Rich Media Mobile Ads

mobileadIn 2008 User Insight built a new user experience research facility in Atlanta, GA.  We knew smart phones and tablets were going to be a growing trend so we made this investment to create a unique environment where our clients can test digital interactions on mobile devices using the latest technologies.  In the past 5 years we have learned a lot about consumers’ behaviors and preferences on mobile devices as this trend grows and advertisers work to take advantage of it.

Tom O’Regan discusses in a recent article on MediaBizBloggers how this trend is driving advertising models.  He also has some good numbers from Gartner, Opera Mediaworks and Celtra’s Rich Media Report that back up his position.  It does not surprise me, for example, that native mobile ads have four times greater click through rates than static desktop banner ads and rich media ads have twelve times higher click through rates.  Over the years of testing desktop applications at User Insight, we have seen an increased banner blindness to static advertising.  In addition, in testing mobile applications, we have seen interest from users in rich media mobile advertising experiences, specifically if they are targeted to the user based on something they are currently trying to do.  For a good example of a targeted rich media advertising experience check out what Nike and The Weather Channel are doing together.

Because mobile is a growing market and these new rich media experiences are interesting, there are some specific things brands should consider when creating these experiences to drive online purchasing behavior.  At User Insight, we see a clear preference for what people want to do depending on the platform.  For tablet, we see a lot of exploring behavior because of the size and the ability to easily flip from screen to screen and zoom in and out.  For smart phones, we see a huge need for convenience, searches for quick information and a lot of video watching as long as it doesn’t interrupt a task in progress.  When it comes to the actual purchase process, quick and easy purchase paths are key to successful buying behavior.  For longer, e-commerce purchasing processes on transactional sites, we see people desire to move to their desktop or laptop to do the data entry.  I would love to see some numbers on actual conversion rates from these rich media mobile ads.  My gut tells me they are no better than what we see for banner ad conversion rates.  Even so, at the very least, brands will be able to capitalize on the increase in mobile device purchases and the initial interest in rich media advertising as part of their brand awareness efforts.

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