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iPhone not the leading ad platform

Smaato, the mobile ad network optimization company, has joined the club of Millennial Media, Bango and Admob and started publishing statistics. One of the core competencies of advertising networks is the knowledge they have about usage, and luckily the leading players in this field have understood you need to share this type of information (especially if you want to be acquired :).

Out of Smaato’s first metrics report comes the revelation that Symbian is a far better platform to advertise on as far as click throughs are concerned:

If you compares Symbian device owners, which have an index of 161 with iPhone/iPod owners with an index value of 119, it would indicate that advertising to Symbian owners are 35% more effective than on iPhone.

What is interesting to note here, is that owners of Symbian devices are probably a far better representative of the general population than iPhone owners are. This may be perceived as a strong statement, but given that Symbian’s lead promoter, Nokia, does not heavily push the typical geekie/techie segment in their marketing of devices, rather have used Symbian in a wide range of devices from music focused to office focused – and the fact that Symbian has by far the largest market share among smartphone devices, it does have strong implications for marketers.

It should come as no surprise however, that the iPhone is not the only game in town for marketing.  But in now appears, albeit with a limited subset of  data, that spending your marketing money on the iPhone actually gives you a poorer return. Naturally, there is merit to the types of users you may reach on an iPhone, but given an absence of that data, CTR is likely the leading ROI measure yet.

Thanks to Smaato for sharing. More of this please!

Posted in Mobile Marketing.

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2 Responses

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  1. Sam Granleese says

    Hi JT

    Interesting set of data here.. though I think without complete end-to-end data of the mobile experience it is hard to gauge whether CTR is an accurate measure of success in mobile. Certainly this is not true in traditional online marketing.

    Form work I have done in the past 3 months – I have noticed that mobile ads on smaller often handsets get much better CTRs or responses than smartphones – however when the user gets to the mobile site – the time they spend on it is much much less than smartphones like the iphone (see this graphic from a previous blog post of mine here: ).

    Until marketers have large reliable datasets to base their assumptions on – I think it would be wise to apply common sense and traditional usability tests to a lot mobile measurement. However with more companies like Smaato et al releasing data into the public domain this will surely be temporary.

    Thanks for sharing.


  2. jtklepp says

    Thanks for the comments Sam. I totally agree with your viewpoints. I do find it interesting that comparable phones have higher CTR’s and makes you wonder more about the iPhone demographic being skewed, knowing that Symbian represents a more general segment of the population. But as you point out, they also have smaller screen sizes.

    And I totally agree on your viewpoint about numbers and what to trust. There is an interesting debate on Forum Oxford going on right now about this: