Mobile ads work. Bottom line: mobile ads represent the cut-to-the-chase of browser-view advertising. When I surf on my mobile I am typically at most most “in a hurry” ever. I am at my least patient, and most willing to click on an ad if I believe that ad will lead me to the promised land.
Take any aspect of current online advertising, and extrapolate it to the state-of-the-art edge of performance, and you have the current/pending opportunity for mobile ads:
- I have no patience for graphic bloat: show me a big graphic on my mobile and I surf away before it can load completely. Not only don’t I have the time to wait, but I get annoyed that some designer thought it prudent to attempt to load al that bloat onto my device. Do that on a page said to be specific to mobile devices, and I’ll never come back.I’m all for you guys creating a research lab to solve the “how to serve rich media to mobile devices” but don’t run your tests on my device. Ever.
- text link ads work: short, to-the-point contextual ad links are efficient and confidence building. they help me find what I need fast.
- targeted is best: If I am surfing the Enduro page of the BMW motorcycle website on my HTC Kaiser phone, I’m not interested in ringtones for a Motorola phone. Even if I am surfing WasteSomeTimeNow.com, I am still not interested in ringtones, okay? Targeted ads are best on the wbe, but targeted ads may be the only acceptable ads for the mobile web. And if you don’t know what targeted means, hire a statistician and run tests to figure it out. The chances of me experiencing your test should be very, very small, ok? With good design, you shouldn’t have those worries.
- shortest path to endpoint is best: if you know I am interested in a local Thai restaurant, give me the phone number in the ad. Make it clickable if you need to count your conversion, but the click should help me on my way cause you should know that all I want to do is call for a reservation or check availability or get directions…. answer that… that’s your job. Get paid by the restaurant. Yeah… paid inclusion. We’re not talking about Google search engine, we’re talking mobile. Do whatever it takes to drive customers… show me testimonials, show me what Zagat says, show me the specials…. convert me. And get paid.
I think what I am saying is, this mobile web thing is commercial opportunity first, likely followed by free unlimited surfing of the World Wild Web someday, but not necessarily for the masses. It could be TheCommercialWeb. Done well the Yellow Pages could be all I need on my mobile device. If the MobileYellowPages got to the 80% mark, where they did 80% of the job well, I’d accept that I had to pay more to surf the www. Think AOL… but this time, it could work. Lock me in, put everthing you already know about effective win-win advertising to work on a closed-comunity mobile device browser, and make money. Now.
Wait much longer, and everyone and his brother will expect to be able to surf the open web at desktop speeds, on a 3 inch browser, and if they see ads in the way they will complain. I call that
LiveSearchMobile Yahoo GO! a missed opportunity.