing than those ads without rich media. Users want to be entertained and ads that strive to do so are rewarded. The best indicator of an ad’s success, though, is if it targets based upon the user’s location. Providing the mobile user with ads to nearby products is important. It is so important, in fact, that the ability of ads to generate business without this specialization is increasingly called into question. Even though the industry standard is 18%, there are some ad servers that can claim an 84% clickthrough rate. The data does not reveal which servers these are, but what they do to differentiate themselves is an easy guess.
There are plenty of options for the digital marketing agency and choosing the best ad server is important. The higher rates will come with a higher cost, but it may very well be worth it. An 18% clickthrough rate is not even a conversion number, which falls well below the 18% number. Unless the price is rock bottom it seems certain that is a money-losing venture.