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Mobile Matters

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How SMBs Can Leverage In-App Mobile Advertising

by: | April 19, 2012

Advertisers across the U.S. are on pace to spend more than $1.8 billion on mobile ads in 2012, up from $743 million just two years ago, according to a recent eMarketer forecast. The increase in mobile ad budgets coincides with a shift in how marketers are leveraging the mobile opportunity: Spending on in-app banners and rich media ads is set to eclipse spending on messaging-based promotions for the first time this year, and eMarketer anticipates that messaging campaigns will account for just 14.4 percent of mobile spending as soon as 2015.

The benefits of advertising inside mobile applications are clear. It’s a more organic and engaging experience for consumers, giving them the opportunity to interact with brands within the context of their favorite app or game instead of shuttling them to the mobile browser. But small businesses have historically been shut out of the in-app advertising opportunity: For example, Apple reportedly charges a minimum of $100,000 to roll out interactive ads across its iAd platform—and needless to say, most SMBs don’t have that kind of cash to throw around.

Another problem: Most in-app campaigns bill advertisers on a cost-per-click basis, and the harsh reality is that many clicks are accidental, not intentional. A Harris Interactive survey published in late 2010 indicates that 47 percent of users click or tap on mobile ads more often by mistake than they do on purpose, a number that rises to 61 percent of consumers between the ages of 18 and 34—also the demographic that reports the highest level of app usage. Small businesses simply can’t squander their cash paying for ads that consumers never meant to click in the first place.

What makes Pontiflex’s new AdLeads self-service platform intriguing is that it forgoes the per-click model in favor of billing businesses only when consumers sign up for their ad.

The signup model benefits both consumers and advertisers, leveraging in-app formats to guarantee consumers a more contextually relevant experience while ensuring businesses get the most bang for their buck. With AdLeads signup ads, customers share their names, email addresses, social networking handles or phone numbers, giving over information solely on an opt-in basis; advertisers can send a follow-up thank you email in real time and continue to engage existing and prospective customers through their preferred channels. Cost-per-signup ranges from 50 cents to $15 per customer, depending on the geo-targeting features and the number of contact fields the advertiser selects.

While signup interactions are AdLeads’ marquee attraction, the platform also offers geo-targeting tools enabling advertisers to reach consumers both locally and worldwide (complete with native language translation for international users), ad creation, and preview tools for building campaigns optimized for iPhone and Android devices, as well as web-based campaign analytics.

AdLeads may not be the right fit for your small business—you’ll have to decide that for yourself. But its approach promises to level the playing field, enabling startups to roll out the kinds of interactive mobile campaigns typically limited to national brands. And leveling the playing field is what mobile advertising is all about.Marketing Zeus

Posted in: B2C, Banner/Display, Campaign Development, E-Commerce, Geolocation, Mobile Advertising, Mobile Development, Mobile Matters, Paid Search (PPC), SMS

About the Writer:

Jason Ankeny is the executive editor of the FierceMobileContent and FierceDeveloper e-newsletters as well as a regular contributor to Entrepreneur magazine and the website All Music Guide. Additional credits include efforts for publications including Rolling Stone, Wax Poetics and No Depression, along with liner notes for a number of album releases. He lives in Chicago.

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