Is the Future of Mobile Advertising in Apps?

In Advertising by Matt Chiera

Users spend, on average, 82% of their mobile minutes with apps and 18% with web browsers. There’s no doubt apps are a powerful tool to generate brand engagement. Red Bull has released free games to engage and communicate with customers, Nike’s successful Nike+ app was groundbreaking in its ability to provide a valuable service (provides runners with tracking for distance, pace, time and calories burned with GPS) while increasing brand engagement, Citibank’s app allows users to pay bills and manage finances.

These apps all share a common theme – they build awareness and loyalty to their brand while providing a VALUABLE service to users. App developers are in increasing supply; the future of mobile advertising may be in finding where your brand can create value for users via an app in lieu of traditional mobile advertising.

It’s no secret to advertisers that current display advertising via mobile is ineffective. Typically people see tiny display ads on apps as nuisance. Think about it: when your finger accidentally hits a banner ad and a new ad window opens in your mobile device, you’re annoyed – the advertiser just took you out of whatever app you were using. Intrusiveness and annoyance are not optimal for increasing advertising effectiveness.

The strategy employed by smart mobile advertisers is to figure out where an app related to your business can provide value and to users – even better if that value or functionality doesn’t exist in another app. Could your app provide discounts for your business based on geo-location? Is there a game that you could create that’s relevant to your business? Can you entertain people with trivia, facts, or information related to your business? These are the questions you should be asking when formulating a mobile strategy – providing value to customers via an app could provide a tremendous return on investment.

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