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Expectations to mobile campaigns becoming realistic

I was delighted to read an article from the Mobile Ad Summit that still heralds mobile marketing as an extremely efficient channel in terms of response rates, but that now seem to provide expectations that are more in line with the truth:

“In certain applications we’re seeing double the response rates we see from online”, says Phil Armstrong, SVP of Digital Media for Bank of America.

This is a far cry from the 7-10% click through rates that have been claimed by many players.  I have been a victim of this myself, when in early 2008 (ages ago, when the market was really nascent), a leading mobile operator based ad network sent me a presentation with case studies with CTRs ranging from 3.6 to 7%. I am sure they achieved this at launch, when there were practically no banners and users clicked out of pure curiosity (or perhaps because the rest of the content on the portal was terrible), but it was in no way representative of the average at the time and just simply set customers up for a fall.  Not a good strategy when you want someone to try a new product.

Needless to say, mobile provides an excellent advertising opportunity due to a higher ability to target and contextualize, and there will hopefully always be less clutter than online. But while I am sure there are a lot of successful campaigns, it makes more sense to try and set realistic expectations than to focus on sky high CTRs which most campaigns simply will not achieve. Unfortunately you still see these types of articles (see for instance here, here or here), and I have recently been a recipient of a pitch from a publisher claiming these types of responses and wanting CPMs at a 50x premium to online.  Needless to say no deal was made, but if they keep selling this to brands that are just getting their feet wet in mobile, the uptake of mobile advertising will be a lot slower than it should be.

Posted in Mobile Marketing.

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