Banner ads becoming obsolete in mobile media advertising

As technology continues to evolve and mobile usage grows, advertisers and marketers will need to adjust their strategies to keep pace with the changes.

Posted on Mar 4, 2014 by YuMe

Advertising on mobile is changing the way companies are introducing themselves and their products to new consumers. As more people turn away from watching television, listening to the radio and sitting at desktop computers, smartphones and tablets have become personal entertainment hubs. As a result, companies have been forced to adjust their advertising and marketing strategies to keep up with the times and stay relevant in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Mobile media advertising is still relatively uncharted marketing territory, and in many ways, it's still in its infancy. But it is growing up quickly. Technology is changing the way people operate on a day-to-day basis and companies investing money in mobile marketing need to understand that innovation will be vital to their success.

Banners are obsolete
Once upon a time, banner ads served as a great way to get people's attention on the Internet. However, the concept didn't exactly translate as well once it was tried on the mobile platform.

"When it comes to mobile, we're generally not looking for banner ads," an anonymous media buyer told Digiday. The professional also noted that many companies are abandoning the use of banner ads for mobile entirely.

{new graph}There's not enough financial justification to continue investing in banners based on the lack of revenue these types of ads generate, Digiday stated. The publication explained consumers find banners interruptive to their mobile activities and an accidental tap - due to the small screen size of smartphones – can quickly turn into a negative experience.

"I've asked hundreds of people in this industry, 'When is the last time you clicked on a banner?'" Jason Newport, senior vice-president of mobile at Carat, said to Digiday. "We're disrupting the flow of the content. We're taking up a ton of space on a small screen."

Using stream advertising to replace banners
Advertising on mobile is all about engagement. If consumers aren't clicking on banners, it's likely because they find them annoying or inconvenient. However, native ad placement could be the solution to the engagement problem.

Embedding ads into content streams has been successful for social media giants like Facebook and Twitter whose mobile content strategies derive from that fact that consumers, specifically with regard to mobile, view information in a vertical stream format. Stream ads have much higher engagement rates than banners and more companies are making the decision to use this method of mobile media advertising in place of traditional static banners, thus making native ad placement a much more valuable tool and worth the financial investment.

"Most consumption now is coming in the forms of streams," Leo Polanowski, head of client services at Yahoo, told Digiday. "So it's not a leap to say, 'Hey, we want to provide the ads in the form because you get increased click-through rates and conversions.'"

The advantages of multi device advertising
As consumers become more tech-savvy, they tend to float between devices to complete tasks. Yes, mobile use is growing, but an activity that begins on a smartphone could be completed on a tablet or laptop. Advertisers and marketers need to take note of this fact and create mobile media advertising formats that are effective on multiple device platforms. 

"In two years, we won't be talking about mobile, we'll just talk about reach," said Greg Coleman, president of advertising technology firm Criteo, in an interview with Forbes.

Obviously, any form of advertising is all about reaching as many consumers as possible. But advertising and marketing agencies need to be aware that as the mobile landscape grows in terms of usage and device technology, being able to effectively leverage these changes into tangible strategies will be key in reaching potential customers and growing business.